Passing, Possession, Penalties.
The devils tonight were really bad in all 3 and it showed in the biggest way. I was sitting in 230 enjoying my first opening night looking forward to the prospect of a really close and hard fought game. I knew it would be bad right off the bat...Sykora takes a high sticking penalty. What followed was a series of bad passes, bad possession, bad penalties.
I wish I could point to a positive part of the devils play...and I can, there penalty kill. They killed off pretty much a total of 8 power plays. That an incredibly high number of kills...but again the Devils really stepped up and did great in that aspect.
That one positive aside the Devils showed one huge weakness in my opinion....the passing, which leads of possession. The players were horrible in passing, I know a few good passes were made, but more than a few led to great chances for the Flyers. Passes were made that were either rushed or not even necessary.
Any pass that was successful eventualy got turned over because the flyers anticipated the pass and poke checked to cause a turn over. Thus causing the devils possession to suffer. It seemed like time and time again the Devils feel victim to the poke check.
Penalties...if I didn't have to leave for work at 10:40 PM. I would probably write a post on just penalties. I was hoping that the discipline of Devils hockey would come back magically between the pre-season and opening night. It seemed like every Devil was taking penalties. Elias had 2 and he is one of the most disciplined Devils EVER. Clarkson....that is all i have to say.
The Devils need to learn to pass...protect the puck....and stop taking so many stupid penalties. Then maybe the Devils can make it to the Playoffs.