Two minutes for spearing? Oh, okay stripes. Solid call. As my brother so eloquently put it, "Zidlicky getting speared in the nuts is the best thing he has done all year." He might not be right, but he's definitely not wrong. What a metaphor for the game and the season. Just a swift shot to the dick with nothing to show for it.
When Damon Seversen, a player that I personally have clamored for to shoot in the shootout, had the puck on his stick and 90% of the net to shoot at, you just knew something was going to get in the way. Call it nerves on Damon's part if you want. I call it divine intervention. In fact, when the Devils sent out Tuomo Ruutu as their first shooter, I really wanted to say "why the f…." but I stopped myself. When it comes to coaching decisions, the one thing I refuse to question is the shootout lineup. Quite frankly, they are all completely inept. You could put a blind folded chimp up there and post a nearly identical success rate. Not to sound like a broken record, but I genuinely do not understand how a group of professionals can be so poor at a one on one situation with a goalie.
Why? Why can't they just lose in overtime? This was now the second time in four games that the Devils have killed off one of the more dominant power plays in the league (Blackhawks, Islanders) in overtime only to inevitably lose in the shootout. As a diehard fan, I would really enjoy if they made losing less painful. Just let the the opposition score. Prolonging the game only prolongs the pain.
In the least surprising move of all night, the Devils blew another two goal lead. Full disclosure, I was not able to watch the game in full. I was too busy watching bad football instead. However I was "fortunate" enough to watch them take a 2-0 lead. I knew right then they were losing 3-2 in a shootout. If you didn't I refuse to call you a Devils fan. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. That's why I refuse to be optimistic when this team somehow grabs a lead. The pessimistic view has not been working too well either, but I have no choice but to succumb to the suck. It's a pretty unbelievable realization when it becomes evident that you can't be happy during a hockey game until your team is celebrating after the final buzzer. 1-0, 2-0, and 3-0 leads just feel like a precursor to a soul crushing finish. More often than not, they are.
Cory Schneider is the best player on the New Jersey Devils. As of now, the second and third best players joined the team no more than two weeks ago. Gomez, a player that was cut by THE FLORIDA PANTHERS has been the best player in a Devils jersey the last few weeks. Keith Kinkaid, the backup goaltender, who has now had to suffer throughout two great personal performances only to lose in the shootout…again, has been another bright spot. Who knows why they weren't playing in New Jersey earlier? Honestly, at this point, who cares? I guess I will just try to enjoy the compiling of 'loser points' and the one or two wins they manage every 5 games. Never has a team made losing close games so anticlimactic.