Islanders 3, Devils 2 (SO)
Well this answers the question: Which organization do the Devils hate more, the Islanders or Leafs? A generation of Toronto Maple Leafs fans will hate our snack-sized Sergei Brylin for the rest of their lives thanks to this, the craziest game we’ve seen all year. There were times during this dreadfully boring match that even we were tempted to send the tape to the League offices to protest the obvious tank-job the Devils were trying unsuccessfully to hide. Every play that could be off-sides was; every pass that could miss its target did; every opportunity to turn the puck over was capitalized on. That said, what were the Islanders doing only being able to muster 2 goals, and those from Richard Park of all players? The Devils might as well have been skating fans as part of some twisted fan-appreciation day event. But Toronto really has no leg to stand on complaining about that lack of effort, since they had plenty of chances to win big games (including one against the Islanders a week ago) down the stretch.
This game was meaningless to the Devils so any serious analysis of their effort seems kind of pointless. We could look at this in a glass-half-full light, and say the team once again found a way to tie it up with less than a second on the clock. The glass might be half-empty, though, if that late goal after 59 minutes of sleepwalking reinforces bad habits. The glass might have been completely empty because, well, the team was tanking. It’s tough to tell. We’re inclined to say they were tanking. Why else would Lou put Brylin out for the last shot over Langer, Zajac or Madden, other than to revel in the knowledge that North of the Border thousands of fans will be crying into their Maple Leaf patterned pillows tonight.