Boy, it's getting grim. After a 5-4 loss to the Bruins, the New Jersey Devils have lost eight straight games. It's the longest losing streak in 18 years. According to Tom Gulitti, the last time the Devils dropped eight in a row was 1985. They are no longer on the cusp of the playoffs but sit in 10th place, four points back of the Islanders and Rangers, who occupy the last two spots.
Ilya Kovalchuk is still out with a shoulder injury, and now captain Bryce Salvador is roughed up with a bruised wrist. A last-minute surge doesn't seem to be coming, and New Jersey is likely to miss the playoffs for the second time in three years.
It might be time to start thinking about the future. With the last remaining pieces of the championship years, Patrik Elias and Martin Brodeur, shrouded in uncertainty past this season, the Devils may be looking at a clean slate very soon. There are some young pieces on this team with high ceilings that can be reached with the right development. The organization is very good in that department.
While the immediate future for this team probably lies on the golf course, the sun shines bright for several young Devils players down the road.
Here are five who should get better and better in the coming years.