Every team in the NHL can have a bad night and that is exactly what happened to the Devils last night. The interesting thing, however, was that I can’t even say that the Devils had a bad “game” because the first period was actually competitive. The second and third periods, on the other hand, were not. In the final 40 minutes of the game, the Canadiens had their way with the Devils and were just allowed to do anything they want. There was a question whether or not Price should have returned for the final 40 minutes (I will get to that) but even if he hadn’t, I don’t think it would have changed the outcome. The Devils were out-shot, out-chanced and outplayed. The Canadiens simply controlled every aspect of the game. Hopefully, the success at home helps them fix things quickly as they come home to the host a very good Blues team tonight.
- The 1st period was extremely long. The Canadiens scored first which was then reviewed and challenged for Goalie Interference. The Devils answered which was also reviewed and then challenged for Goalie Interference. Then at end of the 1st we had the Price/Palmieri incident which took a few minutes to sort out. All-in-all, the 1st took 57 minutes to get through, which is just way too long. At intermission, Henrique was asked about the reviews which he simply replied that these things need to move quicker and it disrupts the flow. Can’t say I disagree.
- So, let’s get into Price. Palmieri was driving towards the net and was pushed into Price. Sure, he lost his edge and slid into the legs of Price but it wasn’t intentional. In fact, the referee’s arm doesn’t even move until Price retaliated so that tells me the referee wasn’t going to call anything, until Price made him do so. Price got up and punched Palmieri in the head once with his blocker and then twice in the ribs. No doubt in my mind that Price had intent to make sure Palmieri felt something, which was unfair because a) he was pushed into him by the Canadiens defense and b) this isn’t Chris Kreider. Palmieri was given a late 2 mins for interference and Price was given 4 for roughing. However, in my opinion Price should have been removed:
Per Rule 51.3: Roughing: “If, in the judgement of the referee, a goalkeeper uses his blocking glove to punch an opponent in the head or face in an attempt to or to deliberately injure an opponent, a match penalty must be assessed.”
- The Devils defense, well I think they were hanging out with the Devils offense back home because it was just as horrible. Anytime you allow an opponent to take 49 shots on you, the end result will probably be unfavorable.
- The Devils offense obviously forgot to get on the plane. They put 21 shots on the board and most of those were not tough shots and they never once hit double digits for shots in a single period. The only good takeaway was that Henrique scored in the 1st and then set Hall up in the 3rd with a beautiful cross ice pass that Hall buried into a very wide open net.
- Schneider was doing a lot of work but at the same time, 2 of the 5 goals were very soft. The phrase “he just wasn’t good enough tonight” isn’t one we use often about Schneider but today we are.
- It’s a long season and every team will have a handful of these games. The key is to bounce back in the next one and the next one for the Devils is quick as they get ready to play tonight. Schneider won’t get the chance to redeem himself tonight as Kinkaid will get the start.