On Friday, the New Jersey Devils hosted the New York Islanders with a game in hand over Montreal and Pittsburgh. They proceeded to do their best impersonation of the 1997-1998 Devils with controlling play, stifling defense, and plenty of shots on net.
Unfortunately, they also included in the impersonation an appalling lack of finishing, 2003-esque power play work, and threw in a lot of stupid penalties which ended up burning them.
They lost 3-1.
And the loss was more frustrating than horrible. As I said, the Devils really had control for most of the game. But the Islanders got the few chances they needed, the Devils kept floundering on their own power plays while handing the opposition power plays of their own, and so the Devils lost. They had the chances to increase their lead, they didn't, and that ultimately doomed them.
And so, an opportunity to create some tiny yet important space in the division was lost. The next two games against Pittsburgh just became must-win games.
Labels: 2008 Postgame, Devils Issues