Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Devils 0 - Pittsburgh 2

The Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the New Jersey Devils 2-0, on the strength of a power play one-timer from the slot from Mr. Ryan Malone tonight.

The Devils did poorly in the first period, were slightly less bad in the second, and yet they played very well in the third period when they had their best scoring chances.

Yet, the inconsistent effort in addition to the pathetic power play, the multitude of missed passes, the inability to get rebounds on offense, the old standby of a lack of finish, and the horrific shooting accuracy doomed the team. Seriously, 31 shots on Marc-Andre Fleury and 28 that should have hit him (14 missed the net, 14 were blocked). That's bad.

The Penguins held on to win that game and while it wasn't a fantastic win, it was an important one. Their fans should be pleased - as the many away supporters were at tonight's game - with an invaluable 4 point lead on the Atlantic. This could have been the one that would have made the Atlantic Division be decided in April. However, the Devils did not go into it with the full effort and the decision making (e.g. the terribly high number of missed and blocked shots) necessary. So instead of tying the Penguins to make the lead a race again; they're now on the outside looking in.

And the team is officially slumping, now that they are winless in their last 4 games. Hopefully, this was the nadir; because it's entirely possible that Our Hated Rivals could pass the Devils in the standings. Especially if they continue their winning ways on Thursday night. The Devils need to make whatever adjustments necessary, get in the right mindset, and do what needs to be done to get the team scoring, get the team making proper passes and shots, and do all of this quickly. The wins need to come now should New Jersey want to be the contenders that we all know and have seen a few weeks ago.

This is not the right time of the season to have a slump; and it is not the right time of the season to throw all that hard work from November onward away. Tonight's game was very telling; but it will be what happens later this week that determines the direction of this team.

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