Slow Starts Are a Thing? Devils lose to Coyotes in SO
Game 1, it made sense to have a slow start. First game of the season, with high expectations, opening up at home. All the jitters that come with that is understandable. History shows that players come out flatter more times than not, possibly due to the adrenaline spiking at the wrong time in pre-game. Any professional feels that pressure, including this writing in time with pro rugby teams.
With that said, nobody expected the Devils to come out of the gate as slow as they did in Game 2. The Devils were outshot 14-7 and gave away the puck away four times vs the Coyotes. To say they were sluggish is an understatement.
The previous night we saw Lindy Ruff say that he wanted the Devils to have “five shots in the first five minutes,” which they barely got five shots in 20 minutes. We saw the Devils struggle mightily with the ‘Yotes forecheck and getting the puck out of their own end as Arizona pounded relentlessly.
It was a messy game for the Devils, and it felt like before they realized how to skate again, they were down 2-0. The first Bratt goal woke them back up, and we saw New Jersey get back to playing their brand of hockey, taking over the game. They were outskating the Coyotes for most of the game, forcing Arizona to take horrid penalties just to try and slow the game down.
It was an ill-timed Brendan Smith penalty and the dreaded shootout that left the Devils walking away with just one point. Unfortunately, the Devils never really got to play their game. If they did, Arizona would’ve had no answer for that.
It’s easy to overreact early in the season, but the Devils can’t let this become a trend. They have shown their ability to overcome, but to play from behind isn’t the answer here. Hopefully, Lindy finds a way to get through the boys before Monday’s game.