Question 5: Can Devils Defense Avoid Terrible Mistakes?
For the most part, the Devils defense has been great this season. It’s hard to get fans to believe us when saying it because there are these major mistakes that stick out like a sore thumb. There are a million examples that seem to repeat. Dougie Hamilton has a bad habit of giving up 2-on-1s. Damon Severson still passes the puck in front of his own net, and it gets intercepted more often than we like. It just happened Saturday night. Luckily, it didn’t end up in a goal.
Ryan Graves has been making too many mistakes, even though he seems to redeem himself. John Marino has been much better than his slump a few weeks ago, but that can change if they aren’t careful.
The bottom pairing is going to be either Kevin Bahl, Brendan Smith, or Luke Hughes. It seems pretty clear that will be the weak link on the defense in the playoffs, but Bahl has been very good recently.
The Devils have seen mistakes go in the back of the net far too often. Since March 1st, the Devils have allowed 175 high-danger chances. In the same time period, the Devils have 303 high-danger chances. Yet, the Devils have given up more high-danger goals than they’ve scored. It seems preposterous, but their mistakes are ending up in the back of the net. They need to avoid the mistakes entirely to move on in the postseason.