RECAP: Devils Fail To Solve Lightning Again In Embarrassing Loss

(Photo: Chris O’Meara, AP)

This isn’t going to be a long one because there is barely anything to say about last night’s game. It was awful, in every aspect. There was not a single positive to take out of the 8-3 slaughter that took place last night in Tampa Bay. The Lightning’s goal total alone should basically tell the whole story, the Devils were not ready to play.

When a team puts up eight goals, everyone’s eyes immediately turn to the man between the pipes. This is fair. Keith Kinkaid, despite a mostly adequate start, has had some awful performances sprinkled in this season. Tonight was the absolute worst. He is proving that there isn’t some future timeline where he is ever anything more than a backup who can get hot, which is something every backup in the league can do.

It is also true that within each of the eight goals scored, there were dozens of defensive breakdowns by the Devils. Kinkaid was bad, but the help he received was nonexistent as well. Nobody looked good tonight, but you probably already knew that based on the score.

The Devils were completely dominated by one of the top teams in the league. Some may say this game is a throw away and that it is just the case of the Lightning being that good, coming off a blowout of their own on Saturday in a 7-1 loss to the Arizona Coyotes of all teams. It might just be that the Devils aren’t as talented and that is totally fine.

The Devils are done being one of the runts of the NHL litter. They made the playoffs last year, have a former MVP on their top line, a future star at center, and one of the leading goal scorers in hockey. They should expect to compete with the Lightning because we should be expecting to see them in the playoffs this year. Now is the time for the Devils to make the jump, and they have shown they are nowhere close to ready last night.

It is disappointing. The three players named above are all on the same line so when they don’t show up nights like last night happen. The Devils depth has been nonexistent since their initial winning streak. Just like last year, moves are expected to be made.

As fans we all must not forget what last night was. It was a message from the elite of the NHL that the Devils aren’t ready. This may have seemed like a sour recap but there are two ways to look at this. The Devils may not be ready, but two years ago the thought of even asking the question would have gotten a laugh out of most hockey fans. The fact that we should expect a team that can compete with the Lightning shows, as an organization, the Devils are moving in the right direction.

So though we may hang our heads today, remember it is a long season and there is work to be done. This is not the end, it is only a second beginning. On to Detroit.

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