Last night sucked. No other way to put it.
All I'm going to say about this series is that it isn't over. Sadly, many are posting here as if it is, or as though the Devils might as well forfeit the rest of the series, to stave off the "inevitable".
I can't just bail on this team like that. Yeah, I'm plenty pissed, last night was pretty God-awful, and my memory is long enough that I can't just destroy Marty and forget everything that came before, but damn...I'm still stunned how last night came apart the way it did. But Florida still has to win two more games. Before I leave the Devils completely for dead, I have to see Florida actually pull that feat off. After a game like last night's, that might seem like a gimme now, but it isn't. If the Devils win tomorrow night, the series is tied, just like that. Then we'll see.
The Devils have looked bad at times this season, but their greatest strength has been keeping the skids to a minimum, all things considered...so I'm going to hang my hat on that, and hope Game 4 sees them snap out of it.
This is pretty much how I'm looking at it.
I wasn't at the game last night, so I can only imagine how it must've felt live. I could tell the fans were SO INTO IT. Even Chico mentioned early on that it might've been the loudest he ever heard it there. But then, to see the 3-0 lead disintegrate fairly quickly and then watch the team look helpless in trying to score another goal, I can understand why those who were there were boiling mad.
However, some have talked about the Devils giving up last night. I honestly don't think they gave up. I think they were simply stunned at how seemingly easy it was for the Panthers to take the lead. And that made the Devils become too self-conscious as they tried to tie it up in the third. They were afraid of making a mistake. But that's not the same as giving up.
They did have a few chances toward the end there. Zach missed a golden opportunity. Patrik had a chance off to the side. And someone else, I forget who, maybe Zajac, came close too. So they had opportunities.
In addition to the points CR76 made, I'm also not giving up just yet because of Pete DeBoer. Watching him storm off of the bench after the first period, and seeing how mad he looked during the postgame press conference, it shows me he's not going to let this team give up without a fight. Who can forget Brent Sutter's dumbfounded looks or Jacques' calm pressers after Devils playoff losses. In contrast, it looked to me like PDB was raging inside. I know he doesn't show a lot of emotion, like a Tortorella, but I thought PDB had that pissed-off look in his eyes after the game. That might be what these Devs need to see from their head coach.
Let's see what happens in Game 4.