Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Postgame: Sabres 3 - Devils 2
First Period: The Devils essentially outworked and outplayed Buffalo. They rarely gave the Sabres a chance to get going and put a lot of shots on Ryan Miller. Unfortunately, none of those shots went in.
Second Period: Overall, the Devils did better than Buffalo; but there were two causes of concern. The first was discipline, with the Devils taking 3 penalties in the period. The second was that the Devils allowed the Hecht unit to have some space, burn through the Devils, and put in a goal off a bounce.
Third Period: The Devils gave the Sabres two golden odd-man rushes and they capitalized on both to seal the deal. The Sabres, as is my understanding, do not kill you with a lot of pressure; but by capitalizing on provided opportunities. Brian Rafalski in particular made a major gaffe in one of those opportunities; but the team should be blamed as a whole for allowing the Sabres such golden opportunities. Discipline was a problem, as the Devils took 2 more calls. Amazingly, the Devils caught a break as a Erik Rasmussen was credited for an odd bounce that went in with less than minute left. About 20 seconds later, Gionta tips in an Elias shot that keeps hope alive for a late equalized. Paul Gaustad hit the post right in front of an empty net, caused by a Jamie Langenbrunner hook (and he got an unsportsmanlike call and a 10 minutes misconduct penalty for something. I can't remember. Sorry); and the Devils brief hope was dashed away.
Some call these sorts of last-minute efforts moral victories or are proud that the Devils didn't just die when going down 3-0 in the third. But moral victories are meaningless compared to real ones. The lesson the Devils should get out of last night's game was that the game is played for 60 minutes. Yes, it's a cliche. But it's true. The Devils let their foot off the gas pedal as the game went on, Buffalo realized this, and made the most of it. A full 60 minute effort and a little more luck in getting the puck past Miller - who played very well - and the Devils win that game.
In any case, Dale Carnegie wrote in his classic book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, you can't saw sawdust. The game's over, and Boston is the next team to focus on - which will take place tomorrow. Yes, the Bruins - again. Yes, in Boston - again. Yes, they did play each other last week. Maybe we'll see a repeat performance.
Labels: Devils Postgame