The Devils lost 4-3 to the Blues last night, though a comeback seemed unlikely during the 3rd they nearly pulled it off. Here is some of take aways from the game.
1. Clowe was injured in the first period. If you rewatch the play it appears to be a head injury. This isn’t good for multiple reasons, Clowe is actually a good locker room presence, and really isn’t a bad player when he gets going. We can probably replace his skill with Stephane Mattuea. Mattuea may even be better at this point but it’s mostly the locker room presence that will be tough to swallow if this is long term.
2. Turnovers, all game long I saw everyone on the Devils make terrible turnovers. No one is excluded from this. You can not win a game with that amount of turnovers against a team like the Blues.
3. It’s time for Zajac and Jagr to be split up. They played great together last year but it’s not last year. Jagr held the puck far too long when he had it and Zajac can’t finish to save his life right now. Perhaps Jagr would be better suited with Henrique when he his back.
4. Again i saw no attitude from this team. In the first period when Schneider was knocked over, and the goal by the Blues wasn’t allowed, no one stepped in and came to Schneider defense. Obvliosly Schneider wasn’t hit on purpose but it doesn’t matter. They need to make teams second guess going to the net hard. There is no tenacity in this team.
5. Too slow. We all know the Devils are an older, slower team and it really really showed these last two games. Almost everyone except Brunner and Sislo was caught up to when they had the puck. It’s definitely time to get faster and younger.
6. Ruttuu is basically the same player as Zubrus except he is faster with more skill and plays with a physical edge. I don’t care what Deboer says, neither are first line players but Ruttuu and Zubrus should be reversed on the depth chart.
7. Ryder had a pretty good game. He was generating chances all game long and finally at the end he put 2 in the net. He is a streaky scorer and always has been, maybe he’s ready for a few more goals.
8. Patrick Elias looked lost last night. I don’t know if he has an injury he is keeping a secret but he doesn’t look right. There is no jump in his step and he is turning the puck over more then he is doing good. I’m for giving a player like this a chance to find his groove but if he has a game tonight like last night its time he gets dropped to the 3rd line.
9. One thing I did like is that the Devils never gave up. Sure they seemed out of it and beaten but they almost pulled off a huge comeback. This doesn’t absolve them from the loss but at least they showed an effort through the end.
Tonight the take on Detroit. Hopefully they can pull off the road win and get back on track.
By Steve Vullo
Follow me on Twitter @ussfishkiller