Devils Focusing on Winning, Not a Playoff Spot
Added by Tim Purcell on April 15, 2013.
DeBoer and the Devils are just looking for wins, not focusing on playoffs. (AP Photo)
On Sunday morning, the New Jersey Devils took to the ice for an early practice, before boarding a plane to Toronto. After losing their 9th straight to the Ottawa Senators, 2-0, Friday night at Prudential Center, the Devils look to regain momentum down the home stretch of this lockout-shortened season.
On Friday, the Devils were, once again, unable to take advantage of a dominant performance put on by their offense. Out-shooting Ottawa 33-11, the Devils were unable to record a goal against recently returned goaltender Craig Anderson. Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur was outplayed by his counterpart, and looked less than average in his 9 save performance.
The Devils power play continued to be an issue; finishing 0-4, while missing on a 1:24 of 5-on-3. New Jersey’s attacks getting high opportune scoring chances, but are not able to put the puck in the net on a consistent basis. Since Ilya Kovalchuk was lost to injury, the Devils are an abysmal 3-33 on the power play, with a significant amount of 5-on-3 time.
Head coach Pete DeBoer tried to keep a positive attitude in the midst of this winless streak. DeBoer and the players were all smiles on the ice yesterday, and hope to continue their smiles at Air Canada Centre tonight. The practice ended with a series of mini-games of 3 vs. 3. Each net was placed at both ends of the center ice circle, which was a drill that would hopefully help the struggling forwards gain confidence.
The Devils, currently sitting 10th in the Eastern Conference, are now six points back of the 8th place Rangers, and seven points back of the 7th place Islanders. Both New York teams are in a surprise playoff position, after a very slow start to the season. New Jersey has seven games remaining in the regular season, two of which are at Madison Square Garden to face the Rangers.
If New Jersey wants any shot of cracking the top eight spots in the Eastern Conference, they will need to go at least 5-1-1 the rest of the way. Jersey’s team hopes to start off on the right foot tonight against the 5th place Toronto Maple Leafs.
Ilya Kovalchuk skated alone early yesterday morning. He will not travel to Toronto with the team, but hopes to join them later on this week.