Friday, February 29, 2008


Devils 0 - Washington 4

The Washington Capitals thoroughly outplayed the New Jersey Devils 4-0. OK, the first period wasn't so bad; but wow, was this brutal for a Devils fan to watch. If you're a Caps fan, you're thrilled. I know the Devils eventually bounce back, bad games happen to everyone (even Detroit, who had a recent decisive 4-1 loss to Vancouver last week), and so on and so forth.

But this was bad. The Devils couldn't connect much on offense, they spent most of the second and third period in their own end, making more clearances than break out passes, and essentially letting Washington get into space. The only real positive I can take is that the Devils held Alexander Ovechkin to only one assist - which isn't much solace considering who actually lit the lamp as well as the rest of the game. Why Kevin Weekes wasn't starting this one is beyond me; especially since we all know Martin Brodeur will always start against Montreal - doubly so when the game is in Montreal. Instead, another night of work where his efforts are wasted and even with his efforts he got beat thoroughly in the third period with goals from Mr. Talent-and-No-Work-Ethic, Alexander Semin, and Donald Brashear. Let me repeat that in capital letters. VIKTOR KOZLOV AND DONALD BRASHEAR. Terrible! Weekes could have started if only to give Marty a rest prior to what will be a tough game against a strong team on the road. Remember, Montreal's not in the middle of the pack, they are right behind Ottawa and New Jersey in the East - and winning against Buffalo as I type this post.

Regardless of goaltenders, the Devils didn't play well. On all of Washington's goals, they were all set up very well with slick passes to guys who were in the right places. They looked good and they weren't necessarily all super-difficult passes. With the Devils' seemingly behind them in position and in the run of play all night long, the space is going to open up. I have to credit the Capitals; they need points and they're picking them up with strong play from all their players from their studs (Ovechkin, Mike Green) to their third liners (Brooks Laich) and even from their goon (BRASHEAR HOW DID HE GET INTO THE SLOT, SERIOUSLY DEVILS WHAT IS THE DEAL). The addition of Cristobal Huet is looking pretty solid and it gives them a skilled netminder to play with a #1 and #1a system. Not to mention the opportunity for Huet to be the definitive #1 in Washington in the future. Good for the Caps. But for the Devils, it was pretty much all bad.

The Devils are in a bad run with no goals since the second period against Carolina, sloppy play since, well, the last time they played Washington this past Sunday, and this game marks the first shutout against since December. Some of that will likely change tomorrow. I'm confident that New Jersey will at least score tomorrow - I hope. I didn't think Bryce Salvador was an issue, he was OK. Still, the team as a whole failed to perform to the level we all know they can play. They didn't even perform to half or even a third of that level. Even if the Devils did make that supposed big splashy trade for a top forward, nobody wins with an effort like this. It's not the end of the world, it's not time to throw all hopes of success away, don't mistake me.

I'm just saying the Devils put out a terrible performance and the entire team save for Weekes, Brodeur, and Salvador should be on the exercise bikes right now.


I'm a Caps fan, and I'm thrilled!
As you should be. But I'm a Devils fan, and that game sucked more eggs than a Speedeater.
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