With Zach Parise returning to the lineup last night for the first time since being side lined on October 30, 2010 from a torn meniscus, the Prudential Center had the possibility of having a great buzz throughout the arena. Welcoming back an All-Star, a fan favorite and possibly our next captain, the arena was eager to cheer for the New Jersey Devils. Unfortunately falling to the Montreal Canadians 3-1, and the arena split 50/50, with half of the fans being bussed in from Canada it was a poor welcome back.
With chants like “Go-Habs-Go” and “Ole,Ole,Ole” fans could have closed their eyes and would have thought that they were sitting in the middle of the Bell Center up in Montreal.
As a Devil fan, it was sad, pathetic, and a huge disappointment. Yes, the Devils season is over and Montreal is fighting for a playoff position but the Devil fans showed a lack of effort and heart as their star player returned to the ice, and after a great battle the night before.
With opportunity after opportunity the Devils certainly could have tied that game up at any point in the second period, and with their power play lacking execution, it was a disappointment to say the least.
The Devils have four games remaining. In these last games of the season they can go out with a bang and prove that they will walk through the tunnel and out onto the ice next season with vengeance. With big decisions to be made during the off-season, I still believe that the Devils will be a top competitor that is if Lou Lamoriello and management make the right moves. Those moves: signing Parise to a long-term contract, finding a puck moving defenseman, and using our youth that we saw battle and win during the second half of the season.
Last year everyone complained about the age on the roster and that we were “too old”. Now we are young with majority of our line up in their 20’s. Winning these last four games, working hard during off season training and coming back in September with Parise in hand, the Devils will be back. Back to New Jersey-type hockey that they built an organization on.