What Went Wrong In The New Jersey Devils Loss To The Anaheim Ducks?


Last night, over in California, the New Jersey Devils were torched by the Anaheim Ducks losing 5-1. This beating came just two days after the Devils handed out their own drubbing in Los Angeles defeating the Kings 5-3 (it wasn’t really that close). How could the Devils go from scoring five goals and winning in impressive fashion to allowing five goals and looking like they didn’t belong on the same ice? The simple answer is: that’s how maddeningly inconsistent they have been this season. The Devils will play great one night, or one period more specifically, and then forget to show up the next.

When you lose 5-1, there are going to be some painful reasons as to why that score resulted in being so lopsided. There are three big things in last night’s game vs. the Ducks that led to the Devils’ demise. So, what went wrong?

Cory Schneider Got Injured

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Any time a team loses a goaltender mid-game due to injury, it’s a tough moment to overcome. For the Devils, it was a huge reason they fell apart mainly on the scoreboard. Even when Schneider was in the game during the first period, the Devils were playing terribly. However, Cory has a lot of experience in handling the onslaught that his teammates thrust on him. In the one period he played, battling through a head/neck injury, Cory Schneider made 14 saves on 15 shots and looked absolutely brilliant. He was the only reason the game was tied at one after the first instead of already being 5-1 Ducks. Then Keith Kinkaid had to come in cold against a dominant team and he simply could not handle the situation. It’s not his fault; it’s a tough situation for anyone to come into, but the fact is that losing Cory Schneider after the first lost the Devils the game then and there. Schneider was the only one who could have kept the Devils alive facing 40 shots in 60 minutes.

Shot Disparity

Shots. A perfect segue into the next reason the Devils were dominated last night. They were outshot 40-15 and honestly it felt like it was even worse than that. This is the second time in just over a week that the Devils have allowed 40+ shots against while being stuck in the teens themselves. Last Thursday against the Boston Bruins they were outshot 43-14 in a brutal 3-0 loss. It’s really hard to decide which aspect is worse, the lack of shots for or the plethora of shots against. Well, both are terrible. You can’t expect to give up 40+ shots a night and win no matter who your goalie is and you can’t expect to have <15 shots a night and win no matter who their goalie is. The Ducks had Ilya Bryzgalov in net, who has a horrendous .854 SV% in limited duty this season, and the Devils could get just one puck past him. He was barely tested all night and that’s just unacceptable.

The Lineup

I understand this was the same lineup that defeated the Kings on Wednesday night, but I hated the lines even then. They just somehow worked that night. Last night, however, is a different story. Steve Bernier should never be on the top line let alone the top six. Mike Cammalleri, the team’s leading goal scorer, should never not be on the top line. Instead they have him on the third line centering Dainius Zubrus and Michael Ryder. Then there’s Joe Whitney, Albany’s leading point producer, who is stuck on the fourth line where he gets less than eight minutes a night and can’t show if he truly has any value. That’s just who was in the lineup. How about the fact Eric Gelinas and Jacob Josefson were scratched for Peter Harrold and Tim Sestito? I seriously thought this kind of garbage would end when Peter DeBoer got fired, but it hasn’t. At least Adam Larsson gets to play, and play a lot, so there’s that I guess.