Its not about the goals against. Though that will get everyone's attention due to the size. There was never a moment where he looked comfortable with a shot coming his way. He did not play anything clean. There were rebounds galore, he was overplaying the shooters, and getting himself out of position. There was nothing good about his game, we saw the bad lateral movement, the inability to get off his ass, the bad rebound control, mistakes playing the puck, and a weak 5 hole again. He just looked terrible by any subjective measure as well.
The Devils played like a hot mess in the neutral zone and high in the rangers end, leading to far too many turnovers and chances against. The D was aggressive all game long and got away with it in the first, but was crushed for it in the second. Instead of playing their down low grinding style, the devils let the game evolve into a track meet, and they cant win that style of game. But that brings up one of the big weaknesses in the lineup, the lack of speed in the lineup. The moment the Rangers started on those odd man rushes, there was not a Devil player who was going to get back into the play. Its unfortunate, but with this roster games like this are going to happen on occasion. They just dont have the margin for error with games opening up.
I believe #30 wants to play another season. The question becomes, can the Devils sign Schneids if he does. I say no. So, what does Lou do? A very agressive approach would be to trade him if the Devils are outside of the playoff race.(Marty may be real happy to go by then) Then sign Schneids in the summer right away,(5 years max). Then, if nothing materializes for a decent back up you very shadily sign MB for 1 year after the ink is very dry on Schneids contract and reassure Schneids he is the guy, meaning a 65/17 split.
I disagree. If Marty even has a microsecond of thought about coming back the reaction has to be, not here. The adults in the room are going to have to make this decision for him.
What in the world is Thornton doing? So now we have a player leaving the game on a stretcher because of the ridiculous notion of frontier justice that goes around in the league.
I know the history from last years playoffs, and this game was down and dirty with four guys leaving the game due to injury. But seriously why does Orpik, a guy who doesnt really fight have to answer the bell to Thornton, the B's enforcer? Its a pretty big mismatch, and what does it solve? Makes Thornton feel better? Is any sort of justice being served? Lets see how he feels when what should be a 10+ game suspension is handed out.
Its really interesting that the argument that fighting makes the game safer still exists when you look at the history of the league and some of its more brutal moments. Fighting didnt stop Hunter on Turgeon, Domi on Niedermayer, Matt Cooke, Patrick Kaleta, Ulf Samuelson, Brian Marchment, Jarko Ruutu, Max Lappiere, Chris Pronger and endless other players from being some of the biggest cheap shot artists out there. There is no deterrent other than what the league can provide through suspensions pre or post instigator rules(and is unwillling to do but more on this later). You have guys that acknowledge that getting into the occasional fight, is part of the cost of the way they play, but its not going to stop them from doing what they do.
People still talk about how no one hit Gretzky because of having tough guys on that oilers team. No one hit Gretzky because he was damn hard to hit, he didnt put himself into those sorts of positions just like Joe Sakic didnt. Fighting didnt save Mario Lemiuex from taking incredible abuse during his career.
Its funny, I'm not even anti fighting. I just feel like fighting's role in the game has taken on some mystical level that goes well beyond its actual importance on the ice. If you read through something like Dryden's book, and how the Habs approached playing the Broad St Bully Flyers teams it puts a real interesting spin on the whole thing. Those Flyers teams thrived on fighting and the chaos of playing a physical game. It took a single hit from Larry Robinson and ensuing fight to set the tone for that initial series and those that followed. No enforcer, no protection role but an instance where a hit and fight certainly had an impact on the way two teams approached each other. Those instances rarely happen anymore. The Devils certainly had that element with Stevens through say 2003. It is amazing how things have progressed from those Flyers teams to the big bad Bruins teams to what the modern role of fighting has become.
But back to the role of the league. The league and the so called Department of Player Safety are the only ones who can regulate this stuff out of the game by being far stricter on players who engage in dirty play. It looked like the tide was turning on the Torres suspension from the hit on Hossa, but the league backed off when pressure was applied. Things like Pronger getting a 1 game suspension for a chicken wing to Dean McAmmonds head in the finals are jokes. I'll be the first to say i love a good hard hitting game/series. But it has to be honest, and once a guy crosses the line there should be no question of the severity of the penalty. It is laughable how the league takes a tough stance every pre season to only back off once the games actually start to matter again in the regular season, to making the whole process a joke come playoff time. The problem is I'm not sure they can get as tough as they want without the PA pitching a fit. Which will complicate everything else going on with the leagues lovely labor relations.