WARNING: This is a straight up hockey post so be prepared.
So last night I decided to get dressed and go to the Devils game after feeling like crap all day (thanks Aunt Flow). The Devils played Saturday against the Philadelphia Flyers and actually looked like they were on the right track, the same as when they started the season, so I figured I’d go and see them kick ass against the LA Kings. Now the Kings played Monday against the NY Rangers and ended up losing 3-2, which means they were out for blood on who ever they played next.
Fast forward to the game where Corey Schneider was in goal after being sick for the past couple of games. Game starts and the LA scored two goals in less than a minute. Great way to start a game, especially at home after being away for 4 games. The next shot Schneider faced he saved, receiving sarcastic applause from the crowd. Somehow the Devils ended up getting a 5-3 after the Kings took a couple penalties and with plenty of shots hitting the goalie none went through. As if 2 goals weren’t enough the Kings scored one more with about 4 minutes left in the first. The crowd, which was less than normal, were getting restless, talking about firing the coach, trading away Schneider (which we can’t with his no trade clause in this contract), or losing the rest of the season on purpose so the Devil’s can get a good draft pick for next season. End of the 1st and the Devils down 3-0. On the one hand the dreaded 3-0 is a good thing for NJ, they’ve made the comeback before, but on the other hand they looked like they played last night instead of having two days off.
Second period starts with Keith Kinkaid leading the team out, which means Schneider was done for the night. The crowd perked up after seeing this and the mood shifted to a more hopeful outcome. There was more fire on the ice as the Devils nearly got on the board after a scramble in front of the net. Unfortunately, Jordan Knoll just so happened to push the net off leading the Refs to blow the whistle. The place went nuts with Boo’s and other banter and all the Knoll got was a penalty for delay of game. We’ve seen this play before by players and usually that’s be a penalty shot, but of course its the Devils and the Refs hate them this year so it was just a power play for them. Now if you follow hockey you know that the Refs have been on everyone’s shit list, but the Devils don’t need power plays they need goals because their power play record is horrendous. Kinkaid made some great saves clearly proving they made the right decision to place him in net. Miles Wood gets a nice opportunity to take it in but ops to shove it back towards Henrique who is to slow to reach it. End of the second and no goals on either end. The second intermission consisted of a shootout challenge of four kids and was easily the most exciting part of the game.
Finally the third period is underway and the Devils finally get on the board with 7 minutes left in the period, a nice screened shot from Kyle Quincey. With not a lot of time left NJ needed to fight for every faceoff win and every battle on the boards. About 2:20 left on the clock the Hynes decided to pull Kinkaid for the extra man advantage. LA never let up and had a couple of chances to score the empty netter but the Devils didn’t give up either. The game ended the 3 game winning streak of the Devils and with only 34 games left the playoffs seem to be slipping away again.
When the team didn’t have offense at least they had defense and now that the team has offense they are lacking a consistent defense. Their road game is strong, but once they get home they shit the bed. The Rock’s attendance is piss poor because of the constant up and down of this team since the 2012 cup run and what’s even sadder is that it’s the only team left in NJ constantly struggling gaining fans from their river rivalry brothers the Rangers and Islanders. I root for my team in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, but somethings got to happen so this team is a playoff contender again.