Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Devils Lose Discipline

So I tuned into some of the Devils-Thrashers game in time to see Ilya Kovalchuk score his second power play goal of the first with Scott Mellanby setting a perfect screen in front of Martin Brodeur. Of course, Brodeur wasn't too pleased about this. But Mellanby never touched him and just used his veteran smarts to distract the goalie from seeing the shot.

Fast forward a couple of minutes later when the Devils were assessed a bench minor for abuse of officials probably for protesting a good noncall. There was team captain Patrik Elias having a lengthy discussion with the one of the officials before a faceoff. And I'm glad the guys at the production truck in Atlanta picked this up. The Devils entered as the most disciplined team in the league. At last check, it wasn't even close. So was it any surprise that when calls went against them, they were upset? Of course not. They're not used to being in the penalty box.

And apparently, whatever Elias said worked as they wound up getting the next three power plays in less than a 6:00 span. And would you believe they scored twice to tie it? Of course. They're the Devils. When they get the calls, they take advantage. That's why you got to be extremely smart when playing them. Any little hole and your lead is gone. Atlanta imploded against them last time too back at the Meadowlands in a 2-1 loss.

In any event, it changed the momentum of this 2nd place game in the East which now is 3-3. Zach Parise broke a drought and Niclas Havelid cameback to knot it. Now Colin White just lost his mind and took an unnecessary penalty late in this seesaw period which has had a little bit of everything.

It should be an interesting third.

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