New Jersey Devils Can’t Score As They’re Shutout By The New York Islanders


What’s that? The New Jersey Devils lost a game because they couldn’t score? But that never happens! Sarcasm aside, this is such a tired narrative. Cory Schneider plays a terrific game and he gets absolutely no support from his team. He must be sick of this, being the best player on the team and not getting any help on a daily basis. Granted the Devils were playing a very good team in the New York Islanders, but this trend of not being able to score is nothing new. They’re one of the worst NHL teams at putting the puck in the net.

Great Goalie Matchup

While it’s clear the Devils couldn’t score, part of that has to be credited to Jaroslav Halak who played out of his mind. Halak is a good goalie and a huge reason the Islanders are a playoff team, but tonight he was on another level. The Devils peppered him with high quality chances but Halak wouldn’t falter. His glove was on fire and he was always equal to the task as he made 26 saves in the 3-0 win. He and Cory Schneider both put on a show, stopping 53 of the 55 shots they saw. Usually Schneider is the best goalie on the ice, but tonight Halak was just a little bit better.

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One Goal Was All They Needed

It only took the Islanders seven and a half minutes to, in essence, put the game away. Ryan Strome ripped a shot short-side past Schneider for the 1-0 lead and that was all they needed. Nikolay Kulemin beat Eric Gelinas to a loose puck, well he really out-muscled him, and found Strome in the slot. Gelinas needed to be better on the play, playing the puck and not just the man. Gelinas has a booming shot, but like his fellow youngster on the blue line Jon Merrill, has really struggled defensively this season. Hopefully they will both be better next year. The Islanders would score late in the third as well as an empty netter to seal the deal.

Play The Kids!!

The part about tonight’s game that really irked me was the fact neither Reid Boucher or Stefan Matteau played. New Jersey called both of them up earlier in the day as emergency options in case guys like Mike Cammalleri or Patrik Elias couldn’t play. Elias was able to dress, but Cammy was still ill; Michael Ryder was the one who got scratched from last night’s lineup.

But how can the Devils, namely Lou Lamoriello, be so stubborn by not playing the kids from Albany? This season is over. They aren’t making the playoffs, and quite simply they would probably be a better team with the kids from Albany playing. Guys like Dainius Zubrus, Peter Harrold, etc. are just taking up space. Ryder and Martin Havlat aren’t coming back next season. Why do they continue to play over guys who can help both the present and more importantly the future?

It’s one thing to be bad, but it’s another to learn nothing about the future while losing. Teams like Arizona and Buffalo aren’t good, but they build for their future. The Devils have an elite goalie and they keep playing old, useless players instead of seeing what the young guys can do. On defense they have no problem playing the kids, but somehow young forwards are taboo. I’m simply tired of it and it needs to change – well it should have changed months ago.

Next: Bernier Scores Goal 100 As Devils Beat Buffalo

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