Like most Devils fans, my first instinct is to blame injuries for their recent three game losing streak. In a way I would be completely justified in doing so. After all, last game the Devils were forced into calling up and adding three AHL players - that have no more than two cumulative NHL seasons under their belt - to the active roster. Considering how talent impaired this team is at full strength, mixing in a bunch of inexperienced players - with limited upside - isn't exactly a recipe for success. So yeah, this team's relative health, or lack thereof, has been a major contributor to their recent struggles. With that said, one of the marks of a good team is depth, and depth is undeniably one of the things that this Devils team does not have.
It's not that they have been as bad as you would expect a team that has only scored two goals in the last three games to be. They haven't. They actually played rather well in a hard fought 1-0 loss to Detroit. After going down 2-0 to Montreal they did a commendable job of battling back to make it a close, yet anticlimactic, one goal affair. The only game where the Devils deficiencies were truly reflected by the scoreboard was against Boston, and even then a couple of posts and a questionable non-call probably made the 4-1 final a worst case scenario. Regardless, this team is about to start a four game road trip and they are doing so with a lineup that looks like it's straight out of upstate New York. Things could very easily get worse before they get better.
So if you are asking me if the Devils are a good team I think would have to say no. They have played good hockey at times, and they are still just barely outside the playoff picture, but they only have the pieces necessary to overcome adversity when all of those pieces are in one piece. As much as I love Mike Cammalleri his annual stint on the short term IR shouldn't be enough to derail a season. John Moore has been a pleasant surprise, but his absence from the lineup shouldn't be nearly as devastating as it seemed. This team has been resilient as all hell, but that resiliency can only take them so far without remaining healthy. I'm not saying I am giving up on them. Doing so has already proven futile and a playoff berth is still a very real possibility,. However, their own depleted roster might just be the biggest obstacle they've faced to date.