New Jersey Devils Drop Third Straight; Fall 4-3 To Dallas


The New Jersey Devils were defeated 4-3 by the Dallas Stars. The loss was the Devils’ third straight loss and their 11th in their last 14 contests. Safe to say the New Jersey Devils are playing terrible, terrible hockey. If you want to dig deeper, the three wins came against the Oilers, Maple Leafs and Hurricanes – not the cream of the crop in the NHL. The Devils fell to 11-15-5, sixth in the division, one point ahead of the Blue Jackets who have won six straight (but they don’t use injuries as an excuse). There aren’t enough words in the English language to describe how badly the Devils are playing, yet somehow nothing changes. They don’t move personnel, except for angry Swiss forwards, and they don’t make coaching changes. All they do is accept mediocrity and continue to lose.

Rough Start

The Devils came out of the gate poorly (surprise, surprise) and let Dallas jump out to a 2-0 lead in the first. It took the Stars over 14 minutes, but they finally made the Devils pay for playing so badly. Jaromir Jagr (-3 on the evening) made a terrible neutral zone pinch springing a 3-on-2 for Dallas in which they found Tyler Seguin, the league’s leader in points, alone in the slot for the one-time rocket. Cory Schneider had no chance as the puck went top corner in the blink of an eye. Then Dallas added another a few minutes later off the stick of Jason Spezza. Jon Merrill stopped the initial chance but Spezza stayed with the play and put it home. It was an extremely poor opening frame of hockey, something the Devils are doing far too often.

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Tied It Up

Surprisingly, the Devils would tie the game early in the second thanks to a pair of goals from defensemen. First, Jon Merrill got the Devils on the board with a nice power play goal due to some crisp passing between him, Marek Zidlicky and Adam Henrique. The Devils’ PP has been on fire lately going five for their last 14 with the extra man. Then, non-healthy scratch Eric Gelinas would even the score with a silky wrister that found its way through a maze of people. Gelinas has drawn the wrath of Peter DeBoer lately and it was nice to see him get a tally. Why he keeps getting benched, no one knows.

Too Good To Be True

The score was tied at two and there was a moment of hope for New Jersey, until the defense completely fell apart. The Devils would allow Dallas to score two goals in less than two minutes to build the lead back up to two (that was a lot of homophones). Both goals were scored with Stars players being left all alone in prime scoring areas. To come back from an impossible deficit – DeBoer said it, not me – and then give it right back is just terrible.

Poor Cory

For the third time this season, Cory Schneider had to be pulled after two periods because the team simply hung him out to dry. 33 shots through two periods? Come on. That’s rubbish. Schneider had no chance on three of the goals and the fourth wasn’t his fault either. The Devils buckled down in the third in front of Keith Kinkaid only allowing three shots, but that was more because Dallas was sitting back clogging up the neutral zone. Somehow, Schneider will get blamed for this loss, but that’s not fair at all. Schneider is the only reason the Devils are even competitive on a nightly basis.

Scott Gomez would get a late tally, his first in a Devils’ jersey in seven years, but the rally would fall short. You can’t expect to show up for 10% of the game and get a win. Something, actually a lot of things in this organization need to change and fast.

In other news, Mike Cammalleri left the game with a lower-body injury because the Devils can’t go one game without losing an important player.