Shootout Continues To Be Achilles Heal For New Jersey Devils

By Nick Villano
John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Cory Schneider did everything that was asked of him in the New Jersey Devils‘ shootout loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

He stood on his head for the most part during the game. The only goal allowed was a total defensive meltdown against Phil Kessel on the Maple Leaf power play. That is going to go into the net against every single goaltender in the world. Beyond that, Schneider was great; he gave them everything they needed to win. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out that way.

The Devils played a very good and high scoring Maple Leaf team. They arguably outplayed the team tied for the Atlantic division lead, but they lost the hard fought match in a shootout. Not only did they lose the shootout, but they were shutout in the shootout once again.

James Van Riemsdyk scored on a pretty shot on the Maple Leafs’ third chance against Schneider. The Devils once again hit the post on their best chance to score on the shootout. Attribute it to bad luck or say it is just a lack of skill, the fact is, this team needs to find a way to get goals on the shootout if they want to start getting two points instead of one.

Adam Henrique is just not getting it done in the NHL‘s extra period. Devils fans are sick of him going in for the shootout and completely missing the net, and someone needs to tell him Wayne Gretzky‘s famous quote about how 100 percent of pucks that don’t hit the net, don’t go in. It sounds obvious, but stop trying to be extra fancy and get the puck on net instead of completely missing it.

Michael Ryder has continuously gotten extremely close trying to putting it in the net on the shootout. Tied with Henrique for the team lead in goals, he has just had more skill when it comes to the shootout. He hit the post again on this night.  He was the man who was credited for the Devils’ goal that went off the stick of goaltender Jonathan Bernier.

The Devils went toe-to-toe with a great opponent, and they went all the way with them. The defense played well and the goalie played out of his mind, but the shootout faltered once again. It is something that needs to be addressed for the Devils to get back into this race. They are only two points out of being real contenders in the Metropolitan division. If they won half of their shootout attempts, they would be in it right now.

You May Also Like