Connect with us


Devils Losing Steam and Playing Less Physical Hockey

(Photo by Jeff Auger - Double G Media)

(Photo by Jeff Auger – Double G Media)


Ten days ago, the New Jersey Devils seemed to be playing with fight and passion. It seemed liked Coach John Hynes had somehow turned a franchise that has been known to not be a physical threat around. The Devils were playing with passion and physicality. That was ten days ago, as of last night, the Devils have lost four in a row. They have lost by wide margins, most notably being shutout 5-0 by their cross fiver rivals the New York Rangers.

Last Friday night, coach Hynes talked about his teams “battle level” in the post-game press conference not being where it should have in their 4-1 loss against the St. Louis Blues. Since then the Devils have allowed 10 goals while scoring just 2.

A difference that was noticed between last Thursday nights’ loss and last Fridays’ was that in Thursday night the Devils’ skated hard in the first period and into the second and then it was like a clock struck midnight and the magic had worn off. Perhaps it had to do with Carey Price punching Kyle Palmieri with his blocker or maybe the Devils were tired. Either way for a team that seems to have had every game before that go to overtime it felt odd. Even when they took on the Blues the next night at home the energy felt low after the first ten minutes into the first period.

With the poor play the armchair GM’s are calling for Hynes to be run out. But is it really his fault?

Hynes has brought a passion that was lacking with the previous regime. He is involved and adjusts play to find what works for his team. Could they just be in slump? They have been on the road a lot in the first 1/3 of the season and have been playing against many teams outside of their Metropolitan Division home (they do not even play the New York Islanders until February).

A theory that seems to be quietly making its rounds around the internet is that the Devils suits might not want the physical play to be part of the team’s standard. These rumors might stem from the “family-friendly” atmosphere the owners have been trying to create in the Prudential Center and Devils’ diehards not happy with many changes that have been made since they purchased the team.

If there is any kernel of truth to that, it needs to be remedied and fast.

Hockey is a unique sport which is why it is seen as less popular. Its fans are loyal even when teams are in a losing streak most notably the Devils rivals, the Islanders and Rangers, whose fans are known to flood their rinks even when the teams are doing horribly. Hockey though, is physical and that does not mean there needs to be excessive fighting or conduct that is not sportsman like. However, it does need to be physical, there needs to be checks and blocks and hits….and that does not make it any less family friendly.

The following two tabs change content below.
Kelly is the New Jersey Devils Lead Writer and Rugby Analyst for Double G Media. She is also the site's Social Media Manager.
Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

More in Feature