Here are the results of tonight's game against the Penguins according to NHL.com.
The following players failed tonight: Zach Parise, Travis Zajac, Brian Gionta, Patrik Elias, Sergei Brylin, David Clarkson, Jay Pandolfo, John Madden, Dainius, Zubrus, Aaron Asham, Rod Pelley, Mike Rupp, Paul Martin, Andy Greene, Mike Mottau, John Oduya, Sheldon Brookbank, and Vitaly Vishnevski.
The following players did not fail but were strung up, left alone on an island, and were not at a direct fault for the loss but didn't help matters much: Martin Brodeur, Kevin Weekes.
The following coaches failed in preparing and adjusting the Devils' lineup and strategy during the game: Brent Sutter, John MacLean, Larry Robinson, and Tommy Albelin.
Sherry Ross on the immediate post game analysis on the radio was absolutely correct: the game was a complete embarrassment - there is no other word to describe it. The Devils were an absolute embarrassment on the ice. Little effort, weak offense, a nonexistent power play, nonexistent heart on the ice, constantly losing the battles along the boards, struggling with passing and clearing the puck, and the defense was atrocious. Simply atrocious.
I imagine the thought process by the defenders (both defensemen and backchecking forwards) was, "Hey, guys, let's have Sidney Crosby get wide open in the slot! Twice! I wonder what could possibly go wrong?" I imagine the thought process by Sutter was, "Hey, it's one of the premier players of the league! Let's not shadow him or clear the crease on a constant basis - let the Penguins forwards do what they want. In fact, if they keep beating us on the boards and force us to do the same thing on offense, let's not have the players do something different - let them keep beating us and clearing it out with ease!" This followed by the players thinking "OK! Let's get out there and get outskated, outworked, and outplayed on our own rink!" The only ones thinking otherwise being the goaltenders, who their thought processes was likely, "We are going to be screwed and screwed hard tonight," an absolutely correct supposition if I do say so myself.
This was more than a bad loss - this was a rout in every sense of the word. So bad that the two young girls - Penguins fans, mind you - started reading an US magazine throughout the third period and still followed what was going on. I don't blame them, the game was more than over by that point.
Tonight, the Devils sucked. At every possible facet that one could possibly suck at the game of hockey at a professional level. They sucked and this loss sucks just as bad. This was not solely one player's fault - the entire team failed.
Labels: 2008 Postgame, Devils Issues