The Devils have gone from mildly upsetting to tragic. It’s Shakespeare on ice without the clever anachronistic puns. It hurts to watch, like the guy who wipes out on the ski jump slope during the intro to “Wide World of Sports” for those of you alive in the 1970s.
Here is the young person’s guide to beating the Devils:
1. Play 20 minute periods. The Devils don’t. Not even close. Between late goals in the Toronto game on Friday, and then coughing up two goals in the last 90 seconds of tonight’s travesty against Los Angeles, there was a goal with less than 30 seconds left in tonight’s game as well. This isn’t pee-wee hockey.
2. Take flagrant penalties. The Devils power play is 3 for 31. There was a stretch a few years ago when it was 4 for 100, and with the current 0-for-25 spurts we’ve seen, that’s easily equalled. If Langenbrunner is going to continue to make ridiculous passes into the middle when there’s no red jersey there, take him off the point. Put Oduya there, at least he can shoot the puck.
3. Get behind by two goals. Twice against Toronto, and then against Los Angeles, two goal leads held up about as well as a house of hockey cards in a nor’easter.
Lou lost out on the Phaneuf lottery, although I’m not sure he was a prize worth winning. But there are plenty of other defensemen who can shoot, move the puck, have a modicum more hockey sense than Mottau and White (combined) and know to clear the crease when the goalie is screened on a power play.. Maybe this is pee wee hockey.