The New Jersey Devils held off a late surge with a goal call overturned on Patrice Bergeron and then an amazing save to continue their streak of good and solid play. It was a pretty even game in most respects and seeing the Devils not get out muscled all over the ice or just flat out outplayed is always good to see. This was helped out by the fact their opponents were missing Brad Marchand for this outing but these small steps are needed to keep progressing in the right direction.
Lindy Ruff also made a huge coaching call with the late challenge that really worked out but could have easily lost them the game. It was definitely a tough call to make, but it does show some good experience on his part even if some of the other coaching decisions have been questionable.
Mackenzie Blackwood was incredible and that save with under 10 seconds left to win the game was a thing of beauty. The Bruins all thought it was going in, hands in the air, and with a big stretch and kick Mackenzie denied them in a way that was very satisfying for Devils fans. This was his first shutout of the year and he should be feeling real good after that performance and coming up huge in the biggest moment of the game.
Outside of one bad giveaway late, where he actually did a pretty good job recovering, Ty Smith had a solid game all over. His offensive skills were on point and he was all over trying to drive the net and make the big plays. On the defensive end, he is showing that he is not a one-trick pony game in and game out. It should help his Calder Trophy chances in a few months.
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The only goal tonight came from a Ty Smith shot hitting Kyle Palmieri whose stock is slowly going up thanks a lot to the Bruins whom he has over half his goals against. It will be interesting to see moving forward what happens and Boston is probably a big contender for his services at the trade deadline, so showings like this could really benefit the Devils.
Miles Wood and Michael McLeod both had solid depth performances again drawing penalties and adding the physical edge that makes the team hard to play against. In years past, the Devils would just get tossed off the puck and slowly get worn down or give up against the big bad Bruins, but having guys like this who can actually play good hockey is 100% needed. The fact that they came up on the positive side for penalties is just icing on the cake.
The Refs missed the obvious call when Janne Kuokkanen high sticked Charlie McAvoy, cutting him in a bad way. They then went and had a longer than a minute discussion and decided on a four-minute penalty which was the right call however there is an obvious problem here. How come no one was watching the play where the puck was to make the call? And if no one was how do you make the call without being allowed to review it until the call is a double minor? Why was this not called in the same fashion when done to Travis Zajac and Miles Wood? High sticking needs to be called every time with consistency for the safety of the players and integrity of the game and it was 100% the right call for the Devils to be in the box for four minutes but consistency is key and giving some teams a break and not others looks unprofessional.