I’m not sure if the holidays caught up to the Devils, but they haven’t been playing well in their last few games. If you just look at the fact that they have been winning, you wouldn’t be too alarmed. After all, four wins in their last six games isn’t too bad.
But if you watched those games, you’d know something was amiss. This struggle coincides with the loss of Colin White, who had an “upper body” injury and is slated to return tonight against the Atlanta Thrashers.
But Jamie Langenbrunner, Devils captain, said it best when he claimed the sign of a good team is one who wins when playing poorly. And it’s true. Last year, these were the games that made you pull your hair out as they just couldn’t muster enough to pull out a win in 60 minutes.
The only problem with this mentality is that sooner or later, if you don’t correct your issues, you will begin to lose. Now enter the Carolina Hurricanes. The Devils didn’t show up for two and a half periods, letting up some bad goals, taking some bad penalties, and not able to muster any kind of an offensive charge or good scoring opportunity.
Life only came to the Devils late in the third when they had a power play, and Brent Sutter, Devils coach, pulled a “What the…” move – pulling Scott Clemmensen and having 6 skaters attacking against the Hurricanes 4. Now this wouldn’t have been too outrageous, but there was still 9 minutes left in the third period.
It worked, and the Devils scored a goal. They got a second power play later on, and tried the same move, but it didn’t work out. Carolina didn’t score against the Devils shorthanded, but it was fun to watch Scott Clemmensen skate back to his crease on the fly as he returned to the net as part of a line change after the power play was over.
It was an interesting move to say the least. The Devils also managed to score a second goal with 22 seconds left in the third, also with Scott Clemmensen standing on the bench. But the Devils offensive came too late as they were unable to match the three goals Carolina scored.
I would like to express my sincere sorrow to Mike “Doc” Emrick and his family for the loss of his father, who just celebrated his 90th birthday. Every Devils fan’s thoughts and prayers are with you during this trying time, and I hope to spend this time thinking of all the great memories your family shared with him. We miss you Doc!
In an unrelated Red Line note, we should be posting with some frequency once again. I find very little time during the holidays and unfortunately I ran out of time to post here. I am sorry, but I hope everyone had a loving holiday season, and I hope the new year treats everyone well – and perhaps bring some peace to the torn world.