Let me start by saying that I don't really care all that much that the Devils have dropped their last three games in overwhelmingly underwhelming fashion. The fact that they were officially eliminated from postseason contention over that span was but a mere formality. Shane Doan's proposal will never come to fruition so tacking on a couple losses to close out the year can only help their draft positioning. Still, it would be nice if they could actually show up for the entirety of the final 120 minutes of their season, because they certainly weren't present for the previous 180. It's not the result that bothers me, it's the actual product on the ice. They battled tooth and nail all year to earn themselves some credibility throughout a league that preemptively assumed that they deserved none, and I don't want to see it be wasted by haphazard play in the final five games. I realize that simply calling the Devils current lineup "depleted" would be a compliment of the highest order, but that's no excuse for the embarrassing effort they put forth last night. That was quite possibly their most uninspired perfomance of the season. So much so that Patrik Elias - the guy that has been out the lineup for what feels like the last 6 months - seemed like the only player other than Cory Schneider that was even remotely focused or engaged.
So this my official plea to the New Jersey Devils; Please give a shit. Do everything in your power to take one of two against Tampa Bay and Toronto. I know it's not easy finishing out a season in which you have already left it all on the ice. but you've come too far to leave a sour taste in the mouthes of the fans, front office, and organization as a whole. If you're not going to do it for your own pride then do it so the casual observer understands that this wasn't a lost season. If that's not enough then do it to remind everyone how impressive you were a vast majority of the year. If that's not enough then do it to avoid letting the potential end of Patrik Elias borderline Hall Of Fame tenure in New Jersey resemble the god-fucking-forsaken suckfest I witnessed last night...