I don't know. I honestly don't. Do you have a better explanation? Patrik Elias is an unquestioned leader of this team, whether he likes it or not. He is a player how knows what it takes to win. He has been there and done that. He is also no stranger to the slump. He has had a few in his career. However, none, to this point have resembled the one he is in right now.
It's not that Patrik isn't scoring, no one is. It's not that he is is struggling in one aspect of the game. He truly looks checked out. I have never seem him look so completely ambivalent to the game on both ends of the ice. He has been turning over the puck at an alarming rate. Elias has always been a creative playmaker. That style lends itself to turnovers. He is also a player that has gained a reputation of always making the smart play. That makes his turnovers back into his own zone somewhat of an anomaly. I have never seen him play so aimlessly and purposeless. Honesty, he looks lackadaisical. It would be one thing if he was gripping his stick too hard and it was causing him to make questionable decisions. It looks like he would rather be sitting on his couch gripping another stick.
It's dangerous. Leaders have to lead by example. Elias looks like he needs to be put out to pasture while simultaneously being a player this team needs to rely on. I don't mean to pile on Elias. Honestly this blog would have been written earlier had he not gained so much clout over his years as a Devil. He has always had an aura of consistentcy and competitiveness around him. Unless, his talent has fallen off that much, that same same aura has not existed this year. I don't need him to always be the best player on the ice. He is most likely beyond that point of his career. However, the Devils, if they want to progress anywhere beyond mediocrity, need him to care and play diligently on both ends. This isn't a team that can overcome his current indifference.
This isn't the Patrik Elias Devils fans have grown to love, and that, among other things, is currently costing this team valuable games.