That's the trouble with most of you, you equate losing with being half assed. If the Devils came out half assed, explain the first ten minutes? Problem is Florida's not quite the pushover most of you think, once they tied the game and got their own game legs the game changed and once they got the lead they really clamped down. We lost our way a bit, but when you almost need the perfect play to score you're gonna try too hard to make the perfect play. And when they stack four guys up at the blueline once you get there, good luck with that. They put on a clinic on how to protect a lead. A clinic. Not sitting back and getting outshot 15-1 in the third.
Anyone that 'still' thinks Florida would be a pushover matchup in the playoffs just hasn't watched these four games against them this year. They were even for a reason, and we'd at the very least be even in the standings if not for their eleven OT/SO losses and our 12 OT/SO wins.
In bold: yes, some of this board seems to do that a lot. They can't ever give the other team credit, it's that that Devils didn't try enough, the Devils weren't into it, blah blah blah. Or the old classic: "Devils need to play 60 minutes." Like every other team in the NHL plays 60 minutes, except the Devils.
That was just the 8th regulation loss for the Devils in the past 30 GP. That's pretty damned good, especially for a team clearly has some holes. I'll never understand the "every game is a winnable entity" mentality. Even if people want to throw out the "Devils should've gotten up for this game" after a loss (not saying that applies to this particular game), NO NHL team gets up for all 82 games on the schedule. Just doesn't happen. Teams get tired, sometimes check out mentally for a game here and there...some fans will say "They get paid to play hard every sngle game blah blah blah", but it simply does not work that way and it never will, as long as human beings are the ones wearing the uniforms.