22 December 2010
Different night, same result. We had to know that the Devils were going into a lions den so to speak. The Caps just snapped a long losing streak the other night, needed to get revenge on the Devils for an embarrasing loss last month and need to find momentum going into their big Winter Classic game in a little over a week.
The Devils still fail at putting together a decent showing when they have all five players on the ice and fail at getting out of the second period unscathed.
If you have to say something positive about last night, it would be the Devils special teams. Once again, they came to play. The Devils killed 5 Washington power players and a 5-on-3. For the total of 8:42 of being shorthanded, the Devils were solid. The Devils got 4 power plays, put up 6 good shots on net, and Patrik Elias scored on a one-timer.
So now what? Where do the Devils go from here? They are just a BAD hockey team. They aren't doing the little things that help a hockey team to win. Marty hasn't been spectacular by any means but any goalie, regardless of talent, will be doomed to fail if the guys in front of him aren't playing properly. With that said, the 4th goal scored by Washington last night was all on Marty. Clear view of the puck, no one in front and it just flew right past him. Quickly, looking at the stats, here are 5 things that are clearly wrong:
Andry Greene is a -23
Ilya Kovalchuk is a -22
Henrik Tallinder is a -19
David Clarkson is a -17
Dainius Zubrus is a -15.
If you look league wide, the Devils pretty much own this category.
These guys just aren't showing up at all. There was one play last night, where the Caps let out a rebound and the puck was just sitting there and Kovalchuk just coasted in to try and get to the puck. Of course a Capital defenseman who was actually moving his feet got to it first.
So, the Islanders play the Lightning tonight and if they can manage getting a win or even to OT and then a win in regualtion against the Devils tomorrow night, the Devils will own the title "worst team in the league" going into the Christmas break. To think, 1 year ago the Devils owned the best record in hockey.