New Jersey Devils Can’t Consistently Put Together 60 Minutes


The New Jersey Devils have an elite goaltender in Cory Schneider. They have a terrific young defensive corps led by veteran Andy Greene, rising star Adam Larsson and rookie Damon Severson. Up front they have goal scoring dynamo Mike Cammalleri, Adam Henrique and a plethora of strong defensive forwards. We all know they need help with offensive forwards, but is that why the Devils have struggled this season?

While I agree a big part of this season’s lack of success has fallen at the hands of an inability to put the puck in the net, for at least me personally, there is a bigger problem at hand. That problem is that the Devils, for some reason, cannot play 60 minutes night in and night out. Teams will have off nights, they will run into hot goalies, they will all have injuries; those things happen. However, failure to show up and play hard for 60 minutes a night should never be a problem. There is no excuse for that.

Feb 20, 2015; Newark, NJ, USA;New Jersey Devils left wing Mike Cammalleri (23) is congratulated by teammates New Jersey Devils defenseman Adam Larsson (5) and defenseman Andy Greene (6) after he scored an empty net goal against the Vancouver Canucks during third period at Prudential Center. The New Jersey Devils won 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

The lack of goal scoring forwards is something that falls on the shoulders of Lou Lamoriello, but the failure to play a full game is a whole team effort. It’s not one or two players… It’s the whole group. It boggles my mind how they can look so great one minute and then flat out fall apart the next. Let’s take last night for example. The Devils played a brilliant first period – although they didn’t score – where they were flying all over the ice and peppering the goalie with shots. I was engaged watching and excited the whole time.

Then in the second period it’s like they thought their night was over and the Devils just simply stopped doing the same things they were. New Jersey was able to find their game again, but only after they had given up a goal. If not for their star goalie Cory Schneider and also up-and-coming Keith Kinkaid being there to bail them out, the Devils wouldn’t be able to survive these lapses in play.

I remember early in the season against Tampa Bay where the Devils played a strong, full game en route to a 2-1 win. They also had very solid performances against Pittsburgh, San Jose and Nashville as well. Then there were some beat downs of Philadelphia (two) and Buffalo thrown in. I’m probably missing some, but the fact is there have been so few instances of the Devils playing a full 60 minutes. I think that says it all. Goal scoring is a big problem, but failure to skate the whole game is a gigantic one as well.

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  • It’s my love for the Devils that makes me so frustrated with them. I hold them to a higher standard because I know what they’re capable of. They have enough talent that they should be better than they are. Sure I’d make more than a few tweaks to the roster, but as it’s currently constructed they’re still good enough to compete and shouldn’t need to rely on Cory Schneider every night. When the Devils are on, they can beat anyone. We’ve seen it happen. They’ve had some amazing stretches against some of the best teams in the league. Then they fall all over themselves against teams like Edmonton and Columbus.

    Hopefully this summer, the roster will be fixed. As I said earlier, they have a good foundation already in place. A few players added both from around the league and in Albany will make a huge difference. However, it won’t matter if this trend of inconsistency continues. The Devils need to bring the same intensity and drive each night and sustain it for the whole game – the entire 60 minutes. If they can do that, they will be a very dangerous team.

    Next: Should The Devils Trade Their First Round Pick?

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