The Devils have lost three of five and were outscored 10-3 in their last two, so it wasn’t much of a surprise to hear alternate captain Patrik Elias fume last night.
“We’ve got guys that want to do it by themselves out there,” he said after Tuesday’s loss to St. Louis, per the New Jersey Star-Ledger. “That’s all.”
Elias wouldn’t name names, though there was no lack of candidates following a listless effort against the Blues in which the Devils mustered just 23 shots and wet 0-for-4 on the power play.
From an overall perspective, it seems New Jersey’s problem this year is consistency — or a lack thereof. The club’s longest winning streak of the season is three games and it’s occurred just once, during a stretch in mid-November where the Devils beat Pittsburgh, Anaheim and Los Angeles (the latter two victories coming in overtime).
Since then, the club has failed to get on any sort of roll. Check out January alone:
Elias’ frustration probably comes from the fact that, despite the inconsistency, the Devils are still pretty close to a playoff position. They head into Wednesday’s action just two points back of Carolina for the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference, though the ‘Canes have a game in hand.
Elias says the Devils have the talent to be a playoff team, so long as they play the right way.
“We have good enough players to win hockey games. We’ve done that in the past and in a lot of the 54 games we’ve played this year,” he explained. “But guys can’t do it by themselves.”
Controversy just seems to find the Pittsburgh Penguins. Credit Sidney Crosby & Co. for responding with a win on Wednesday.
Crosby generated two pretty goals, including this slam-dunk slapper:
… While Evgeni Malkin‘s overtime-winner stood as the Penguins managed a 4-3 overtime win against the St. Louis Blues tonight.
(You can see Malkin’s OT-clincher in the video above this post.)
Will this win and strong performance from Crosby silence murmurs about his relationship with Mario Lemieux? Probably not, yet it likely turns the volume down in some ways, including killing the “Is he struggling because of distractions” storyline.
You know, at least for a little while. Maybe.
Claude Giroux isn’t the nastiest, most physical captain the Philadelphia Flyers have employed. Even so, he can be feisty at times.
Wednesday showed that, as he clearly wasn’t happy with an earlier Nick Leddy hit, and eventually got the New York Islanders defenseman to drop his gloves.
You can see the fight and the check that inspired that scrap in the video above.
It’s the fourth fight Giroux has been a part of, with his most recent adversary being may his most bitter rival.
Not a heavyweight bout between Giroux and Leddy, mind you, but sometimes it’s amusing to soak in such a rare sight.
Carter Hutton is getting something that might make fellow Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne jealous: goal support.
Still, there was at least one moment where Rinne was likely happy to be on the bench, as Hutton was left flipping during this collision with Buffalo Sabres forward Marcus Foligno:
Remarkably, Hutton remained in the game.
If you’re the type who loves adding to your “hockey players are tough” files, put this under the goalies section.
Check out this incredible shot of that moment:
Update: The Predators held off the Buffalo Sabres to win 3-2.
Tonight was supposed to be about a clash of two Eastern Conference titans who sport arguably the two best goalies in the NHL. That mattered to Montreal Canadiens fans for about half the game against the New York Rangers, give or take a few minutes.
Priorities are now shifting to calling upon higher powers/etc. in hopes that Carey Price is OK.
Mike Condon replaced Price in the third period and … well, people are concerned.
Again, people are pretty worried right now.
Price being replaced isn’t the greatest sign, yet it’s early, so stay tuned for updates. Maybe it will merely be a matter of playing it safe?
Update: The good news is that Montreal won by a significant 5-1 margin.
Yes, that probably isn’t much solace for Habs fans. Agreed.
It sounds like Price re-aggravated his previous injury.