Saturday, January 31, 2015

Schneider shines,Skaters don't in 2-1 Pittsburgh win

Cory Schneider showed up for the New Jersey Devils on Friday night against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Too bad that his teammates didn't as Schneider was forced to make 41 saves with little offensive help as the Penguins took a 2-1 overtime win at the Rock.
Steve Bernier scored the Devils only goal (7) in the third period.
The Devils play the Florida Panthers tomorrow night,but I have to go to the road office early,so it'll be Cavaliers coverage on Saturday.

Hell Raisers

1) Cory Schneider was the best part of another less than great Devils effort.
41 saves,neither goal being on him and giving the Devils a point that should have never even been close to a consideration.
Add in Schneider's spectacular sliding save on Sidney Crosby among many top stops and it was blatantly clear that Schneider was the top star of this game...

2) Take away Steve Bernier's wraparound goal and the Devils offense was non-existent.
Even that took a break-as in the puck was inadvertently stopped by the referee behind the net,allowing Bernier to grab the puck at he originally was just trying to clear.
When you finish any game (let alone one that goes to overtime) with 14 shots-that's downright pathetic.
What a miserable effort

3) Now,look-I understand some of you might look at this and think "The Devils got a point,what is he so angry about?"
I'm angry because crappy games like this and the Toronto win help no one.
They don't help the Devils because they aren't helping draft position.
They don't help young players because really except for Adam Larsson,no young players have prospered since the coaching change and they damn sure don't help the fans watching dull games every night.
I'm all for boring hockey,the Devils won three championships that didn't remind anyone of the Gretzky Oilers,but you better be winning that way.
I'm sure there will be similar rants before the season is out.

4) I bag on Peter Harrold a lot and I always feel bad when I do.
Harrold is an Ohio guy,seems like a super nice fellow and always tries hard,but here is my problem watching penalties like his third period one that gave Pittsburgh a late power play that allowed the Penguins to then tie the game.
Peter Harrold is an AHL level defender that would be perfect in Albany as a veteran mentor,but is painfully outmatched in the NHL.
Playing Harrold at the expense of the maturation of Eric Gelinas and keeping his offensive skills in the skybox makes no sense to me.
Gelinas makes mistakes-more than I'd like,but sitting him doesn't help him become part of this teams future-either as a player or a valuable trade chip.

5) Lousy passing.
Just lousy.
The Devils offense rarely completed the most fundamental part of this game-moving the puck from stick to stick to create offense  and that results is bad hockey,folks.
I was hoping to see some improvement in the offense since the coaching change,but the bigger problem is just not enough talent.
The sooner we wake up to that,the sooner that the foundation for the future can begin to be laid.

As I noted above,I'll be watching the Cavaliers not the Devils tonight from work.
That just might be a good thing.....

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