The Devils have become impossible to watch. Guys standing around, falling down, or making passes that are blind, ill-timed, or just flat-out stupid is not competitive hockey. It’s not even good hockey. It’s disheartening.
If I were GM and coach for a day:
Langenbrunner loses the “C”. Where is the leadership on this team? Where are the guys standing up for Salmela and Salvador? No wonder nobody wants to put in the extra effort, because no teammates will get their backs.
Langenbrunner gets benched until he learns to connect a pass. He is a turnover machine. Passes into the middle are dumb, blind passes are dumb, taking an extra step is dumb. Watch Kovulchuk pass. All of his assists are on sharp passes, not accidents.
Get a defenseman, now. It’s clearly not White, Mottau or Fraser. Salvador and Salmela are hurt, or rotate being hurt. Get someone who can control the puck at the blue line, who can clear the crease, and who plays with passion.
It’s just amazing that the Devils have blown three 2-goal leads in a week and a half. Since New Year’s Eve, they haven’t played a single, solid three period game. The glaring, stupid errors are like watching a badly coached beginner’s team. They aren’t a bunch a forty-something asthmatics (like me) playing at 11:00 PM on Sunday night; they’re supposed to be professionals. What they’re doing borders on gross dereliction of duty.
10 points out of 30. 33% point conversion, compared to 75% earlier in the year. I think fans go through a process like grieving: first we’re in denial (it’s only a three game losing streak), then angry (waive White! Marty plays too much!), then we bargain (Kovulchuk!). What’s next? Acceptance of this style of play? I don’t know of any fans that enjoy watching a high-calibre team play so far below its potential, night after night, creating new ways to lose games. Please, act like professionals. Put in the work, for a full game. Beat a team that’s streaking in the opposite direction. Or save me money on my playoff tickets.