Tom Gulitti covers the Devils for the Bergen Record, and in addition to fulfilling the dual roles of a beat writer and blogger, he brings a lot of hockey sense to the net, electronic or nylon. He’s a great read; he listens (reads) his comment threads; and he (I think) genuinely cares about the team. I’m much prefer to see him get the stringer job for The Hockey News over Rich Chere of the Star Ledger. Bottom line: Gulitti tells it like it is, in the words of Howard Cosell, and when TG is posting at 3:00am, you know there’s something to be told.
Read his last post deconstructing the destruction in the last 80 seconds of last night’s game. He says “Colin White ran out of position to hit Chad LaRose in front of the Devils bench. LaRose made a good pass to Staal, who had a lot of room to carry into the Devils’ zone with speed before letting go his shot for the winning goal from the right circle.” I had it wrong; I thought it was Havelid who made the season-killing decision to play the body instead of the puck, but it was White.
White can’t race anywhere. His perception, and puck play, were miserable for the entire playoff series. How many times did he attempt to clear the puck out of the zone with a saucer pass that either lacked height or distance, typically landing along the boards to be kept in by the Canes? I expect to see that in PeeWee hockey, when they’re learning how to clear the zone and play the body properly. One of the maxims of coaching younger levels of hockey is that there’s a difference between “contact” and “checking”; at Mite and Squirt levels there’s contact (body position) but no checking. Hockey is a contact sport, not a checking sport. White fails to grasp the difference, and he let his guy get off the game, series, and season-ending assist.
Rip that “A” off of his jersey. Give it to Parise. Show him the door, along with Havelid and the random smattering of free agent signings who moved this team backwards this season.