The New Jersey Devils played for roughly 30 minutes tonight. Their opponent, the Washington Capitals, played a full 6o minutes. You don’t have to read too much into this one to see why the Caps came out on top 5-1 on Tuesday night. It was more of the same for the Devils as they dug themselves into an early hole, showed a little life and fought back to tie the game, only to give the lead back and call it a night. The team has zero confidence right now, and really, why should they? Nothing they have done of late would inspire anyone.
The Devils were essentially beaten by an AHL team tonight. The Hershey Bears are the minor league team of the Capitals, and three of their alumni lit the lamp tonight. Andrew Gordon scored his first NHL goal in the first period to give the Caps the lead. He was able to beat Martin Brodeur when he redirected a centering pass from Marcus Johansson. Patrik Elias was late getting back to cover Gordon, leaving the Hershey call-up to bang home his first career goal.
Elias tied the score on a power-play goal in the second, but it wasn’t long until Washington regained the lead. Anton Volchenkov laid a nice hit on Dave Steckel along the boards, but it left him out of position on the ensuing play. Steckel was able to get the puck to the front of the net where Jay Beagle – another Hershey call-up – picked up the scraps and stuffed the puck into the net. Just over two minutes later, Jason Chimera came in one-on-one against Brodeur and roofed a beautiful shot into the top corner of the net on Brodeur’s glove side. John Carlson, the final member of the Hershey alumni scoring trio, closed out the scoring in the second period with help from a defensive lapse by Devils blueliner Colin White. After White poked away a shot attempt by Alex Ovechkin, he did not attempt to close out on Carlson and the New Jersey native unleashed a laser that Brodeur had no chance of stopping.
Naturally, Mike Knuble had to pot the final marker for the Capitals. Knuble has scored 14 goals against the Devils in his career, and it seems to me like he is always on the scoresheet whenever he is in the lineup against New Jersey.
At this rate, the Devils are going to need some sort of Christmas miracle to turn their season around. We are almost at the halfway mark of the NHL season and the Devils have yet to record their 10th win of the season. To put this atrocity of a season in perspective, last year the Devils won their 10th game of the season on November 6th. Oh, what a difference a year makes.
I will be at the Prudential Center on Thursday night for the battle of the Eastern Conference basement as the Devils welcome the current cellar dwellers, the New York Islanders, into Newark. Perhaps a return home and the prospects of a Christmas break will jump start the Devils. Then again, it could also allow them to look ahead to the holiday layoff and forget about the business at hand: the New York Islanders. I’m interested to see this team in person (don’t ask me why), but my hopes for a Christmas miracle are few and far between.
About the Author
Written by Matt Pellicane
I am currently pursuing a master's degree in Journalism from Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut. I graduated from Quinnipiac in May 2010 with a bachelor's degree in print journalism. While at Quinnipiac, I covered various sporting events on campus for the online newspaper The Quad News. I was born and raised in Bridgewater, New Jersey and have been an avid sports fan all of my life. I am a fan of the New Jersey Devils, New York Giants, New York Yankees, and the Boston Celtics.