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The Score Tells the Story

Posted By Jordan DiRisio On Dec 1 2011 @ 8:21 am In New Jersey Devils | No Comments

The Devils took a big step backwards last night playing their worst game of the season to date losing 6-1.

The Avalanche simply outworked the Devils with a relentless fore-check and constantly forcing turnovers. The Devils were never able to exposeColorado’s aggression and turn it into odd man breaks; it was clearColoradohad a solid game plan figured out forNew Jerseyand executed perfectly.

The first and third periods were all Avalanche with little bright spots. The script: Devils defense turns it over in front of a surprised Brodeur given little chance to react, Avalanche goal with little to no Devil response. That being said it doesn’t alleviate Brodeur of all blame he knows he has to come up with some big time saves to bail his team out; last night it wouldn’t have mattered but going forward it will. Conversely you have to love this game if you are an Avalanche fan. Every player on that team worked their tails off throughout that game.

The second period although eventually meaningless was actually owned by the Devils. The Parise/Henrique/Kovalchuk line seemed very in tune with one another leading to a good amount of quality scoring chances that lead to a goal that seemed like it could get them right back in the game at the time. The Elias line was not as dynamic and rather disappointing; it’s frustrating because you have to believe if both these lines could play to their ability they could be a dangerous team.

However the most embarrassing part of the game last night was the Power Play. Its one thing not to score on a Power Play but it’s completely different when you can’t get the puck into the attacking zone, allow short handed goals, and allow the should be advantage to kill your momentum. The Devils allowed their league leading 6th shorthanded goal which begs the question of when will Deboer stop putting Kovalchuk and Elias on the point on the Power Play. It’s really an embarrassing fact of the Devils’ system that they have so little offensively talented defensemen except for Larsson that they keep using a forward on the opposite point and it has thus far been all risk no reward.

You can’t but hope that this was just an off night for the Devils as they were playing much better before last night’s disappointment. Improvement has to start with the Power Play and the team playing a complete game. The news isn’t promising however as the Devils face the league’s hottest team Friday: the Minnesota Wild where they will look to get back on track.

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