I made a tweet last night where I joked about the “Energy” not making the trip to Toronto with the Devils except that I wasn’t really joking. For the most part, I thought the Devils looked lethargic against the Leafs. Occasionally a shift would pop onto the ice, create some chances and then before we knew, the Devils looked as it they were playing on mud and not ice. I can say the same about the Leafs but then the Leafs aren’t a team that is teetering between 2 and 4th overall in the East so I expect that from them.
I thought Yann Denis played a much better game against the Leafs than he did agasint the Islanders last weekend. He didn’t really stand a chance on the Kessel goal but then bounced back and made a decent number of stops. The Devils lost in a shootout but the only reason they got to a shootout was because of Denis. Now, the shootout. That was horrendous. Phil Kessel, Nikolai Kulemin, and John Mitchell all made great moves in the shootout and Denis looked very lost out there. Poor guy hasn’t done many of them so I guess we can’t be surprised.
Now, Paul Martin… Last night was his second game since his arm injury but COME ON!!! When you have an open net in the final minutes of a game and are on a power play…BURY THE FRICKEN PUCK!! I know, I can’t put the blame entirely on him. I mean if the Devils could figure out how to perform on the PP, this little sequence might not have even mattered. Power Play is still piss poor.
The bottom line for me is that they let a last placed team dictate the flow of the game instead of 2nd/4th place team dictating it. I know it was a road game and you tend to side on the cautious but this seems to be a trend with the lesser teams this season. If you think about the game, there isn’t one Devil that stuck out. It was certinaly Elias the night before but tonight, no one took control except Maybe Phil Kessel and that’s the wrong team.
I was glad to see that Lemaire recognized how crappy the Power Play is but I really need him to translate those words into action. This team should have a lethal PP unit and they don’t. It would certainly go a long way if they could fix that aspect of their game.
In case you missed it, here are some of the highlights from last night courtesy of the TSN.