It was just that kind of day for the New Jersey Devils. I was not able to catch the game on TV today as I was out the majority of the day with my family, but I listened to it on a radio app on my iphone. Nonetheless, I hope I speak for all Devils fans that the game played earlier this afternoon was the most embarrassing game New Jersey has played this season.
A large portion of the first period belonged to the Pittsburgh Penguins because they generated several chances and took advantage of the Devils’ sluggish play. I was very upset at the amount of turnovers and miscommunication that was going on. They did improve a little bit at the end of the period but in all honesty, New Jersey was very lucky to be in a scoreless game after the first period. The second period was one in where the Penguins really came out and exemplified why they have one of the best offenses in the league. After they killed off a Devils power play (which by the way has been extremely inefficient this season even though they hired the so-called “best power play coach in the league”), Brandon Sutter put Pittsburgh up 1-0. After that goal, I was hoping to see the Devils bounce back but they were only playing defense and that was a huge mistake as Chris Kunitz scored a goal to give the Penguins a 2-0 lead. The goal came about 7 minutes after Sutter’s. When the Devils took another penalty, I wanted to close my radio app because I thought they were done for. Just as I was about to though, Andy Greene scored a shorthanded goal to cut the lead in half, and it seemed like New Jersey finally got the spark they needed to achieve a comeback. Being only down by 1 goal after the 2nd period, I thought the Devils would come out strong in the 3rd. Instead, it was the exact opposite and, Pittsburgh made it seem that penguins really do fly. The offensive show they put on in the 3rd period overwhelmed the Devils. Goals from Kris Letang, Sidney Crosby, and Rob Bortuzzo transformed the once tight game into a legitimate blowout. I was disappointed that the Devils didn’t show up for the 3rd (or the entire match rather) but that Penguins offense deserved a lot of credit and respect for how they played in that period. New Jersey deserved that 5-1 loss but I hope they get their act back together in Long Island. This game was a learning experience and when the Devils do learn from their mistakes, I hope that they can put this game behind them. New Jersey’s points 9 (and first regulation loss) still has them in the Eastern Conference’s top 8 but they are certainly not playing like that. While it is still too early, just remember that in this shortened season, every game counts. As long as they perfect their basics and have their key scorers contribute (whom they didn’t have this afternoon), I have faith and do believe they will have a very auspicious February.
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