It was an ugly set of back-to-back games for the Devils. They gave up 49 and 32 shots on goal to Montreal and St. Louis. Over their last twelve games, they’ve given up 3 or more goals in eleven of those. There’s no doubt that Schneider has been struggling, but he’s getting absolutely no help from his defensemen, especially on the road. New Jersey begins a four game road-trip tomorrow that includes two matchups against the New York Rangers in the span of a week. If the Devils don’t start playing smarter hockey, things are going to get out of hand fast.
- The Auvitu/Lovejoy pairing got absolutely clubbed these past two games. Lovejoy was a combined -26 in shot attempts while Auvitu was a combined -20. This has been a rarity for Auvitu while Lovejoy has been caved in a majority of the season. The Devils are asking a lot of these two guys to play top-four minutes. That being said, they have to be much better going forward and take some pressure off Greene/Severson. Those two can’t be expected to do everything.
- While we’re on the theme of defense, the Moore/Quincey pair got absolutely rocked against Montreal at 5v5, although they were much better last night. Moore was -24 in shot attempts while Quincey was -26 Thursday night. When the Devils are hemmed in the zone like this, you’re asking way too much of Schneider and Kinkaid and it shows in their results. Definitely expect Hynes to make some adjustments with their defense pairs in the near future, considering at may be the only option at the moment.
- If there was a bright spot to this stretch of games, it’s that Taylor Hall has been really good. He collected 3 points against Montreal and St. Louis and has 8 in five games since returning from surgery to repair a torn meniscus. The Devils offense has been playing fairly well, with the exception of these past two games. If their defense can get it together, they’ll be fine going forward, but that may be a tall task at the moment.
- After going cold for a while, P.A. Parenteau seems to be returning to form. He has 3 points in his last three games and scored his first goal in almost a month against St. Louis last night. He seems to have a found a bit of chemistry with Hall and Henrique, so look for Hynes to keep this line in tact for the foreseeable future.