In their five straight losses, they've been outscored by a total of 16-6. The crying, while originally enjoyable, is so persistent that it's getting almost unbearable. Sore losers fill their roster; it seems tissues should be on hand at every New Jersey Devils game.
On March 22, the Devils faced the Boston Bruins, who skated by them with a 4-1 victory. Brodeur looked rattled and shaky, allowing two questionable goals. He faced 30 shots, compared to Tim Thomas' 42, and was vastly outplayed.
The Flyers were next in line to use the paddle on New Jersey. In a 4-2 win, the boys from Philly ruled the ice and dominated their opponent. Bigger hits and more aggressive play apparently weighed heavily on the Devils, as they were unable to generate much of anything throughout the game.
Brodeur once again faced fewer shots than the opposing netminder (Marty Biron), but once again let in at least one puck that shouldn't have scored.
With three days off and plenty of time to reflect, the Devils hit the ice against the Chicago Blackhawks on March 27. Though the team allowed the 'Hawks to score first, New Jersey was able to fight back and take the lead.
But then, Martin Havlat scored late in the second to tie the game as Brodeur finally collapsed under the pressure of 42 shots.
At 3:36 in the overtime period, Brent Seabrook let a one-timer go from just inside the blue line, and Marty just couldn't stop it from crossing the line.
During these three games, there was a good bit of whining on the Devils' part. We saw them running at players, crashing the goalies, and complaining about calls.
The next day, the Devils squared off against the Carolina Hurricanes.
Though they were being outworked and outplayed, the New Jersey skaters were able to hold on to the 1-0 lead for a while.
After a bit, though, Sergei Samsonov tied it at 13:05 in the third. Then, Paul Martin was called for hooking, and the 'Canes scored a power-play goal to take the lead.
Brodeur had been unable to control a rebound and was down on his knees as he watched the game-winning goal get by him yet again. I will give him some credit for his overall effort in this contest, however: He did face 48 shots and was solid throughout.
After a failed dash to the finish line, the Devils were not able to score the equalizer and lost for the fourth time in a row.
At the end of the game, there was more crying. Jamie Whiningbrunner was crying to the officials, and everyone watching at home had the pleasure of hearing Chico Resch cry about a penalty that wasn't called on Carolina late in the game.
The sore-loser antics carried over into the game against the N.Y. Rangers on March 30.
As they lost to the Rangers 3-0, the Devils seemed to reach their boiling point. There were tears all over the ice.
First, it was Marty sobbing to the ref about interference that didn't happen when Dan Girardi put one past him to make it 2-0.
Then, David Clarkson was weeping when Sean Avery got the best of him. Avery kept his cool and refused to fight despite being tossed around, and "Crybaby" Clarkson was tossed from the game.
He eventually made his way of the ice, but made sure to yell, scream, and chuck his helmet before he did so. I'm sure he was comforted in the shower by the thought of Avery getting the best of him.
Of course, to add to the display of bad attitude, Mike Rupp had to go and tackle Avery as though they were playing playground football at the end of the game. It was so absurd.
Unable to stop the offensive pressure by the Rangers, the Devils fell again. Players were in front of Brodeur the entire game, and shots came from everywhere. To boot, Avery was hitting everyone in range and getting under New Jersey's skin.
Like a deer in the headlights, Brodeur and the Devils froze and did nothing as the Rangers put them down at MSG again.
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