Devils Dominated by Maple Leafs in Hall of Fame Game

The Leafs were dominating offensively.

The Leafs were dominating offensively. Photo Credit to Frank Gunn from AP.

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Recap

Complete highlights from the game can be found at the end of this article.

The New Jersey Devils came into the Hall of Fame Game against Toronto, after losing in embarrassing fashion to the Ottawa Senators, and the embarrassment continued. Even with the legend Martin Brodeur in the building and being celebrated as part of the Hall of Fame weekend ceremonies, the Devils could not hold off Toronto’s offensive firepower, and their loss was filled with mistakes and turnovers. The Devils ended up losing to the Leafs by a final score of 6 to 1. And although they outshot the Leafs 39 to 32, they could not find the back of the net more than once and still made too many mistakes and turnovers.

The Devils were doing a decent job surviving the offensive waves from the Leafs to start the game, with a lot of big saves by Kinkaid. Overall, the Leafs were just dominant for most of the game and when the Devils started to finally generate consistent pressure and chances in the offensive zone, the game was already 3 to 0 and halfway through the second period.

Takeaways

Yet another game where the goalie can not necessarily be blamed, as there were still way too many turnovers, especially in the defensive zone. This caused the team to run around and scramble to try and catch up to the Leafs. For example:

  • Veteran Patrick Marleau caused a turnover in the Devils zone that led to a Leafs goal by Kadri
  • Lovejoy blindly threw the puck back hand behind the net right to Tyler Ennis of the Leafs who stepped out front and sniped uncontested
  • Not being able to get out of the zone including the goal for the Leafs by Morgan Reilly which was lobbed onto the net when the puck should’ve been cleared out of the zone.

There is an argument to be made on Rielly’s goal that Kinkaid can’t let softballs in like that. But there were also at least 3 Devils players, and possibly a Maple Leaf player, in Kinkaid’s line of sight, so he appeared to be completely screened and looking to the right to try and locate the puck and it instead came on the left side. Regardless of which it was, the turnovers need to stop. Otherwise, the Devils may be in for a rough season.

The one bright spot for the Devils was their only goal scored by Travis Zajac on a rebound in front from a Blake Coleman shot. First, it shows that the pretty passing needs to stop in certain situations, and the puck just needs to be fired at the net.

Second, get in the dirty areas and battle for those goals, sometimes just putting the puck on net is the best play. If you don’t believe so, you can watch the clip of Morgan Rielly scoring again. The final part of the Zajac goal that was impressive was the attitude. When Zajac was shown on the screen, he had just made the game 3 – 1 Leafs and he was not ecstatic. He had a very serious and determined look on his face, sending the message that the Devils cannot be happy just because they scored.

The Devils next game will be a tough contest against a very strong Winnipeg Jets team in Winnipeg. Much like the Leafs, the Jets are very strong offensively and with Hellebuyck in net, the Devils will really need to correct the turnovers and mistakes if they are to have a better chance at winning and keeping the Jets stars grounded. That game will take place on Sunday, November 11 in Winnepeg at 7PM ET.

Final Score and Stats
Score:Devils 1 Leafs 6
Shots: Devils 39 Leafs 32
Hits: Devils 39 Leafs 23
Power Plays: Devils 0 for 3 Leafs 0 for 4
Faceoffs: Devils 23 (39.7%) Leafs 35 (59.3%)

Below are highlights from last night’s game:

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