Lightning 3, Devils 2
I think the only way to approach my postgame reaction to this vile suckfest is in an orderly manner. Let’s take a look position-by-position, shall we?
Theoretically they weren’t utterly putrescent tonight. They “generated” “a lot” of “shots”, if you look at the numbers. But this was classic Devils, making an ordinary-at-best goalie look stellar. Either they took themselves out of offensive plays by overpassing, or bailed out too early on rushes by lofting weak, easily controlled shots straight at an unscreened Holmqvist. The EGG line was all but invisible, apparently satisfied with their good performance in Game 1. The Poppers got crazy lucky on that second goal, but they proved what Chico seems unwilling, in his color commentary, to accept: you make your own puck luck. Zach’s motor has been the only one among the forwards that has been running at a consistently high level, and his goal total reflects it (we love that, regardless of the fact that they’re going to win this series, a whole generation of Tampa fans is going to grow up hating our very own Zach Parise). As far as the other guys on that line go, I’ve got no real beef with Langer tonight, but poor Travis looks a bit overwhelmed at times by this crazy thing we call “the Playoffs”. Meanwhile the checking line was well rewarded for their outstanding play with that first goal; I know they’re publicly shouldering a lot of the blame for the Tampa Big Guns scoring so much, but I think that’s either disingenuous or unfair. And as for the fourth line… well, do we have a fourth line anymore? (more…)