The New Jersey Devils are doing everything in their power to stay at 6th place in the standings. I can repeat that sentence 100 more times and it still won’t be entirely true. The Devils are currently sitting in 6th place with 90 points and only 2 points ahead of the Ottawa Senators. The Devils need to pick up their game before they are left out of the playoffs or even worse, with a New York Rangers match-up in the first round. Heaven forbid the Devils and Rangers meet up in the playoffs, the league will go crazy with all of the “barbaric” fights and Tortorella will have to fear the wrath of Cam Janssen and Eric Boulton going after the team’s fragile top line. It’s been a week since that game and I still can’t help but laugh at how ridiculous the post-game comments were. Anyway, let’s get back to the important things!
Let’s take a look at the games from the past week: The Devils faced the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday and the game looked like it was going nowhere after the Devils found themselves down 2 goals in the third. The Devils being the Devils like to make things interesting for their fans and fought their way back into the game with 2 goals from Captain America, Zach Parise, and Adam Henrique who finally ended his scoring drought. The Devils had tied it! What would a fan do in that situation? Well, scream like a crazy person of course! My neighbors didn’t appreciate and my dog was staring at me scared out of her mind, it’s a similar stare during a big thunderstorm. I like to think that I am THAT powerful that I instill fear into animals, but in reality it’s probably just the pitch of my crazy scream that would scare animals and small children. I should work on that. Anyway, let’s get back to the game! The Devils have tied it and with no goals scored in overtime, the shootout is where we will win it! Or so I thought. The Devils have been spectacular in shootouts! That is until Martin Brodeur let in all 3 goals. What the crap? The Leaf’s Kadri had a gorgeous shootout goal though that must be highlighted in the 4-3 loss. See Video.
The Leafs game was a disappointing loss and the 1 point consolation did little to make it better. Hoping to rebound in their next game, the Devils faced…The Pittsburgh Penguins. The Penguins have been unstoppable, thanks to Malkin and an unknown player named Sidney Crosby. The Devils seemed confident going into the game as this marked the 2nd return for Travis Zajac. Zajac’s presence has definitely been missed, especially on faceoffs. Maybe the Devils will win more of those…since they matter and all!
This game started rather oddly as both goalies went to play the puck behind the net and left it wide open for a goal. You would think that after the goal was scored on the Devils, Marc-Andre Fleury would be more careful. Instead, he did the exact same thing and Zach Parise scores to tie the game. That was Parise’s 30th of the season, assisted by…SIDNEY CROSBY! Crosby places the puck perfectly onto Parise’s stick to tie the game. See Video.
Well needless to say, Crosby got it back by scoring a beautiful breakaway goal to give the Penguin’s a 2 goal lead before Malkin iced the game with an empty-netter to end the game 5-2.
Hoping to rebound…again (I feel like a broken record), the Devils faced the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday. Brodeur played fantastic and either team allowed just 1 goal by Petr Sykora (welcome back to the score sheet!) and Brent Seabrook before the Devils found themselves in another shootout. Brodeur came up big again and allowed just 1 goal, while both Patrik Elias and Travis Zajac (Doesn’t it feel good to hear his name DURING a game for a change???) scored helping the Devils get the extra point. Both the Blackhawks and the Devils have had some issues as of late, but I found this was a game between 2 evenly matched teams. Adam Larsson was a healthy scratch for the 1st time all season. I can’t say I’m surprised as his play can be compared to a roller coaster ride after he returned from his lower back bruise. Let’s hope this lights a fire under his behind to do even better, especially in the playoffs. I have no doubt that Larsson will bounce back, he has been a force this season and the Devils ended last season on a very high note by drafting him after a disaster of a season. Disaster isn’t the right word…horrendously disgusting. Yes..that’s a better term for last season.
The Devils are back in action on Thursday when the Tampa Bay Lightning visit the Prudential Center. We'll see if the Devils can stop the beast that is Stamkos.