Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Rangers 4 - Devils 2 - Guts 0

Yesterday, I talked about how the Devils showed they had guts in their recent 3-2 win over Pittsburgh.

In the 4-2 loss the Devils suffered tonight, they didn't show it. In fact, they really didn't play that well at all. OK, the first period and parts of the third period were good; but yet again, the Devils clearly weren't in it to win it for all 60 minutes. Martin Brodeur wasn't sharp and gave up a softie on the eventual game-winner. The defense was too passive at times, letting the Rangers move the puck as they want on some possessions, as well as letting the Rangers do as they wish around the crease. I know it's Brandon Dubinsky and not Brendan Shanahan, but he still burned you for a goal; you can't let any opposition player just set up to put home a rebound or to set up a screen.

The offense degenerated into a dump-and-chase-fest that was somewhat effective. Effective when the passing wasn't away from the target or hopping the puck over their stick or going right to the other team and when the shots weren't going right to another body that easily blocked it. The power play? Absolutely inexcusable - you get 6 power plays in game, you need to at least generate offensive pressure on the goaltender, if not score - and they only did that on their final man advantage. The penalty kill? See the defense. Did the coaching make the right adjustments? You tell me, because I didn't see it from where I was sitting at the game.

With the exception of the absolutely fantastic game played by Jamie Langenbrunner. I didn't expect him to do much, but he earned his increased ice time and scored a brace to keep the score look less embarrassing than the game actually was. I have absolutely no problem with Langenbrunner's performance - even if he didn't score, he looked good in his first game back. Everyone else (save for Kevin Weekes as, well, he didn't play) played poorly and should be embarrassed by this loss. This was a bad loss in that the Devils played inconsistently and far below expectations. It's only the first time Our Hated Rivals come to Newark and the return of Jamie Langenbrunner and it's after a good win over Pittsburgh, I guess I was foolish to expect the Devils to carry any momentum from that into the actual game.

The fans? We Devils fans also got embarrassed by being out-shouted, out-chanted at the end, and out-cheered by the fans of Our Hated Rival. Granted, they had a lot more to cheer about; but getting into fights in the stands and yelling "Flyers swallow" louder than "Rangers suck" at a game where the damn chant is actually appropriate for a change is mind-boggling. Yes, I'm talking about only a few fans - I'm not trying to indict the entire fanbase (which includes myself, who also wasn't loud enough in making noise) - I'm just unhappy about the entire night as a whole.

Yet another bad game after a good one. Guts, heart, or hustle? Sorry, not tonight, try again later. Story of the season so far. I'm not positive about the ending, but I'm confident it will suck unless something changes. I don't think it has to be a big change, perhaps just a few small ones, but something has to change. Now.

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for once, I agree
I believe Lou made Elias captain last season to motivate him, it didn't work and so far this year and especially last night he clearly doesn't deserve the honor. Not scoring is one thing but the lack of hustle, bad passing decisions makes one wonder if he wants to be traded. Maybe Lou could get a real defenseman to work with Martin! Last night was my first chance to see the new arena -great place, but I too agree the fan performance reminded me of the few times I've been in the cheap seats at MSG - not good for families!
Thanks for the space - Pete
My wife and I were there last night and it was embarrassing. I cannot believe they played so poorly! I have never seen them play this poorly in many many years. Hell, playing poorly especially the defense is the only CONSTANT this season. I was really disappointed because we were at our own very new Arena! We were humiliated!
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