We are past the first week of the season, and the New Jersey Devils see only zeros in the win column.
Some of the games were competitive contests in which they lost in overtime or the shootout, and one time they ran into a great regular season goalie who was outstanding on that night. Friday night was a game that they gave away with awful play. The Devils held two leads in this game, and let them both go.
The offense seemed to control the game, but they couldn’t beat Joey MacDonald, who has a .895 save percentage so far this season and is 16 games under .500 for his career. The defense gave up too many big shots right up front and allowed the Calgary Flames to screen Martin Brodeur whenever they wanted to. He even allowed a soft goal when they tied it at 1-1. Then there was the play that scored the winning goal for the Flames. Sean Monahan, the man who has scored in every game this season and should probably been garner some attention, was left wide open right in front of the net. Marek Zidlicky was the defenseman this time with a completely blown assignment that loses them the game.
The team was even on the wrong end of what looked like a terrible call by the officials. Michael Ryder was going in as the Devils were driving and seemed to put in a rebound as the Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman plowed into MacDonald. The call went from goal and a 3-1 Devils advantage to goalie interference and a 2-1 lead with the Flames going on the power play. Of course the Flames scored on said power play and tied the game, officially taking all of the life out of their opponents.
Give the Flames some credit. They are much better than anyone thought they would be. The fact is, however, that this Devils team seems defeated every time the other team scores. The team is now off to the worst start in the franchise’s history. Since 1982, there has been no team that started the season with zero wins longer than this Devils team. That is pathetic.
This was a full team loss through and through. Peter DeBoer needs to turn this team around now. There is no more time to lose. It may only be five games into the season, but this new division is too good to fall too far behind and expect to get back into the race. There is a ton that needs to be worked on after tonight. The first is this team’s confidence. There is too much veteran prowess for them to be losing winnable games like tonight. Their next game is in Winnipeg on Sunday, and they are on a three game losing streak of their own. If the Devils lose that one then it may be time to shake something up.