Lost: Hand-Eye Coordination
Please Return To: Prudential Center
I tried to make excuses for them. Were they just gripping their sticks to tight? Nah, that doesn't make sense coming off an inspiring victory. Was the ice in Boston as shitty as the Devils' botched breakout passes and completely whiffed shots made it look? If it was then you certainly couldn't tell from the play of the home team.
Fact of the matter is that the Devils didn't just look like they were outclassed last night, they looked like they hadn't put their equipment on in 6 months. I know that Mike Cammalleri spent the better half of last season in a luxury suite and that Reid Boucher is probably playing nervous as he's still working to gain the trust of the coaching staff, but - my god - is asking them to treat the puck like it's something other than a fly that just landed on their food too much to ask? I understand this team needs to develop chemistry, but I would hope that a professional hockey team wouldn't have to develop fundamentals.
Hell, I'm almost willing to give them a pass for spending - what felt like - 80% of the game running around in their own end because it's gotten to the point where expecting anything other than an ugly, lopsided one goal loss against the Bruins is like rooting against the sun rising. What I won't give them a pass on forgetting to pack their tenacity and talent before getting shipped up to Boston. Coming out looking like the bus just picked them all up from a 3 hour "team meeting" at the Sam Adams Brewery is unforgivable. It wasn't the lack of cohesion that disappointed me the most last night. It was the lack of focus. The lack of purpose. The lack of pretty much all the things that helped them overachieve last season.
I know this roster is largely new so if you were expecting them to come out like a house on fire then your irrational expectations are probably already up in smoke. That said, the expectation that they show up and make enough tape-to-tape passes for their Head Coach to justify keeping lines intact for longer than your average cokehead feels like it should be attainable. This team still has a lot of growing to do, but performances like that are only going to water the seed of doubt.
Oh yeah, and why isn't Jacob Josefson selling hot dogs? Doesn't Travis Zajac know that he plays OFFENSE?! Can Adam Henrique be more lazy? How overrated is Kyle Palmieri? Don't you think Beau Bennett could provide more from the IR than he can from the 3rd line? Why isn't Steve Santini in the lineup when he's CLEARLY the next Scott Stevens? Those aren't my questions, but I would be willing to bet that the dickhead that will undoubtedly be yelling "SHOOT!" from within a few seats of me on Saturday is desperately looking for those answers.