When push came to shove, the Devils toppled tonight letting in four goals and failing to put a single tally up on the large scoreboard at center ice at the Prudential Center.
I believe I was fortunate for missing part of the game, most importantly, the three goals scored by Atlanta in the second period, leading to the eventual pulling of Scott Clemmensen and Kevin Weekes getting a chance to dust off his glove and blocker.
Kevin Weekes wasn’t playing much better either. In fact the entire team appeared to be out of sync – passes were missing the mark, they still had trouble breaking in to the opponents zone, they made some bad penalties, and had trouble getting any type of scoring opportunities.
Basically the problems that they have been experiencing in the past week or so has caught up with them and dealt the Devils two losses in a row. I was secretly hoping that the return of Colin White would boost the Devils spirit, but he looked sub-par as well, as he may need a couple of games to get back in to the grove.
Unfortunately things only look bleaker for the Devils. They are in a cramped part of their schedule, and will see action seven times in the next 12 days, and won’t return home until a match up with the Montreal Canadians on January 21.
To further stir up bad feelings, the Devils sit a mere 4 points out of first in the Atlantic Divison, and only 5 points out of tenth place in the Conference.
What the Devils need to do is to snap out of this fog they currently find themselves in and quickly before they drop further in the standings. To be fair, the Devils overall record is not bad, with 23 wins, 14 losses, and 3 OT losses. But recently they have been doing more losing than wining, with 5 losses and 4 wins.
A change in netminder will not change much. The faltering the Devils are doing is a collective issue, one that the entire team will need to work on pulling out of. It does not appear to be fatigue, but simply a mental block in which they are not playing with the confidence and ability they were playing with only a month ago.
For the record, the Devils struggled at the end of January last season.