There is the word “slump” and then there is whatever the Devils are currently doing. After the loss last night to the Nashville Predators, the Devils have dropped their last 7 games (0-6-1). They have given up a staggering 63 goals in a little over a month (since November 17th). The hope that were surrounding this team throughout October and November is long gone and has been replaced by frustration, aggravation and what can only be described as “garbage play.”
- There was some hope going into this game because the Devils had put together two respectable games against the Senators and the Rangers, even though they both ended with loses. Also, the Devils did have an amazing comeback win against the Predators a few weeks ago.
- Quickly the Predators were up 2-0 despite the Devils wanting to not repeat the game in Nashville that saw them fall into a 3-0 hole rather quickly.
- I don’t want to get on Cory because the strength or lack of defense will always play into a goalie ability to stop pucks. However, Cory has been playing like garbage lately. Sunday in NY he did have a decent game but 5 goals seem to be the new normal with Cory. That’s unacceptable as the #1 goalie.
- Taylor Hall is also slumping. Pointless in the last 5 games and goalless in the last 6. He had some equipment issue in the beginning of the game last night that let us watch him get burned and burned again. The Devils need him to get back to scoring and get back to leading this team. 3 shots last night is not going to get the job done. He did get robbed in the 1st on a shot that probably should have found its way in.
- Kyle Palmieri continues to disappoint. While he had 2 assists against the Rangers, the deal he signed over the summer (5 years / $4.65million) was given to him to score goals. 4 goals and 12 assists is not getting it done.
- The Luke Gazdic situation is a real head scratcher. He was brought up when one of the Devils most solid defenseman this year was sent down to Albany. He played against St. Louis and did nothing and then played against the Senators with an early fight against Chris Neil. Since then, he’s been scratched. It’s a waste. He’s not playing, not that he added much but when you go on about toughness and grit are needed, you’d think he’d be in there. If he’s not, at least bring up someone that can actually help.
- The decision that Hynes is making are baffling. Merrill and Severson together are not a great pairing. The don’t move traffic in front of the net. In fact, Merrill is kind of worthless anytime he is on the ice so he probably just shouldn’t be. Severson was a terrible choice to throw out there in a must score situation on the shootout the other night.
- Bennett-Zacha-Parenteau was probably the one positive you can find from last night. They were able to generate a little offense. The few decent shifts that the Devils had throughout the night seemed to be generated from this line.
- The Devils need to figure this out soon. The next 5 games are rough. The Devils host the Flyers tomorrow night and then are @ Pittsburgh before the Christmas shutdown. They then host the Penguins next Tuesday and then they are @ Washington on the 29th before hosting Washington on New Years Eve.