Speaking with New Jersey Devils fans, they don’t seem to understand why their team is having so much trouble winning a game this season. The coaches and players feel their sentiment.
It seems that the team has periods where they severely outplay their competition, but they never come out on top in the end. There was only one game where they allowed more than three goals, and all of them were scored in the third. They lost 4-3 against the New York Islanders, but that included the shootout adding a goal so they aren’t allowing a ton of goals against. Unfortunately, they also haven’t allowed less than three goals as well. They seem to make two or three mistakes a game on defense, and every single one ends up in the back of the net.
It seems that this team is starting to play like a bad team, as can be seen during their last game against the Winnepeg Jets. They were awful with the puck. The defense seemed to be in weird positions. They got a fluke goal when an Evander Kane shot hit off of Andy Greene and Cory Schneider‘s stick to bounce in the net. The other two goals were both empty netters. This team has too many veterans and have seen too many games to be playing like they did. These players should know at this point how to have a short memory, but there was no life in this team on Sunday night.
The team was having early contribution from their new weapons. Damien Brunner came into the season hot as anything and has five points on the season. Jaromir Jagr had three points himself, and Michael Ryder scored two big goals for the team. The fact that they got these contributions from first year Devils should mean that the season is going great. They have not seen anything out of the fourth line, which is usually used to change the pace and pick up the team. Adam Henrique and Travis Zajac are continuing their struggles from last season. They continue to try to score goals from the point, but there are no defensemen with goals on this team.
Watching the games doesn’t make it look like the Devils are being overpowered. They lost three games in overtime or the shootout and another one when a goal was scored with a little over two minutes left. They have a chance to win every game, but they don’t get that clutch goal. They always seem to have a bounce go a weird direction and into their net.
Peter DeBoer needs to change something. His scheme doesn’t seem to be working, and Lou Lamoriello will not hesitate to make a change like he did three seasons ago. If it isn’t a fit anymore, then they will go their separate ways.
There are still 76 games left in the season so there is plenty of time to right the ship. Somehow they are still in fifth place in the division and one point out of a playoff spot. They need to start the turnaround Thursday night, or they may be making moves that shake the foundation of this franchise.
Nick Villano is the New Jersey Devils writer for Rant Sports. He also contributes to their NFL and MLB content. You can follow him on Twitter for more great insight.