There were quite a few moves on the final day of trading in the NHL yesterday, but all was pretty much quiet on the New Jersey Devils’ front. General manager Lou Lamoriello made one minor move, obtaining Steve Sullivan from the Phoenix Coyotes for a late-round draft pick in 2014.
“I think he’s capable of giving some quality minutes when called upon,” Lamoriello said in an interview with The Star Ledger. “I think he can go in any role on any line. He still knows how to score goals. That’s been his forte.”
Well, the Devils certainly need a goal-scorer. In their slow slide from the top of the Eastern Conference to barely hanging on to the last playoff berth, putting the puck in the net has been an issue.
With many of their top scorers slumping and Russian sniper Ilya Kovalchuk sidelined with a shoulder injury, one would have thought Lamoriello would have gone shopping.
Instead, he basically stayed pat. Coach Pete DeBoer has said in the past that he is confident that the players in his locker room can get the job done even without their former captain Zach Parise, who left with his thirty-plus goals for the comforts of home with the Minnesota Wild.
The trouble is after a fantastic beginning, the Devils have faltered and have been unable to find their stride even after the return of their future Hall of Fame goaltender, Martin Brodeur from injury.
Brodeur made his seventh consecutive start in net since recovering from a pinched nerve in his neck against the Boston Bruins tonight. However, the Bruins have puzzled Brodeur. He’s dropped his last seven appearances to them.
For the Bruins, it was the first time Jaromir Jagr skated in black and yellow since being traded from the Dallas Stars yesterday, and he started his tenure off with a goal. After a scoreless first, Jagr got them on the board with a deflection off of his skate.
With 12 games remaining, the Devils needed to skate away with two points. The Devils had their chances, with the best one coming from Andy Greene late in the third. While Brodeur basically did his job of keeping the team in the game, the offense stayed anemic, which makes Lamoriello’s decision a questionable one.
It certainly doesn’t seem as though the club has what it takes, especially when their top two lines can’t find the back of the net.