The New Jersey Devils have had some seriously bad offensive performances. When looking at the team’s score card, the most glaring part is the fact that they shot the puck 11 times. That is tied for the lowest shot total in the history of this team. Even if you want to say that they missed the net a ton of times (which they did), it still shows that this was a pathetic performance by this Devils team.
Unfortunately, the goaltending hasn’t been best-in-the-league good to keep this team in games like this. After a pretty disappointing performance against the Montreal Canadiens, Cory Schneider had another average-at-best performance against the Detroit Red Wings. The Devils hold a team that usually shoots over 30 shots per game to only 21. That didn’t stop the team from scoring over its season average when they put three past Schneider. On two of the goals, it seemed like he didn’t even move toward where the puck went. Whether that is because of not knowing where it is or being a bang-bang play, those plays need to at least be attempted to stop.
The elephant in the room of this final is the fact that the put away goal by the Red Wings came on an absolutely terrible call by the officials saying that Schneider played the puck in the illegal area, which wasn’t close to being true. The anger on Schneider and Devils coach Peter DeBoer were obvious. The call came with just 1:08 left in the game. It led almost immediately to a goal and took any life that was left out of the Devils.
This team needs to figure out what to do on offense. Their last-resort weapon, Reid Boucher, is now on the team and he couldn’t even help them on this night. They have pure scorers like Michael Ryder who aren’t even taking shots. The offense is leaning on the defense to take shots from the point and then tip them in or get a rebound. I understand that can be a strategy, but it cannot be the only way you try to generate offense. Most of their shots are getting blocked or deflected away from the zone.
This was the Devils third-straight loss. After a heartbreaking loss on Wednesday, you expected a much better performance from this team. Now they try to stop the bleeding against newly-paid Henrik Lundqvist and the New York Rangers on Saturday night. Can they find a way to stay in this Metropolitan Division?