Embarrassed?Â You betcha.
Scared?Â Try friggin’ petrified.
Thanks, Devils.Â Just thanks.
I’d love to give some sort of insight, but I’ve missed the last few games (night classes – a curse and a blessing, apparently).Â I’m kind of happy I didn’t see anything but the last three minutes of tonight’s game.
Scratch that, I’m kind of mad I subjected myself to the last three minutes, knowing full well what the score was.
This team was supposed to be too good for the annual March swoon.Â Too many veterans, too many guys who know how to win, all of that.Â What the hell is happening, then?
The part that annoys/frustrates/scares me the most is the clear parallel between last year’s late-season falter and this year’s.Â See:Â Big losing streak, lack of goal scoring, disappearance of defense, big ass-whuppin’ from the Penguins.Â My poor heart won’t be able to take losing to the Rangers in round one of the playoffs again.
Speaking of the playoffs, you realize they haven’t won a single game since clinching a playoff spot, right?Â A playoff spot that was clinched on a day off, with another team losing, rather than on the ice with the Devils winning.
This is no way to go into the playoffs.Â Things have to be turned around, and it rests on two men:Â Brent Sutter and Jamie Langenbrunner.
Brent Sutter is at least making the appearance of trying.Â Being pissy about the Rangers loss, being pissy about Patrik Elias not playing tonight, freaking out at the end of the second period tonight (or so I’m told).Â The man’s showing more pulse than he has in two years with this team.Â But you do have to wonder if he knows what to do to get this team in playoff mode.Â Once is an abberation, twice is the beginning of a pattern.Â In this case, a very frightening pattern.
But what of Captainbrunner?Â Now’s his chance to really make his salt as a captain, to really show what he’s made of.Â You hear me, Jamie?Â TAKE CONTROL.Â Jamie Langenbrunner is not Scott Stevens, nor should he try to be – however, it’s time for the current captain to truly and finally make this team his, the way the teams of the 90s and early 2000s were truly Scotty’s.
After all, if the captain can’t step it up in a time of crisis, how can we expect anyone else to?