If you didn’t pay attention to any hockey between the Devils final game of the 2013 season and the first game of this season, you’d swear nothing has really changed. Sure, some of the names and faces are different but it’s the same result, a BIG FAT ZERO!!
The Devils were sloppy in the first and must have gotten a stern lecture in-between the first and second periods because they looked like a completely different team in the second and third periods, outshooting the Penguins 21-9. The problem was again, like many times over the final month of last season, they couldn’t finish. New names, new faces, same old problem. Devils forward Damien Brunner was credited with eight shots; Henrique had three, and no other Devils player had more than two.
More thoughts from last night:
* The Chuck Kobasew goal was kind of ugly. I don’t recall seeing Schneider give up a big fat rebound like he did on this goal throughout the entire preseason.
* On the Crosby goal, I understand Harrold was playing the pass and letting Scheider take the shooter (simple hockey concept) but you really can’t give Sidney Crosby that kind of room.
* Good for Clowe for sticking up for Salvador on a ugly hit by Tanner Glass. Clowe is a tough guy and love what he brings
* Salvador made an ugly pass at one point in the second period. Off his backhand, right into the middle of the ice and is lucky it didn’t end up in the back of the net. I have a feeling if it were November 3rd, that would have been costly.
* The Devils did have some chances but were unable to capitalize on them, something that will certainly have to work on.
* Schneider seemed to leave a lot of juicy rebounds tonight. I don’t know if that is his thing but Marty seems to take the pressure off his D by playing pucks to the corners. If Schneider is a rebound guy, that will take some getting used to.
* Adams goal should have been one Schneider had. He had a look at it and just flat out missed it.
* Speaking of chances, when the refs give you a penalty shot (which I didn’t think Henrique was clearly on a breakaway), you have to put those in. Lame attempt to sneak it by the pad, which Fluery shot out to get the save.
* I wasn’t all that impressed with Jagr. Sure, he’s 41 and to be playing NHL hockey at 41 is impressive but he didn’t do all that much in my opinion. He had a nice move by the boards in the 1st which ended with him ripping a shot on net but beyond that, there wasn’t much.
* Deboer said after the game that “We’re playing in Pittsburgh against everybody’s pick to win the Eastern Conference, so it’s a little early to start looking at the glass half full.” He’s right but the chances were there and the Devils just couldn’t capitalize on them.
* The last time the Devils were shutout in the season opener was just 2 years ago during the 2011-2012 season, the year they made the trip to the Stanley Cup Final after the year they missed the playoffs…just saying!!
Things don’t get easier tonight as the Devils head home for their home opener against the Islanders.