Pull the plug, PULL THE GODDAMN PLUG! Where the hell is Kevorkian when you need him? And the fat lady? I thought she was on call! Will someone please go find her, slap the cheeseburger out of her hand, help her warm up her vocal chords with some doe-ray-me's, and get her rotund ass bedside? I don't care that the Devils aren't statistically eliminated from playoff contention. I don't care that they still have two games left against the Pittsburgh Penguins. I don't care that they been so good as delaying the inevitable. I can no longer watch them suffer like this. The unlikely chance of success is not worth the risk anymore, and nothing proves that quite like watching their single most important player get helped off the ice in the midst of another hard fought loss. Let's just enjoy these last few moments together while still recognizing that they are - indeed - the Devils last few moments of relevance. This team's chances of making the postseason need to be put to rest, if for no other reason than to help the delusional fraction of the fanbase start the mourning period.
I'm not mad, and no, that's not a precursor to saying that I am "just disappointed". I am none of those things. A little sad? I suppose. It was fun to watch this team continue to battle their asses off night in and night out knowing that in the process they were overcoming an almost comical lack of talent. Some of that is because of injury, some of it because of the trade deadline, and some of it is because, well, this year's Devils team was always about as deep as the Kardashian family. The ability of Devante Smith-Pelly - a player that was traded for someone who wasn't even playing in the NHL - to arrive in New Jersey and instantly get vaulted into first line duties certainly speaks to that. Regardless, making it into mid-March (slight exaggeration) with even the smallest semblance of a chance of making the playoffs makes this a successful season. It's time to rest Cory, give the Blandisi's and Boucher's of the world a bigger role, and get ready to continue building in the offseason. Let's face it, while we would love to believe that this run is ending prematurely, it's impossible to say that the Devils didn't make more headway in establishing a future contender than any of us believed they were capable of. So don't think of this is goodbye, it's simply a see you later. Believe me when I say the Devils aren't too far away from going to a better place.
P.S. Only Cory Schneider could hurt himself in such impressive fashion...