In the midst of a horrible losing streak at the absolute worst time of the season the New Jersey Devils will now have to face the mega talented and NHL darlings the Pittsburgh Penguins. Is is time to PANIC!!!!
The Devils have been a shell of what they have been all season long in their last 5 games losing to Avery and the Rangers, the Hurricaines, the Flyers and the Bruins. They have played so horribly it has been hard for me to write about them and being a fan since 1988 it pains me to see them like this. Martin Brodeur was the only player who showed up for a crucial game against the New York Rangers with a golden oppurtunity to knock them closer to the outside looking in.
Brendan Shanahan, Brian Rolston, and John Madden have been REALLY showing their age of late as they have been non contributors for some time now. Brian Gionta has been snake bitten most of the season and now all of a sudden ZZ POPS (Langs, Parise, Zajac) have been shut down. Patrik Elias has been the only player who has played well in this latest losing streak.
Is it time to push the panic button in Newark for something other than a mugging on Mulberry St.??? I say not yet and here's why……
1. The Devils have just come off an incredible run of emotions with the race to 552 and can be feeling a hangover affect.
2. What is there to play for the last 5 games?? In New Jersey Devils history they have only been successful once finishing near the top of the East and many, many, MANY other years they have exited early from this position in the playoffs.
3. The Devils have been through a ton more than this little set back to put this team down. When Martin Brodeur went down earlier in the season and when all the injuries were mounting this team could have mailed it in like the Ottawa Senators, but they didnt!
4. Cup Rings in the room, they have made it to the big dance and truly have the players to cause some damage if they get rolling again.
5. A season is full of hills and valleys. Fan's I give you the valley with the hills to come just watch!
Is tonights game against the red hot Pittsburgh Penguins a must win? I don't think so, it's in their barn and they are hot right now and the Devils still have nothing to play for. They can't catch the Bruins and the Flyers are still 6 points back for the Atlantic Division title. In reality they are stuck in limbo land and regardless of what people say about how you have to play down the stretch all that matters is how you play come game 1 of the 16 win grueling battle to win Lord Stanley's Cup!
Jersey Jay aka Jayson Saikaley
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Written by Jayson Saikaley