As you’ve probably surmised from the title, the Devils won their first OT contest of the season (a shootout) against the LA Kings. It’s nice to know that the Devils can perform well enough 4 on 4 and in a shootout to eek out a victory, but, in my opinion, this game should have never made it past regulation. After the Kings scored 1:47 into the 1st period, the Devils played an outstanding hockey game. They controlled the puck for almost the entire 2nd half. Of course they weren’t able to score more than one goal in regulation (and that was a Patrik Elias tally in the 1st period). And that’s bothersome. Nevertheless, they hung in there and eventually came away with 2 points.
The Kings seemed to lose most signs of life after the 1st period, but I suspect that may have just as much to do with the fact that they recently arrived back from travelling around Europe and were probably jet-lagged, fatigued or both as it has to do with the play of the Devils. Not to shortchange the Devils…like I said, they played great for the most part. But the Kings just fizzled out after the 1st period. You can read what the other side has to say about it here.
One more thing to report, Marty started the game in net but was replaced by Hedberg at the start of the 2nd period. The Devils said that Marty had “upper body soreness”. Hopefully, he’s ok, but Moose was outstanding. He made quite a few really big saves, especially in OT and, obviously, the shootout.
Despite the Devils’ overall good play and puck possession, there are still a few things that I find concerning…mostly because on any given night they could be deeply troubling.
First, the Devils only scored ONCE in regulation. It’s all good and great to control the play and the puck and shoot it constantly. But if the puck doesn’t go in the net, what difference does it make? What’s the point? I’ve said this many times in the past, and I’ll say it again…maybe the Devils would benefit from devoting an entire day to doing shooting drills a la Midgets on Ice.
Second, the PP went 0 for 2 tonight. I don’t even know what else to say about this anymore, but it leads nicely into my next concern…
Third, WHY IS CLARKSON ON THE FIRST PP UNIT??? WHY IS HE ON THE PP AT ALL??? WHY IS HE ON THE TEAM AT ALL??? I agree wholeheartedly with Darren when it comes to Clarkson. Ugh! It’s just frustratingly painful to watch him do anything in a Devils jersey…not that he does much of anything worthwhile. Seriously, in what universe is he considered an asset to the team? And who are these people at the Rock who all moan in unison whenever Clarkson’s shots never get past the goaltender? Like they’re shocked by this? I’m beginning to suspect that the sound guy at the Rock plays a great, collective moan though the sound system whenever this happens. What does anyone see in this guy? Please, someone explain it to me. I’m serious…I would love to know.
So, to sum it up, the Devils played a great game but have very little offense, a goose egg on the PP and Clarkson taking up valuable space. The main thing is, they got 2 points and really did earn them.
To put David Clarkson’s $2,666,667 annual salary into perspective, it’s higher than the salaries of Saku Koivu, Brad Marchand, Pascal Dupuis and Mike Knuble. Clarkson certainly hasn’t produced or impressed as much as any of those other players. Think the Devils may be getting ripped off with this one?
If you missed the game, here are the highlights provided by nhl.com