A Night After Getting Embarrassed In Calgary, The Binghamton Devils Put The Flames To The Edmonton Oilers' Playoff Hopes
While I would gleefully give back the coinciding two points in the proverbial one-legged race for increased odds in the draft lottery, I can't help but feel like last night's convincing win was just as important as making another small but steady contribution to the tank. It definitely didn't seem like things could get much worse than being on the ass end of a 6-goal third period while Johnny Gaudreau beat a shit that probably clocked in at 3x his body weight out of the Devils' defense. Needless to say, the tape certainly didn't do anything to wipe clean the feeling that they'd thoroughly soiled themselves...
That's why it felt good to spoil another underwhelming season for an organization that ultimately serves as the rest of the NHL's constant reminder that someone always has it worse than you. A group that rosters potentially the most dynamic player in league history got the brakes blown off playoff hopes that had already hit the skids by a glorified AHL team that was playing their second night of a back-to-back on the forever unforgiving Western Canadian road trip. The Devils realistically have no business beating anyone with a lineup that makes that of the first preseason game seem strong, never mind handily beating a desperate team with fresher legs in their own building.
Need a little optimism during a dreadful year? Look at the contracts attached to the clown shows that put forth an undeniable awesome effort in a 60+ second scrap. The Edmonton Oilers are paying a premium for every single one of those punches for the next four years whereas the Devils are just going down swinging because they (and, more specifically, he) have so little to lose...
It has absolutely sucked being a Devils' fan that silently roots for a good effort and a bad result as they play out an otherwise meaningless stretch, but let last night be your evidence that it's a hell of a lot better than being an Oilers' fan. A team that had scored 7 goals in the 6 games prior to their current road trip nearly matched that total in having a stat night that shot out the bulb on Edmonton's last glimmer of hope. With the amount of injuries they've suffered, New Jersey has seemed destined to be a dumpster fire. However, with all due respect to the following players, I can't possibly conjure up a worse fate than having another 100+ point season for Connor McDavid pumped out to pasture by Kenny Agostino, Kevin Rooney, and John Quenneville.
It wasn't just nice to see that the Devils hadn't completely quit on themselves. It was also nice to see that, even while woefully undermanned, they are still capable of making other teams completely quit on themselves. Again, I'm not happy about picking up two points in the standings, but I am happy about denying them from a team that makes everyone feel better about themselves at a time when the Devils needed to do just that. Therefore, I'll consider that completely imbalanced...ahem...one for one trade-off to be an indisputable overall victory.