The New Jersey Devils, riding their first win streak of the season at two games, looked like a team that may have had some indigestion after Thanksgiving dinner in today's game against the Isles.
Their game today was boring, sloppy, and unenthusiastic, three adjectives that is befitting of a team that now stands at 7-14-2. Coming off an impressive 5-0 victory against the Caps and a tight shootout win against Calgary should motivate a struggling team. Not the case in a 2-0 shutout loss.
The Devils have now lost 5 of 6 at Nassau Coliseum and for the second straight year were shutout by Rick Dipietro. The last shutout came in January of last season when the Devils were mired in a 5-10-2 slump after defeating the Rangers 1-0 in a shootout.
This loss highlighted the inability of the Devils to play a 60 minute game. It seems like the Devils, especially on the road, do not look to silence the crowd early and take away home ice advantage from beatable teams. This was apparent when the Isles scored a quick tally in the first five minutes and held the Devils on their heels until the last five minutes of the 2nd period. This occurred mainly because the Devils played a sloppy game marked by icings, offsides, and offensive zone giveaways.
Though this loss stings, it is part of the learning process for a young coach. Johnny Mac let this trap game get away from his team, and a win tomorrow will certainly take the pain away from this loss. The Flyers are the same tight checking, strong forechecking, physical team that scores timely goals from last postseason. It would be a rewarding way for the Devils to enter a 4 day break by coming up with a win against the league's best. If the Devils thought the Isles were a challenge, it could be an embarrassing day to be a Devil at the Rock tomorrow.