Wow two posts in one day! Have I just seriously jumped on the Devils beat during their time in crisis? No no, I’m simply waiting for software to finish installing on my reassembled and reformatted PC.
Coach Lemaire tried jockeying around lines, and it did work for a goal, but at the end of 65 minutes, the teams were tied up 1-1. The loan Devils goal? A nice slap-shot by Brian Rolston. Thanks to the heads up pass by John Oduya, Rolston took the pass in a near-breakaway play and simply shot it through Buffalo netminder Ryan Miller.
That tied up the game. Yet again the Devils could not generate the offense needed to score. It’s now a confidence thing – holding the stick too tight, missing passes and shooting wide. It’s a funk they’ve gotten themselves into. It’ll work itself out, I’m sure, so I’m not bringing out the shiny red panic button yet. (I can’t believe it’s been two and a half years since I broke that out!)
Truthfully the Devils lost this in the shootout. None of the two Devils who made attempts scored – Zach Parise or Jamie Langenbrunner. The lack of confidence really showed. Jamie attempted a fake shot and Miller didn’t budge. Jamie had no where to shoot and just shot right into Miller. Parise didn’t do much better, almost skating past the Buffalo goalie while trying to push the puck through Miller’s pads.
The nail in the coffin came from when Jochen Hecht (who I’ve determined has too many h’s in his name) skated towards Brodeur, Marty sprawled across the ice out way too far in a move I can only believe was supposed to be a poke check, and Hecht calmly skated around him and slid the puck safely behind him.
Again, it’s a funk the Devils are in. I’m not angry, as the Devils have a little wiggle room in the standings. But I believe I speak for the entire Devils fan community when I say "snap outta this guys!"
For now, we’ll just have to cross our fingers and hope for the best. I don’t think getting David Clarkson back is going to help our ailing offense, but perhaps when he, and other injured Devils like Patrik Elias and others, return – they will once again play coherent hockey.