MacLean, Devils go to the video tape
Team meets to talk over Thursday's loss to Montreal
The encore wasn’t any prettier than it was live.
“We just weren’t very good in all areas,” MacLean said. “Our battle, position, top to bottom.”
It wasn’t the first time the players have gotten together this season to address getting back on the same page.
“The words are a lot the same,” Jamie Langenbrunner said. “What I got from it was the urgency of the words. I think what was said should hit home with a lot of guys.”
Looking for their fifth straight home win, the Devils watched as the Canadiens got the early jump on Thursday. Brian Gionta scored 11 seconds in for the Canadiens, who built a 5-0 lead before Jason Arnott notched his team-leading ninth goal in the third period.
The Devils (8-15-2) are counting on a better start when they visit Philadelphia for a 1 p.m. matinee on Saturday. Their three-game road trip continues Monday in Pittsburgh and wraps up Friday in Ottawa.
“We can’t start like that,” Ilya Kovalchuk said. “We almost gave up two goals in the first 20 seconds. It’s unacceptable. That will definitely have to be better, and our power play – it’s embarrassing. We’ve got all the talent in the world and we can’t even get to the (offensive) zone. We have to work a little harder.”
They later squandered a two-minute two-man advantage late in the second period.
“You have to deserve to be on the power play,” Kovalchuk said. “We just spend the time (in the zone). We have to work, work harder. It starts with me. Somebody has to take charge and just shoot. It’s simple.”
Johan Hedberg was pulled after giving up two goals in the first 1:38, but explained that managing the season's highs and lows are part of being a pro. He entered the game with only four goals allowed on 117 shots over his previous four games.
“One day everything’s great, the next day, not so great,” said Hedberg, who made 40 saves in a 2-1 shootout win over the Flyers last Saturday. “That is one of the big things for not only myself but every hockey player, not to get too carried away with things. I think emotions are great.
“You have to care about what you do. If things aren’t going well, you have to feel that that’s not OK. I know that everybody in here cares, but at the same time, you cannot get too carried away, either. That’s a balance of caring, but caring under control.”
They hope it won't undo all the positive mojo of last week’s run of three wins in four games.
“It’s a quick turnaround here and we’ve got an afternoon game against another top-notch hockey club,” MacLean said. “That was not a good effort (Thursday) night. We all know that, we all saw that. We definitely can’t play like that going into Philly, so we’re going to have to build off the last time we played Philly and bring that effort in there.”
-- Last night's newjerseydevils.com recap included a quote from Mike McKenna in which he seemed to say he didn't get a piece of Tomas Plekanec's missed penalty shot in the first period. Not so. McKenna made 26 saves in relief of Hedberg, and cleared things up today when he said he got his right pad on the Plekanec penalty shot.
McKenna had understood the question to be about Benoit Pouliot's goal in the second period.