I gotta be honest here, there's something kind of settling about your team losing a game during the first 3-5 minutes of it. I'm not saying I wouldn't have preferred the outcome against the Sharks to be in doubt until at least midway through the first period, but being keenly aware of the inevitable result hours beforehand makes it much easier to view the rest of the game with a clear head. That sounds like a loser's mentality, but since the Devils played like a bunch of losers last night I feel comfortable saying I was already over the loss well before the first intermission came to it's conclusion. That's slightly depressing considering their quick start to the year, but at least there was no adrenaline to worry about working off when the clock hit zeros well past midnight. The team - or what's left it anyway - simply didn't have it from the puck drop to the lonnnnng awaited buzzer, and that made it easier to accept that they were officially experiencing their first rough patch in the young season.
That's not me totally blaming injuries either. No one should have expected things to be easy with Taylor Hall out, never mind when he's joined by Mike Cammalleri, Kyle Palmieri, and Yohann Avitu. Still, I think we should be able to expect a better effort than one that surely had the Devils fans that are smarter than myself adjusting their pillow and calling it a night no more than 20 minutes after the start time of a 10:30 game. Even the short spurts in which they drove play they looked completely incapable of creating scoring chances, but those spurts were too few and far between to simply point at a lack of available talent. Against the Ducks this team proved they can at least compete when they are shorthanded, but that's not going to be the case when they start a game against a superior opponent by giving up a shorthanded goal. The stupid mistakes were early and often and they didn't exactly solve themselves over the course of what proved to be a complete beat down.
I suppose the Devils had nowhere to go but back down to Earth after a 5 game winning streak, but there's nowhere to go but up after getting their shit kicked in from whistle to whistle last night. That game could have been 8-0 if it weren't for Keith Kinkaid standing on his head. I know that and - given the praise the Head Coach gave the starting goaltender - I would imagine the the team does too. It's nice to experience rock bottom while having a record that serves as a pleasant surprise to most fans, but it will be very interesting to see how they respond to it with 3 games in the next 5 nights.
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