The Devils humiliating 5-1 loss to the Islanders Saturday was just that, humiliating.
The team came out rocking in the first period. They did everything right. They swarmed the net, went crazy on the forecheck and I thought they were well on their way to victory.
Then the rest of the game happened. In less than two and a half minutes in the second period the Devils were down 3-0. Things didn't get much better in the third. Sloppy plays, errant passes and stupid decisions led to two more Islanders goals. The Devils did sneak one in, and it was a doozy of a power play slapper from Marek Zidlicky (with assists from Patrik Elias and Ilya Kovalchuk), but it was far from a wake up call. The team couldn't get anything going.
The only line that was consistent throughout the game was the Gummo line (Ryan Carter-Stephen Gionta-Steve Bernier). They did everything but scored. You know, sometimes a goalie just shines and while Evgeni Nabokov had a good game for the Islanders, the Devils didn't really make him stand on his head to make saves.
Some may be quick to blame Henrik Tallinder for his sloppy play on defense, but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. He was rusty from sitting too long. That is undeniable. He didn't play to his full potential, but can you blame him. He hasn't been in a game since Feb. 2. No one can be 100% game-ready after sitting out seven games.I just hope he gets his head on straight and plays a little better.
As I always say the team can use the loss as a way to move forward and will hopefully turn it into a win against the Senators Monday.
Quick update loyal blog readers - my updates will be more sporadic over the next two weeks because I am preparing for and going on vacation.