The Devils Lose (in Regulation) 2-1 to the Habs

Why, when the Devils lose, do they do it regulation?  Yet when they win, they usually have to accomplish it in OT or a shootout.  Mark my words…all of those 3 point games are going to come back and haunt this team at the end of the season.

But there are other problems to address right now.  Like today’s loss to the Canadiens.  Is it me or have the Devils reverted back to their old school ways of taking the 2nd period off?  It sure looked like that today.  The 1st period, I thought the Devs played really well.  At least they seemed to dominate the play.  True, they failed to capitalize on any scoring chances and took boneheaded offensive zone penalties, but I felt like they controlled the puck for most of the 1st period.  And then they decided to call it a day…until nick Palmieri scored in the 3rd. (Let me just point out that when your only goal scorer of the game is Palmieri, you know you’re in trouble).  Palmieri’s goal seemed to light a small fire under their butts, but of course it was a day late, dollar short type of a deal.  Zach Parise could have tied it late in the 3rd on a penalty shot…but he didn’t.

I’m just not at all sure what is going on with this team or how I feel about them, but something is totally off.  For one thing, neither of the two “elite” players the Devils have are playing up to their talent level.  Zach has basically been MIA, and, while Kovy has at least found the back of the net a few times recently, he seems to be missing his brilliance.  Which begs the question:  WHY IS KOVY PLAYING RW AGAIN THIS SEASON???  He’s clearly not as comfortable there as he is at LW, and we all remember how well this experiment worked last year.  What logic could possibly exist to put, arguably, the world’s best left winger on right wing?  Please, someone enlighten me as to the wisdom in such a move.

One can only hope that when Travis returns more sensical lines will be created.

Seriously, it shouldn’t be this difficult.  These are the Devils…the ’95, ’00, ’03 Stanley Cup Champion franchise.  The perennial leaders of their division.  So, they hit a road bump (MacLean) in the beginning of last season…they proved to the world that they can be the best team in the league during the second half. I expect nothing less of them this year and neither should any of you.  It’s becoming tiresome watching them eek out a win (which, let’s face it, by the time the shootout rolls around is pretty much decided by luck) only to do it again the next night and then lose the following game. Sure, the OT/SO wins are exciting in the moment, but the Devils are playing very precariously by allowing every game to be so close. And, by giving whomever they defeat 1 point, the Devils are effectively only earning 1 point for each of these wins. Just once (well, ok, every game from here on out) I’d love to see the Devs blow their opponent away.  Or at least win by 2 goals.

FUN FACT:

Zach’s penalty shot was awarded because one of Montreal’s defensemen covered the puck in front of his net with both hands.  DeBoer was able to choose any of the five players who were on the ice at the time to take the penalty shot.  Obviously, he chose Zach who was 6 for 7 in the shootout  this season.

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