Well, it’s a lazy Sunday night before Thanksgiving week, we’re all tuckered out from a day of winterizing our garden in a chilly rain, and simply don’t have the organizational skills to pull together anything better than a grab-bag of our thoughts, hopes and dreams.
– One thought we have is that the Devils have now played one quarter of the season; we promised we wouldn’t start really assessing them or panicking before Thanksgiving, but you know what? We’re going to start assessing, and we’re going to start panicking four days early. Twenty games is definitely a large enough sample size on which to be judging the team, and the overall impression they’re giving this year is that they suck. Badly. But in that maddening way that is based not on being a group of talentless hacks, but on them showing up almost every night looking lubberly and disorganized. Just when we reach our breaking point, though, and are ready to concede that there is no hope, they go and put in a great 40 minutes (or even, on the rarest of occasions, a great 50 minutes) and make us remember they’re capable of being much, much better. Basically this Devils team has, for the first quarter of the season, been just like that annoying person at work who does just enough to keep from getting fired. There isn’t even just one guy to point to — it starts at the top (with Lou) and goes all the way down to the second-to-last guy on the org chart (we’re absolving Kevin Weekes of any blame so far, although for all we know, he’s contributing by being a wretchedly miserable presence in practice or something. Although we doubt it). If the Devils were being consistently not good enough as hockey players to win, it would be one thing, but they’re being consistently not good enough at playing hockey in ways we know they’re capable of, and that’s why we’re panicking. When a group of this many professionals — with as much experience as these guys have –demonstrate a regular lack of focus, intensity and commitment, a fan can’t keep her heart from sinking.