The first period looked a little too good to be true when the New Jersey Devils scored three goals in the period. It quickly became obvious that it was.
What more can be said about this game than that it was terrible all around? After the first period, the offense died even though it seemed as if Henrik Lundqvist was not on his game. I did not see one shot against him in the second or third period that looked even remotely close to going in. They were losing pucks off their sticks in the neutral zone constantly and played a dangerous game that just wasn’t going to end their way. Jacob Josefson looked lost on the first line for most of the game. They looked down as soon as the New York Rangers came back and tied it.
The defense is another story. They were the worst they have been since John MacLean was the man behind the bench. Anton Volchenkov was left alone of four or five occasions (it was so bad that I lost count). Eric Gelinas has never looked as much like a rookie before. Bryce Salvador showed why every Devils fan is up in arms why he is given so much ice time. Marek Zidlicky had a decent first period, but fell completely apart in the final two. Seven goals were scored on the Devils for the first time since Dec. 18, 2010 against the Atlanta Thrashers. It was clear that this older defense could not hang with the Rangers on an ice that made everything faster.
Then there was the play of Martin Brodeur. This may be the biggest blemish on his career besides allowing two goals in less than two minutes to lose in a Game 7. How can you allow six goals in two periods in what could possibly be your team’s only ever outdoor game? Every fan in that stadium had to endure the cold and $250 (at least) tickets just to watch their icon completely mess up on every conceivable play. All his goals were obviously not his fault, but when you allow six on national television in a historic event for your franchise, then you are getting most of the blame.
Luckily for the Devils, this still only counts as one game. They still have a 3-1 season advantage on the Rangers overall. The Stadium Series will be an unfortunate event for the Devils, and they have to find a way to forget this game ever happened.
Nick Villano is the New Jersey Devils writer for Rant Sports. He also adds to the site’s NFL, MLB and NBA content. You can follow him on Twitter.