Friday, February 08, 2008


ARRRRRRRRRRRGH, Devils 1 - Ducks 2

Considering how uneven the Devils play has been over some recent games, the Devils played a more complete effort tonight against the Anaheim Ducks. However, Ryan Carter picked up his first and second NHL goals in the first period and that was enough for the win despite New Jersey turning up the heat, tempo, and shooting in the second and third periods. This is one of those games that when you think about it, it wasn't so bad.

However I was at the game last night and I still feel like screaming after coming home a little less than an hour after the 2-1 loss.

Maybe I should have seen it coming. Jonas Hiller, the Anaheim Ducks' $3.2 million backup goaltender, looked real good in stopping 35 of 36 shots. Back-up goaltender, a team who just played really well last night in pounding Our Hated Rivals, I should have known the Devils were going to get stoned on offense. And they were.

The most frustrating thing about it was the abject lack of finishing. Not shooting, not different places to shoot, not effort at going after pucks along the boards and in space, but finshing. The Devils did a lot of things right and this could have been a win - IF SOMEONE CAN FINISH A PLAY OR POUND A REBOUND IN.

If this team has a need, the number one need is a finisher. Granted, you can argue New Jersey hasn't had a true finisher in ages; but someone who could have pounded it in would have made this another comeback win instead of a loss. It could be anyone; they may already be on the team and they don't even know it. Hell, just ask the guys with taxi cabs outside of the arena after games. I did and they said they'll score a goal - why not give it a try? At least they have confidence, unlike this team when it comes to goalscoring at points this season. Because as it is, these kinds of games are lost opportunities at best and reasons why New Jersey is looking up the wrong end of the standings at worst in late March.

A shorter, but incredibly apt description of this game can be found at 2 Man Advantage
; a profane live-cap is at Interchangable Parts; and I will await tomorrow's game knowing full well we could see Carolina's back-up, John Grahame, a possibility that causes me concern on its own. Be prepared for a post on Sunday that also begins with ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRGH, everyone.

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I just wrote exactly that on my blog on a lack of a finisher!
Funny the way things work sometimes.
In any event,things are starting to get mildly worrisome and they need a good outing tonight against Carolina...
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