I guess I am turning into one of those fans that expects too much out of his team. The Devils spoiled me on Monday with the clinic that they put on against the Sabres but they came out in the first period looking like they might do it against the Hurricanes too. I thought that the Devils were firing on all cylinders and thought they might put the game away in the second. They looked so good in my opinion, that I was starting to wonder to myself if playing like this in Decemeber was actually a bad thing. Maybe they heard me because Carolina would quickly be back in the game.
Aaron Ward got way too deep covering Bergfors that he didn't give Cam Ward much of a chance on the Elias goal. It was a flukey kind of goal but what fan wouldn't take it? Andy Greene's first of the night was a thing of pure beauty as his team, especially Niedermayer, really helped him out and got great positioning on Cam Ward. Greene knew to hold on to it just long enough for that shooting lane to the top corner open up and fired it in.
The Devils came out in the second looking like they might continue to take it to the Canes as Greene got real low and put in his second of the night. From there, the Devils seemed to slow down. The Canes got on the board with a lucky goal that went of Fraser and beat Marty and then got within one goal on a nice shot by Rutuu. The Devils were able to hold off the Canes as both Marty and Cam Ward came up with some pretty big saves. Niedermayer sealed the deal with an empty net goal at the end of the 3rd.
I don't think the Devils looked past the Canes and I don't think the Canes played like a team that is the owner of the worst record in the league. Cam Ward looked pretty good for a guy who's missed a lot of time. In the end I didn't have a great feeling about this game. Like the Tampa Bay game and the Detroit game last weekend, I felt the Devils survived. Anytime you get up 3-0 and allow the other team back to get within 1 goal, you can't walk away feeling too happy about the performance but a win is a win and each time they win, they get the "Winner" stamp of approval (stealing one of my favorite lines..)
Panthers stroll into town tomorrow night followed by the Flyers on Satruday so the Devils have a busy couple of days ahead.