Sure this film didn't feature Bradley Cooper. It probably won't win any prestigious awards. It doesn't tug on the heart strings like it's predecessor, American Sniper. But you could sure as shit save yourself 3 plus hours and walk away with a happy ending. Some may say that Mike Cammalleri isn't a hero. Some may say he is not the sniper we want. However, I'll be damned if he's not the sniper we need. Some will point to his decision to fake picking up the puck that led to the Senators goal in the 2nd period. A decision so perplexing it is only rivaled by Pete Carroll going 'Ask Madden' in the last minute of the Super Bowl. To that I say, you can't create a masterpiece without the proper buildup. Without a rising action there can be no climax. Study dramatic structure for me, one time. Plus, the way Schneider was playing, Cammy literally had to give them one. Can't score a come from behind game winning goal if you are never behind to begin with. While some people may call him a coward for hiding behind his laser light, pinpoint accuracy, I call him a savior. A true Canadian hero.
Dare I say it? The Devils aren't all that bad. I mean, they definitely aren't good, but they aren't a team that's going to roll over and die against the best the league has to offer. I don't foresee them having too many streaks where they win 7 out of 10, like they currently are having, but I also don't see anymore 5 game losing streaks in their future. People will point to Deboer's departure because they are simple minded, but you can't deny this team looks different. Whether it was simply making a change for change's sake, or just getting some familiar faces behind the bench, this isn't the same team we watched for the better part of 2014. They look more creative, more focused. They still struggle to get shots, but the thought process, that was considerably lacking to start the season, now seems to be there. I don't think something as simple as a coaching change is the reason Steve Bernier went from being allergic to stat sheets to becoming an offensive catalyst. I don't think Adam Oates turned Jordin Tootoo from a helpless human being to a solid role player with basic offensive instincts in his short tenure. Maybe they are finally clicking. Maybe it's just a little bit of puck luck. Personally I think the team that played for Deboer was one that was stigmatized by giving up late leads only to inevitably lose. Whether that had to do with him, or a lack of leadership and winning culture behind closed doors, I don't think we will ever know.
Anyone of the moronic fans that were calling for Cory's head early in the season ready to come out from their rabbit hole? The guy was a stud last night. Turned away point blank opportunity after point blank opportunity en route to another victory. Let's not be like our cross river rivals were last year and create a goaltender controversy that isn't there. In his limited starts, Kinkaid has looked fantastic. Despite a couple of early bumps in the road, Schneider has given the Devils a chance to win nearly every game he has been between the pipes. Quality depth at a position as integral as goaltending is a good problem to have, not a cause for concern.
While it may not be what is best for the future of this franchise, it certainly is refreshing to finally watch some consistently competitive hockey. Watching this team is no longer equivalent to watching their AHL counterpart. Well, most of the time anyway. That in itself is a reason for optimism. A reason to think that this team isn't completely void of hope for the future. A reason to continue to stay behind this team despite their porous record.