The New Jersey Devils had one last matchup before the 2018 Christmas break against the Columbus Blue Jackets. And needless to say, it did not go as planned. The game ended in a 3-0 win for the Blue Jackets. Although there were a few — keyword few — decent chances the Devils had to score, not a single person in a Devils jersey found the scoresheet.
While we could do a normal post-game recap listing everything that went wrong, yesterday was Festivus. And in the spirit of everyone’s favorite made up “Seinfeld” holiday, let’s do something a little bit more festive. So everyone, gather around the Festivus pole, which requires very little decoration, and get ready for the airing of the grievances.
Normally a goalie letting in three goals in a loss isn’t too uncommon, but today was a different story. Kinkaid continued his fall from grace and career-best hockey last season by beginning Sunday’s game by letting in two goals on the first two shots of the game. Before you could say “Festivus miracle”, the Devils were already down 2-0. After an unassisted Panarin goal in the second, Keith was pulled for rookie Mackenzie Blackwood.
Santini, I got a bone to pick with you as well. As much as Kinkaid deserves help for two goals on two shots, you barely did your part to help out on defense. We had such high expectations for you, but tonight you looked out there like a character skating in “The Charlie Brown Christmas Special” instead of an NHL defenseman! Step up your game, buddy, or a one-way ticket back to Binghamton will be in your stocking!
The Devils Offense
The Blue Jackets were coming off back-to-back games, the first of which had them give up 37 shots on goal. The Devils continued suit the following day, with 37 shots on goal in this losing effort. But a grand total of zero found the back of the net.
Inability to Score
Even in their worst loss in recent memory, last Tuesday’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Devils were still able to score twice. Yesterday, they couldn’t even score once. Granted there were a few good chances, including ones from Miles Wood and also a Pavel Zacha to Brian Boyle 2-on-1, but they just couldn’t finish putting one in the back of the net.
Oh, look at you Sergei Bobrovsky, I got a lot of problems with you! After seeing his second start in as many nights, he found himself in the crease of yesterday’s holiday matinee. While we hoped he would be fatigued after facing 37 shots the night before, he not only faced another 39 but walked away with the shutout.
Power Plays on Both Ends
The Blue Jackets received five penalties all game, while the Devils drew four penalties to give them a few chances on the man advantage as well. Yes, not a single power play goal was scored on either side. Good for the Devils for having a 100% penalty kill on the game, but shame on them for capitalizing on their other chances.
Sunday’s game was the Devil’s first wearing the highly anticipated heritage jerseys, basically the retro white, red and green jerseys. Very Christmassy colors thought to bring back memories of the glory days slightly before the cup years. Instead of christening the new third jerseys with a win, they welcomed their new threads with a shutout loss.
A rare bright spot out of the miserable excuse of a pre-Christmas game, Mackenzie Blackwood let in zero goals after coming in for a relief appearance of Kinkaid. He’s still waiting to see game action that results in a win, but we’ll give him credit for a good performance yesterday afternoon.