Magic Mike Cammalleri!!!
Here's what we are going to do here, we are going to ignore what happened in that third period. Not only because it didn't end up having an effect on the final score, but because we have seen that team far too often over the last few weeks. There is nothing new to say about the Devils team that barely managed to sneak out victorious while playing twenty of the worst minutes of hockey you'll ever see in your life. That's the team that can't pull out a win unless Cory Schneider stands on his head. That's the team that gets hemmed in their own end for what seems like hours at a time. That's the team that surprises you every time they create one single scoring chance for themselves. That's the team that makes you clench your ass cheeks for damn near the entirety of the game. Simply put, that team isn't very good.
That's why we are going to discuss the team we saw throughout the first forty minutes. A team that is apparently so dependent on the health of Mike Cammalleri that it's almost comical. The offense for the first two periods was unlike any we had seen since he went down to injury. They were quick in transition. They created turnovers. They established constant pressure. They actually finished their opportunities, and even when they didn't they gave you hope that there would be more in the near future. I know Mike Cammalleri is just one player, but he makes this team -as a whole- so much more dangerous. He instantly gives the Devils a formidable first line with the chemistry he has developed with Henrique and Stempniak. He takes the pressure off someone like Blandisi by moving him down in the lineup and letting him assume a playmaking role with talented players like Zajac and Palmieri. A player like Boucher doesn't have to worry about scoring -even though he did anyway- because he can get comfortable doing the little things that have kept him in Albany for the majority of the year. Even the 4th line -which not much is ever expected from- gets better by losing some of it's dead weight. The Devils played the brand of hockey that has made this team exponentially more enjoyable to watch then in year's past, and it likely had a lot to do with the return of Cammy.
P.S. Didn't hurt to see some young, promising players actually contribute and show flashes of what we can potentially expect to see in the future. Yes, I just said "young" and "promising" in regards to Devils prospects. Just in case you need visual evidence though...
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