Saturday, February 24, 2007


Postgame: Washington 4 - Devils 2

The Washington Capitals defeated the New Jersey Devils by a score of 4 to 2 earlier this afternoon. As always, has the official score sheet and the official super stats from that game, linked respectively.

The Devils were poor in this game. In my preview for this game in the prior post, I said that the key would be the Devils giving some effort to win the game. They did not do that. They were leaky on defense, especially with the 18 shots the Capitals got in the second period. The PZL and EG+Brylin lines yielded very little and could not solve Brent Johnson, who to his credit played very well. The Devils were absolutely horrid on the power play, not taking any semblance of an advantage on their man advantages. Even worse, they yielded a breakaway to Thomas Fleischmann right out of the penalty box after the Caps killed the Devils' third power play of the game. Fleischmann scored after Brodeur, who did come to play for the most part, decided that coming out of his net to challenge him with a diving poke check was wise. It was not wise.

And that wasn't even the most infuriating breakaway goal in the game. You want to know how that could a breakaway be more infuriatingl? Matt Pettinger's goal came on a breakaway when Washington was shorthanded. Unacceptable! The power play being absolutely impotent is one thing, but if it's back to allowing shorthanded goals (Pettinger's tally was the ninth shorty the Devils gave up this season), drastic measures are necessary.

Aside from a few great saves by Martin Brodeur and Cam Janssen getting his first NHL goal (off a rocket of a slapshot), there was not much for the Devils or the Devils fans to be happy about. Not even Jay Pandolfo's rebound goal. When Fleischmann scored his first goal of the season early in the third, the game was pretty much out of reach for the Devils. Three goal leads don't get broken up with such an nonaggressive offense and an effort that wasn't nonexistent but definitely less than what the Capitals gave out on the ice.

Patricia Greuter at 2 Man Advantage sums up the game in one word: Ew. I completely agree. I also agree with her comments and the anonymous comment left on the last post that Brodeur should not start tomorrow. It doesn't matter who's in net when the effort from the other 17 (Janssen excepted) Devils is flat and left a lot to be desired - might as well give Marty a break and Clemmensen the start tomorrow in DC. That's all I want tomorrow, more than an anything; a hardworking game by the New Jersey squad against a team far below them in the standings. Who knows, maybe they'll win.


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