Friday, December 10, 2010

Devils continue to sputter in Ottawa

At this point I'm tired of talking about the season as a whole and the calendar year as a whole. I'd rather look at the season in smaller doses, it's less annoying that way. Except for the fact that the Devils are still 0-for-December after their somewhat contreversial 3-2 loss in Ottawa earlier tonight, after losing 5-3 to the Flyers in Philly Saturday and 2-1 to the Penguins in Pittsburgh on Monday (a game I didn't see much of thanks to the Jet fiasco). I no longer wish to look at the standings, our record...what's the point? We're done anwyay, the rest of the season is just about spoiling the party for as many other teams as possible and finding out what we need to and will do to fix this going forward.

Did the Devils get screwed late in the third period on David Clarkson's would-be tying goal that got waved off on the ice with the boys in Toronto upholding the ruling? Honestly, when I first saw the play I thought it should have been a goal but with the last couple of replays that came over MSG+ I could see why it was disallowed, it did look enough like a kick without Clarkson's stick being anywhere near the puck at the time to influence the ref. Not that I care about defending this league, god knows they're probably going to do all they can to screw us after the Kovy fiasco this offseason but I don't think they have proverbial blood on their hands this time.

At least the power play, which has been god-awful from January on has finally shown signs of life, going four for its last eight including both goals tonight from Patrik Elias and Danius Zubrus. Not to mention Clarkson's almost-goal which would have made the power play five for eight. And Martin Brodeur returned, making it through an entire game without having to leave due to his injured wrist although he clearly looked rusty, especially with puckhandling as he caused several turnovers - but he certainly wasn't alone in that.

With Detroit coming in tomorrow, the schedule certainly isn't allowing us to stew on the near-miss in Ottawa, though at least the four days off before tonight's game enabled coach Johnny MacLean to finally do something close to a bagskate in practice, and Lou Lamoriello again shot down speculation that the coach's job was in jeopardy, putting the mess that is this season on himself. For his part, Jamie Langenbrunner also publicly stated that 'it should be one of us (players) going, and not the head coach'.

And still nothing's changed...though at this point, what is the point exactly? Firing the coach isn't going to accomplish anything and you'll probably get more in terms of value trading certain players closer to the trade deadline anyway (unless they get hurt or their games really go in the crapper). Not to mention asking players to waive their NTC's is becoming...shall we say less problematic the more the team struggles. So as Devils fans, we sit and wait - hoping things get better and yet hoping things change at the same time.

Both might have to wait a while.

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