Did I expect a team with three brand new coaches to come out and beat a red hot Rangers team? Of course not, but if they were going to lose, like they inevitably did, I would have liked to see them do it while making some significant changes. Peter Harrold, a Peter Deboer favorite, and a guy the fan base has grown to loathe, still inexplicably manned the first defensive pairing. Stephen Gionta, a player that now gets a bad rap because he gets thrown into situations his talent does not warrant was on the ice for a power play that turned into a Rangers shorthanded goal. The Devils, as expected, managed to fall short of finishing all but one of their chances. Same old, same old in a season that is uglier then a team picture during the mumps epidemic.
The night could be summed up in one play that was basically a microcosm of the season thus far. Travis Zajac, one of the smarter players and better skaters on the team managed to turn the puck over at the point. Then, instead of getting back and limiting a drastic mishap, he somehow managed to flail all over himself like a 10 year old that stepped on the ice with his skate guards on. That led to a Derek Stepen breakaway that gave the Rangers a one goal lead in a game the Devils had dominated to that point. It was funny. I didn't yell. I didn't scream. I didn't turn my remote into a cluster of microscopic pieces of plastic. I chuckled. How can you not? It's either laugh or cry at this point, and I save my tears for funerals and weddings. If you can't crack a smile while watching this dumpster fire of a season then you have a lot of anger in your future. This team sucks. I learned long ago that the ability to laugh at yourself is an important characteristic to have. Being able to laugh when your sports team resembles a well dressed District 5 team is equally as important.
The Devils standards of excellence have dropped into the red. That was clear when the Devils celebrated a goal that brought them within one like it was worth 30 points in the standings. You would have thought Steve Bernier's finish on a beautiful passing play shot the Devils into contention in the Eastern Conference. Was it nice? Yeah. Especially given the player who scored it and the Devils' pension for turning wide open nets into night long nightmares. However, given the circumstances of the season maybe it's better to temper our emotions for at least a game tying, or God forbid, a game winning goal.
I don't expect the coaching trio, or 'Coaching Mafia' as it has been called, to turn water into wine. I don't expect them to part any seas. I don't expect them to heal a team full of mumps with a touch of their fingertip. Just give me something to look forward to. Scratch that. Just give me something else to watch. I don't even care if they continue to lose. Just lose differently. This team needs forward prospects, and they needed them yesterday. They aren't going to sprout up from a talent barren farm system, but give me a young player or two to observe. Give me someone else to watch suck. Every game is like deja-vu. I feel like I am Bill Murray in Groundhog Day without the witty humor or a semi-sexy co-star to enjoy it with. I feel like I keep walking into the same punch like a battered wife with Alzheimer's. Throw me a bone boys. At this point the fan base is pretty easy to satisfy. Shit, a Reid Boucher sighting might give me a stiffy I could hang my hat on. At this point anything to hang my hat on is a welcomed change.
Not a religious man, but Pray for Cory.