Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Devilish Nightmare

Last night the nightmare of all nightmares continued for Devils fans as the Rangers posted a 4-1 victory at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers are now 12-1-1 over the past two regular seasons and playoffs against the Devils.

What has become even more disturbing and troubling is the lack of offense the Devils have been able to put up during those 14 games. In the past 14 games against the Rangers, the Devils have scored 21 goals an average of 1.50 goals-per-game. The power-play has been even more disturbing scoring 6 goals in 54 chances for a 11.1%, while the Rangers have scored 11 power-play goals in that time for an average of 23.9%.

This domination of our cross-river rivals has all Devils fans disturbed and worried. Despite their 2-1-0 start, the Devils have seen some of their old troubles coming to the surface. The power-play has only scored one goal in 11 opportunities so far and four of the five goals-against have been of the power-play variety. The Devils have only killed off 71.4% of their penalty kills. Even despite averaging 35 shots-per-game they have only scored 5 goals, a shooting percentage of 4.85%. Only one other team in the NHL averaging over 30 shots per game is averaging under 2.67 GF/per game (Anaheim 1.50 G/per Game).

Last night the Devils lone minutes where they were able to dominated the play was when they took the body. During the latter minutes of the second period they did not let the smaller faster Rangers play the puck control game they feel comfortable playing by a strong forecheck and eventually John Madden scored the lone Devils goal of the game.

The Devils will need to iron out how they plan to get more goals, opportunities and power-play success in the coming weeks if they want to be a contender for the cup.

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