While a high-scoring game for the Devils is usually entertaining, giving up seven goals is completely unacceptable. The defense was suspect the whole game, as it has been this whole season. The offense did score four goals, which was redemption in some way.
Unfortunately, even as someone who is pro-tank, I can safely say I was displeased watching this game.
It didn’t help that the first thing my Penguins fan friend did after the win was say “Do the Devils even have a defense?”
The Underlying Stats: According to the Corsi Stats, everyone not named Ben Lovejoy (Who’s terrible) and Andy Greene (Who hasn’t been as good as previous years) was a positive player. Watching the game, I could see how the forwards for the Devils could be seen as having a good game.
The same can not be said for the defense.
Michael Kapla really let his inexperience show, being directly involved in the first two Pittsburgh goals.
Other than him, the defense for the Devils today was absolutely atrocious in the goals given up. Rarely can I see a goalie give up seven goals, and not blame him for ANY of the goals (You can argue with me about Cullen’s shorthanded goal, but I’ll blame it primarily on the defense). All the Pittsburgh goals came off of turnovers, or defensive miscues. Yes, Josh Archibald’s goal was probably the most legitimate one, but it still came off terrible defensive play. Ben Lovejoy is terrible. Andy Greene is declining. But hey, at least we know what we need to improve on for next season.
The Devils Forwards: Now, for more positive news. I thought the forwards were mostly good today. Josefson came back, and his line of Noesen-Josefson-Bennett continued where they left off, with Noesen even getting a goal. Mike Cammalleri had himself a good game, and it was nice to see him desperate to play well and score. Do I want to see him in a Devils uniform in the future? I personally like him as a player, but I do think he needs to be moved somehow. Taylor Hall absolutely sniped a goal, which is always nice to see. Again, this game wasn’t the offenses fault. It was all the defense.
John Moore: For all the hate John Moore gets, I will have to give him credit for one thing — He’s the only Devils defender as of now who can score. Yes, his defensive positioning is very suspect, almost nonexistent. However, he has scored 11 goals on the year, which is more than most Devils forwards. I feel like if he were to be placed with a more defensively responsible defenseman, the Devils would be able to use him more effectively without risking a chance going back the other way. Or, best case scenario, he continues to develop and learns some defensive responsibility. Again, yes, he gets a lot of hate. However, 11 goals for a defenseman is impressive.
4th Line Yikes: The line of Miles Wood - Blake Coleman - Ben Thompson were put together to provide energy, but it was more pain than energy received. They didn’t do much energy wise, although that could just be my skewed perception due to having lost hope in the game early on. Anyway, Ben Thomson was a -3 on the night, with Coleman and Wood as -2 each. Ben Thomson is not an NHL player in my eyes, but for a placeholder to end the season off, I’m fine with him in the lineup.
I will say that Thomson was very willing to throw his body around. He got three hits, but also got a penalty for being too aggressive and cross-checking a man into the boards. That kind of grit is what the Devils lack on the top lines, and I do feel like an energy line would help this Devils team.
As of Now: As I write this very late at night, the Coyotes have just beaten the Canucks 4-3. The Devils are now tied for the 3rd worst team in the NHL, and as Devils fans we should be voting for Canucks victories now. The bad news? The Canucks face Edmonton twice to end their season, so it looks like the Devils will have to fight for 3rd worst team in the NHL.
Other News: Harvard’s been eliminated from the NCAA tournament. So what do I want? Kerfoot. Now. Alex Kerfoot is a legitimate NHL prospect, after having developed the past four years at Harvard. If the Devils lose him for nothing, that’d be very upsetting.
Kerfoot’s the type of player that could immediately slot into the Devils team with his offensive ability, so if we could see how developed he is in the last two games of the NHL season, that would be helpful. He should be more developed than Kapla.
Schneider: Poor Cory. That’s all I’ll say here.
Your Thoughts?: Thankfully enough, this season is almost over. If you want to complain, or give your opinion of this game, the comments are open for all to speak. As for me, I’m going to pray the Devils do something drastic over this offseason, so I can look forward to something next year. Anyway, have a good day, and take care.