You see, this is why the NHL needs a mercy rule. I'm not saying that the Devils would make use of it all that often, but we need to avoid something like this from happening ever again. This game was over before the first period even reached it's conclusion. The Devils were up 5-0 after essentially knocking an ill prepared Ottawa Senators team out cold. Why even waste everyone's time with the next two periods? It was tedious for the Devils to come back on the ice, and it had to be embarrassing for the Senators to come back on the ice. Those next forty minutes were a lose-lose for both parties involved. Sure, the final score ended up being fairly close -especially considering the Devils added an empty netter- but that's only because the Devils had to stand around -for what seemed like hours- poking at Ottawa's lifeless body. Of course once they got bored doing so the Senators finally regained consciousness and threw a counter punch. Not only were they well rested from their first period nap, but they were the beneficiary of 10 consecutive pity powerplays. Basically what I am saying is that the result was the same, and both teams could have gotten some much needed rest if we just let the Senators throw in the towel -which they were seemingly desperate to do- after one. Just something to think about Bettman.
Hey, I don't know if the Devils weathered the storm or if it finally just migrated up North, but I honestly don't care. They have come out of their slump in a big way. It wasn't too long ago when all was starting to seem lost. It felt like they were losing another person to injury -or suspension- every single game and their inability to score was doing a hell of a job reflecting that. Well, it's amazing what a relatively healthy lineup can do for a team. This is the team that gave Devils fans hope in the first place, not the one and was solely reliant on otherworldly performances from Cory Schneider. This is the team that can score timely goals, and more importantly, score more than one or two goals. This is the team that supports it's goaltender instead of being completely dependent upon him. Under the one caveat that they stay healthy, this is the team that has the chance to push for one of the final playoff spots. They aren't going to have too many five goal periods, and there won't be too many games that will already be well in doubt before the final minutes, but it also shouldn't be the two and half hour heart attack it was during their 6 game rough patch. When this team is firing on all cylinders they play quite the complimentary game, and that's the kind of hockey that consistently leads to victories.
BREAKING NEWS: The Devils have an answer at second line left wing I repeat, the Devils have an answer at second line left wing. I don't want to speak for John Hynes here, but Joe Blandisi's performance tonight was as much of a "I'm not fucking leaving" moment as you could possibly hope for from a young player slotted into a hole that's been relatively vacant all season. If Joe Blandisi doesn't stay with the big club then it certainly won't be because of a lack of effort, opportunity, or production. Honestly, what more do you need? Welcome to the show, kid...
P.S. Also, this...