Much of the game can be summed up by an actual fight that occurred late in the first period, when Ryan Clowe decided to drop the gloves with Milan Lucic. It was an attempt to inspire his lifeless squad, but Clowe’s futile posturing did nothing more than inspire false hope. The two men locked up, spun around a few times, traded harmless blows to the arms and eventually Clowe took a few on the jaw.
The Devils’ defense absorbed more than their fair share of quality blows, allowing numerous odd-man rushes and breakaway opportunities. At the same time, New Jersey failed to mount any consistent offense, content instead to fire listless shots at the net from outside the circles. Outshot 23-11 after two periods of play and trailing 3-1, Jersey’s team was booed off the ice by the Prudential Center faithful.
In reality, Devils fans should hardly be surprised. While it would have been a pleasant surprise to see the team bounce back after a disastrous and humiliating weekend stint in the Sunshine State, the Devils are no match for the far superior Boston club. Coming into the night, the Devils were five points back of the final playoff spot in the East, and that is where they remain. There are 13 games left on the schedule in 2014, and the next four will be played at “The Rock.”
It’s getting late early in New Jersey. If Peter Deboer‘s squad doesn’t start winning a whole lot of games in a hurry, they can kiss their slim playoff chances goodbye.