Last night the Devils played one of the better teams in the league and didnt play a bad game but it wasn’t good enough. Here are some notes on the game.
-Tarasenko is on a fire lately and it showed last night. He had multiple chances in the first period and if not for Schneider he could have had two early.
His persistence paid off as he had the eventual game winner on the power play in the third.
-Corey Schneider played a hell of game. If it wasnt for him the Blues would have been up a couple early. After the game he blamed himself for the go ahead goal, maybe he could have stopped it, maybe Zidlicky shouldn’t have taken a stupid holding penalty in a 0-0 game in the third period. The blame here isnt on Schneider he gave the team a chance to win.
-Speaking of Zidlicky’s penalty, what the hell was he thinking? That was as bad and untimely penalty you could take. A 0-0 game and he takes an unwarranted holding penalty in the third period, against a top 10 power play. You just don’t do that. Last year the Devils had the topped ranked PK and probably would have killed it off but it’s not last year. You HAVE to be more diciplined with the way the PK is struggling.
– The Henrique- Elias – Ryder line was the best line for NJ last night. They generated a scoring chance almost every time they were on the ice. Unfortunately they are a bit snake bitten right now. Henrique and Elias should stay together for a while and when Havlat Is back I think that turns into a very dangerous line.
– Zajac needs to finish these chances. I don’t like beating up on Zajac because he does a lot of other things right and plays the game the right way. However and it’s a big however, if you are going to be the teams top center you need to produce as the teams top center. He is just not doing that, last year he struggled early and then found his game but if the Devils want to remain in the playoff hunt he needs to produce, now. With Cammalleri and Havlat out he needs to step up.
– Steve Bernier I thought played a good first game. He was physical, played smart and was hard on the forcheck. He is definitely an improvement over Tootoo. Speaking of the 4th line Gionta played a good game but that line was better when Josefson was on it. I think the Devils should waive him and sign Gomez. Gomez would make that line better and perhaps a scoring line. He could also be moved up and down the line up throughout the game. Gionta just doesn’t cut it againts better players.
– All in all the Devils played one of the better games they have played this year. The result just wasn’t there. After the goal they became a bit unraveled and couldn’t generate a real scoring chance. The Blues are very well coached and shut the door once they took the lead. The Devils needed to get on the board early and they couldn’t convert and against good teams it’s very hard to come back.
– Tomorrow night the Devils complete the home and home series with the Blues. They need to show up hungry and determined to win. Beating the Blues in St. Louis and snapping the winning streak will go a long way for this groups confidence.
By, Steve Vullo
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