I think the most frustrating part about the Devils/Canadiens matchup was that the Devils were right there, ready to skate away with 2 points and somehow the Canadiens were able to answer right back after the Devils took a 3-2 lead with just over a minute to play. In OT the Devils had their chances but couldn’t fire it home. On the plus side, the Canadiens had their chances in OT but couldn’t manage to beat Schneider but you knew that if the Devils didn’t end it in OT, winning the shootout was a longshot. The one bright note from last night is that I think I might love Reid Boucher. The kid looks to have the goods, let’s hope he sticks around.
What a bad period by the Devils. They came out flat and while the shots were 13-9, theres no way you can tell me that period was even close to being played well. Things got heated early when Janssen put a nice hit on Alexei Galchenyuk but Brandon Prust was right there to challenge Janssen for what I can only assume was the thought that maybe the hit was late. It was mostly pushing and pulling with a few uppercuts by Prust but other than that, it was a waste of time. Of course I’m still replaying the Shaw/Roussel fight the night before in the Chicago/Dallas game in my head so not much could live up to that. I'm a Devils fan but in no way a Cam Janssen fan so I find this picture hysterical.
Gionta got the Canadiens on the board on a feed from Daniel Briere. I still can’t believe how many sticks and skates the pass got through but it ended up on Gionta’s stick who then put it in the back of the net.
That would be it for the first. The Devils had one decent chance in the first as Eric Gellinas hit the post prior to the Gionta goal. Chico mentioned it grazed Budaj’s glove on the way by but I never got a clean look at that. It looked like a shot that went end over end right off the stick and just got all post.
I think we can skip the 2nd period because nothing interesting happened. No goals but the Devils outshot the Canadiens 10-7 which was probably the only positive. The period did seem to fly by as there were few stoppages.
This is where it gets interesting. 4 minutes in Andrei Loktionov (whose name pronunciation in NHL14 bugs the shit out of me every time) found the back of the net in what seemed like a play that wasn’t going to develop into much. Loktionov came up the boards, took a pass from Zidlicky spun around and just fired it at the net which beat Budaj 5-hole. What’s the lesson to be learned there kids? Just fire the damn puck at the net because it might go in.
Michael Ryder got his 2nd goal this week when he took a feed from Boucher and put it in the net, which grazed the pipe as it went it. I thought Boucher made a great pass on this play. He was patient with the puck, knew what he wanted to do with it and waited for Ryder to get to where he needed him to get to.
The Devils were able to hold on to the lead for a bit and to the point where you started to wonder if they could hold on to it but Galchenyuk tried for the wrap around which Schneider stopped but Lars Eller took that rebound and put it back on Schneider who saved the first one but Eller then got his own rebound and put it home while Fayne decided to take Galchenyuk out of the play and watched Eller get his own rebound.
In a complete breakdown of puck handling, PK Subban took a pass from Budaj and started to skate up with the puck and just lost it off his stick. Elias just happened to be right there, took the early Christmas present from Subban and beat Budaj high stick side. To be fair, I guess Subban was getting some pressure from Henrique but you don’t expect a could be Olympian to buckle under that kind of pressure. It was short lived though as the Canadiens came right down the ice and on a clearing attempt, Gionta gets the puck and fires it at the net while Desharnais gets a piece of it to put it in the net. Of course you could make the argument that Subban interfered with Elias and that’s why Gionta was able to get to the puck but I would only be pointing out the obvious wouldn’t I?
The only thing worth showing from the shootout is Reid Boucher’s goal. Of course in post-game interview he just gave every goalie in the league a clue to his shootout moves because when asked if he knew what he was going to do, he responded “yes, that’s my go to move.” But it was a glorious move and he’s the first Devils to put home a SO goal this season. Gone are the days the shootout was a gimme for the Devils. So Devils skate away with a point which is better than no points but it was there for the taking and the Devils could really use the points. Like I said above, love what Boucher showed us, hope he stays and if we need to send someone back to Albany, can it please be “See Ya Cam” and not “See Ya Reid”….