It certainly is a welcomed feeling to watch the Devils dismantle a team from beginning to end. Something clicked for NJ in their 5-0 beatdown to the Nashville Predators. They got on the board early and kept putting pucks in the net. The Devils put 5 pucks past the Preds and did so with 5 different goal scorers (Jagr, Arnott, Zidlicky, Zajac and Tedenby). Zubrus had another beautiful chance on a one timer in the 2nd but Carter Hutton came up huge.
The Devils defense left little to criticize last night. They limited the Predators shots to 15 and kept Nashville from getting good opportunities all night. If Nashville did get a chance, an early powerplay in the 1st comes to mind, the Devils did a very good job at regrouping and getting the puck out of danger.
If you had to sit down and come up with something negative about the Devils performance against Nashville, it would have to be the lack of discipline. The Devils took 6 penalties and some of them were lazy penalties (the Brunner hooking comes to mind). Thankfully the PK unit was up to the task but you cannot take 6 penalties and expect that will have a favorable outcome for your team.
A few other thoughts from last night:
Congrats to Marty for shutout #123. Many people are sick of constantly talking about the “record setting” shutouts from Marty since they are all record setting at this point but it’s important to note that he is just making the number harder and harder to break.
Congrats to Jagr. I was kind of surprised it was a bigger deal in the papers (even though nobody reads the paper anymore). He’s the first European player to hit 1700 career points and only the 8th player to do so. (Quick name them!!)
I thought DeBoer’s decision to move Zajac with Jagr and Zubrus worked very well. Loktionov was working well with them but I think DeBoer recognized he needed to do something in order to get Zajac some confidence. I think it worked well as those three made Weber and Jones work hard all night. It will be interesting to see if DeBoer sticks with it on Tuesday.
Cam Janssen – What can be said? I’m not really a huge fan of this guy but he now 2 goals in his last 3 games. When has that EVER happened to Cam Janssen? He now has a career high in goals scored in a single season!! Just a side note, Cam Janssen has more goals this season that Claude Giroux and currently has the same amount of goals as Nail Yakupov. Even if you take away his goal from last night, because it was Carter that did most of the work, Janssen was buzzing around the net all night and looked to have a better sense of what to do. My argument against him for a long time has been that Janssen looks lost out there if he isn’t actively punching in someone’s skull. Looks like Albany has done well for Cam Janssen.
The Devils worked hard last night and it paid off. Hopefully they remember that and continue to work on generating more shots. The ability to score goals is there, something many of us were questioning last week. I thought they did a decent job on Friday in Toronto (despite the shootout loss) and I am hoping their confidence level is rising. The Rangers are up next and they’ve been playing decent hockey as of late so that should be an exciting game.