This is a topic that has been discussed here once before. Actually, many times it seems. But since the inception of the new era of the NHL and a post-lockout game, the Devils still have yet to completely grasp the reins and take off to their once competitive level.
You can panic during a losing streak, you can celebrate during a winning streak, but night after night consistency is not something the Devils have mastered right now.
It is frustrating when you see them play the Coyotes and you shell out $100+ per ticket and watch a lack-luster team. And then when you turn on the TV the day after and see a completely different team that can’t be beat. And then two days after that, you watch a game that, as a fan shouted behind me on Saturday against Phoenix, makes you want to “PAUSE… RESTART!”
Yes, growing up playing video games I would often do that when you can’t score even when you manually pull the opponents goaltender.
But watching an undisciplined, inattentive, unresponsive, unable, and careless game from start to finish is upsetting. At least when they just don’t play 60 minutes you can say “But yeah, that second period they were on fire.” But this was just a complete lapse of play from every aspect of a hockey game.
The Devils have been shut out 7 times this season, which is tied with the Devils all-time franchise record. And yet they still sit atop the Atlantic Division. It is that statistic that proves the Devils just are not present for every game played.
From my perspective, this is a coaching issue. The players are not prepared properly if they can be shutout as many times as they have been this early in the season, and yet still have as many wins as they do to be as high as they are in the standings.
I am glad that Devils coach Brent Sutter left net minder Martin Brodeur in net during this meltdown. I have always disliked coaches that pull Marty when things get too rough. I believe when the team as a whole has played as poorly as a whole like they did Tuesday night, Brodeur needs to suffer with the 18 skaters in front of him.
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