Devils hoping to overcome struggles
They’re stuck in a five-game losing skid and have dropped back-to-back games at home. But the team’s looking forward, not back. Their three-game homestand continues Wednesday against Phoenix.
“I don’t think anyone is feeling good about where we stand, but you can’t do anything about what’s transpired,” Devils President/CEO/GM Lou Lamoriello said Monday. “Right now, we have to focus in on Wednesday night’s game. That’s what we have to get ready for.”
It hasn’t been easy. Saturday’s 4-1 loss to the Detroit was the second straight in which the Devils allowed two goals in the game’s first two minutes. Martin Brodeur, who made consecutive starts after missing eight games with an elbow injury, plans on taking it one game – one day – at a time.
“Not having fun is not fun,” Brodeur said. “We’re trying hard, we’re playing hard to try and change things, but it seems not to be working. Hopefully we’ll get through this. I know it’s hard. Right now, we can’t even look at the playoffs. I think this is something that’s hopefully going to be there later on. Right now it’s, we just have to concentrate on the next game, play day by day. That’s it.”
John MacLean’s club is lighting it up on the power play, and shutting down opponents on the penalty kill. The Devils (8-19-2) have connected for six goals on the man advantage over their last four games (6-for-15), while going a perfect 16-for-16 on the PK.
Those are reasons for optimism even when recent struggles make it difficult to see the glass half-full.
“The standings, every day you look at them,” MacLean said. “We know. Today’s practice we had to work on things, and we have to get ready for the next game. We can’t look beyond anything but the next game. You have to get in the right frame of mind to play that game at hand. You can’t focus on anything, any outside distractions. You have to just focus in what the job is at hand.”
The Devils' run of 13 consecutive postseason appearances is on the line, but Brodeur recommended looking first for short-term gains. A win against the Coyotes would be a good start.
"Right now, we can’t even look at the playoffs," he said. "I think this is something that’s hopefully going to be there later on. Right now it’s, we just have to concentrate on the next game, play day by day. That’s it."
In the meantime, they're just hoping to loosen up and pick up some victories.
"There’s times when you never know; we’re just going to try and do our best to get out of this and just have fun," Brodeur said. "We have to build something. It’s 82 games, we have to have something good, positive come out of this season. So far, it hasn’t gone our way, but we have to find a way because it’s not fun for anybody."