New Jersey Devils: Comeback Attempts Are Getting Old

Sami Vatanen #45, Kyle Palmieri #21 and Mackenzie Blackwood #29 of the New Jersey Devils (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Sami Vatanen #45, Kyle Palmieri #21 and Mackenzie Blackwood #29 of the New Jersey Devils (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

The New Jersey Devils went into a big hole once again on Thursday night against the New York Islanders. After challenging a goal when Sami Vatanen “pushed” Oliver Wahlstrom into Mackenzie Blackwood, the Devils now found themselves down a man and down 3-0 when the challenge didn’t go their way. Obviously, because this is how this season has gone, the Islanders scored making it a nearly insurmountable 4-0 deficit.

However, the Devils didn’t stop fighting. They came out quick in the third period and Janne Kuokkanen scored just three minutes into the frame. Just 40 seconds later, Mikhail Maltsev scored himself. The Devils were mounting another comeback just days after scoring three third-period goals against the Washington Capitals to force overtime.

The Islanders ended up calling a timeout and immediately scored a backbreaking goal to make it 5-3. Jack Hughes scored later in the period, but it was too little too late.

Obviously, most Devils fans turned the game off at 4-0. Even the most ardent fans seemed to be tuning out, as the on-ice product was unwatchable for the first 40 minutes. The stats are insane. Through two periods, the Islanders had 15 high-danger chances. The Devils had one. Add in the fact that Damon Severson scored an own goal with Mackenzie Blackwood on his back, it was a night to forget.

The Devils need to do something. Anything. They can’t keep going on like this. The goalies are getting frustrated by being constantly peppered with good chances. It’s one thing to face a lot of shots, but it’s another to face an insane amount of quality shots.

Next. Devils Prospects Could Help Soon. dark

Everyone was praising the Islanders for their play. This isn’t trying to take anything away from them, but anyone could take advantage of the Devils tonight. The defense as a whole was completely and utterly terrible. Now, Will Butcher is on the COVID-19 protocol list, so they can’t even change it up. On top of that, the Binghamton Devils had a COVID scare that canceled their Wednesday night game. We still don’t know the results of that.

So, basically, the Devils defense is stuck how it is. There is no help coming, and the team has an increasingly difficult schedule coming. The Islanders plays the Devils again, this time at the Prudential Center. The Devils have a litany of problems that Tuesday’s comeback obviously didn’t fix. It’s getting old watching them score garbage time goals. They are stat padders that do nothing to help the team win. It’s time to get out to a lead and keep it. It starts with a veteran defensive unit that has been the worst in the league by far.