It might only be mid-December, but the New Jersey Devils realize that they’re letting too many games slip away.
Surprisingly solid forward Scott Gomez expressed a sense of hope and urgency to the Bergen Record.
“Let’s face it, it’s getting into December here,” Gomez said. “The effort’s there. We’ve just got to find a way. You know how it is. You don’t want to fall behind.”
Gomez also added that “you’re not pushing the panic button,” although snarky folks might say that adding him to the mix constitutes jabbing it at least once or twice.
Whether you look at things since the beginning of this month or go back to November, it’s been mostly negative for New Jersey. The Devils are currently on a three-game losing streak and have dropped nine of 11 games. They came into November with a respectable 5-3-2 record and now find themselves at 11-15-5, ranking them 13th in the East.
Even with linemate Michael Cammalleri suffering a lower-body injury during last night’s 4-3 loss to the Dallas Stars, it sounds like Jaromir Jagr ranks among those who haven’t given up hope yet.
That optimism is nice, yet if things don’t begin to turn around, that panic button might just get worn out.
It looks like the New Jersey Devils will go into a tough stretch with aches and pains, in more ways than one. In Michael Cammalleri’s case, there’s even a little comic relief (for your inner child, at least).
The Bergen Record’s Tom Gulliti shared a laundry list of updates, with most of the news being negative:
- The Devils assigned Damien Brunner (pictured) to the AHL, yet they might try to find a potential trade suitor. In the meantime, Gulitti notes that $1.575 million of the 28-year-old’s $2.5 million cap hit will count against the team’s cap even when he’s at the AHL level.
- New Jersey is concerned that Adam Larsson and Travis Zajac may have suffered from mumps, with Larsson still sick and possibly headed to injured reserve. Zajac’s a little banged up beyond whatever sickness he was dealing with, too.
- Patrik Elias is dealing with a groin injury, but frequent injury sufferer Martin Havlat may be able to play on Monday.
- Devils fans might need a chuckle at this point. Perhaps Cammalleri’s pulled butt muscle will suffice?
/Waits for inevitable Twitter handle @Cammalleributtmuscle
When asked about “The Traveling Jagrs,” Jaromir Jagr had a simple comment: “They know who the man is.”
Sometimes it’s difficult to tell how often the New Jersey Devils forward is being facetious and how often that swagger is legitimate, but when you see the kind of plays he can still make at 42, maybe his bluster is justified.
Take this ridiculous no-look pass (which set up a Michael Cammalleri goal) from last night’s shootout loss against the Calgary Flames, for instance:
Yeah, that’s one of those “How did he do that?” plays.
While Jagr’s seemingly on a little bit of a slower pace in his second season with New Jersey, his 13 points still lead all Devils scorers. With 1,060 career assists, he’s currently ranked eighth all-time, just three behind Steve Yzerman for seventh in league history.