The Devils have really pissed me off this time. After an amazing effort in beating the Penguins last night, they suck it up against another horrible team tonight. The Maple Leafs are the worst team in the Eastern Conference and we can’t score more than a goal on them? The fact that we had them in a shootout as incredible tonight, but I can’t even get started on that topic because I’ll go on a rant about how Yann Danis cant stop a beach ball on a breakaway.
For a team that gets up and plays its best against the leagues elite, why cant they play as well against the likes of the Maple Leafs (or the Oilers, or the Islanders). I have a theory to that question and it is because the Devils are not that good. Yes, that was a simple answer. But it has to be simple because if they cant beat the bottom feeders of the league, then they certainly wouldn’t be able to win 4 games out of 7 in the post-season. I may be looking too deep into this but it is no aberration that the Devils have now lost three consecutive games to teams with no playoff aspirations. That is just unacceptable. In order to make their case to the other teams they could be facing in the playoffs, they need to get points against teams that are weaker than them. The Devils face the Blues and Blue Jackets in their next two games and they will need those four points to keep pace with the Penguins and get that number two seed. But, if they play like they did tonight those two games will also be loses for New Jersey.
Another issue is the inconsistent play from Kovalchuk. The Devils made a play at a big name before the trade deadline for the first time in years, meaning they are making the effort to get the Cup by any means necessary. But without Kovy bringing his offensive prowess in every game, we are less than what we were before the trade. The return of Paul Martin to the defensive unit will make that part of the team better, however, that is not a big issue as the D had already been doing well. The Devils scratched Jay Pandolfo and Brian Rolston tonight and put in Andrew Peters and Pierre Luc-Leblond. Why tinker with the lineups after such a positive night? Perhaps Lemaire wants to give the older guys more rest between games and felt a back to back session was too much. But that is not good enough for me, nor should it be for any other Devil fan. We are in the middle of a race for the Atlantic Division crown and I want that second seed because we will play a team that we can handle in the first round, but I just don’t know if the Devils care all that much about their seeding.
These could be the words of an angry fan in the moment, but I have been disappointed with the Devils for too many years now and now that we have superstars who can score, make game-changing plays, than I want results and I want them now.
Jersey next plays the Blues on Saturday at 7 from The Rock.