Unlike Game 1, the Devils actually tried harder and played for just about all of the 60 minutes that made up Game 2. The problem is, they still lost.
If you watched the game in its entirety, you would know that the players played harder, defense was visible many times (still not all, but much better after Saturday’s debacle against the Flyers), and Brodeur let up a few softies that he should have had.
The one in particular that sticks out in my mind today is one shot from the top of the near circle that slid under Brodeur’s right pad making it’s way into the net.
Coach Lemaire is keepings things positive and is not worried, like a good veteran coach, but he doesn’t seem to be showing much fire or emotion, something that Pat Burns had that made the team, in my mind, motivated.
It appears as if he’s trying to build the teams confidence and thinks that will play a part. I think if the team continues to progress like they have between games 1 and 2, they will be just fine. The Devils started the scoring on Monday night’s game against the Rangers, instead of reacting to scoring like they did Saturday night against the Flyers.
Rob Niedermayer and Travis Zajac were the two Devils that scored, with assists coming from David Clarkson twice, along with Zach Parise and Jay Pandolfo.
Rob Niedermayer appears to be a solid addition to the team, adding some extra power and scoring ability on his line. Perhaps a few more western acquisitions might not be such a bad thing, giving the Devils more scoring power overall.
The Power Play had ample opportunity to score but only connected once in five chances. Rangers had six tries and scored on three of them.
I guess the Power Play isn’t the only thing that needs work.
Overall the game was better, but they still need to working on playing as a team. It’s obvious they aren’t fully connected to each other – passes are going behind teammates, are being easily intercepted, and breaking into the offensive zone, let alone getting a cycle going or getting scoring chances are tough. Even line changes are a little convoluted and need some more time to work out.
But the same thing occurred when Brent Sutter took over the team and in a month or so the team finally came around.
For now the Devils will be practicing on everything until their next matchup on Thursday when they begin a three game road trip south – Tampa Bay, then Florida Panthers followed by the Washington Capitals.
One last note – the Devils have announced that the free shuttle service from the Broad Street Station to the arena has been discontinued. This is really a shame for Devils fans, like myself, trying to get to the arena via the Broad Street station.
Chances are, with this message being posted online, they are not going to cave like they did last year and restore the shuttle service for the games. As indicated in the last post, write, call or e-mail the team and let them know about the convenience of getting to games – how that was one of the big pushes for bringing the team to Newark, and how loosing this free shuttle hurts that image.
Heck, if they charged a buck for the shuttle that gets you right behind the arena, I’d pay it! As it stands now, the walk from Penn Station through the Gateway Center is quite long – it feels longer then just two blocks – and the bus drops you off not near the arena but about 3 blocks away.
For me, I don’t mind the walk, but I’m sure for many this is not convenient.
Nevertheless, I assume the fact that this has been posted online, they have made up their mind and do not have any plans of changing back. Last year when they tried this, they kept it very quiet and made no mention of it anywhere. Now that we have it printed out, my guess is they’ve stopped it for good.