by David Pavlak on 12/23/11 at 01:42 AM ET
“There are critical points on the table at this time of year and if you can be a focused team you can catch a lot of teams with their heads other places,” DeBoer said to Dave Hutchinson of The Star Ledger following a one-hour practice at the AmeriHealth Pavilion. “That’s got to be our goal through this time.”
“I think the guys are smart enough to look at the game and realize we did a lot more right than they did (the Devils outshot the Rangers, 31-21) and our team was in the right place,” DeBoer said. “We hit a hot goalie (Henrik Lundquist had 30 saves). That’s going to happen.”
Shorthanded goals continue to grow:
The Devils gave up their league leading 10th shorthanded goal of the season during a 4-1 loss to the Rangers. The 10 shorthanded goals is double the amount of the team ranked second. The Devils powerplay isn’t making the bitter pill any easier to swallow. The powerplay is ranked 27th in the league at 13 percent success rate. Kurtis Foster should be able to interject some life from the blue line in the man advantage. Patrik Elias looks to be a game-time decision against the Washington Capitals after recovering from the flu. Unfortunately, David Clarkson looks as if he has received what Elias has just gotten over. A healthy Elias will also help spark some fire into the Devils powerplay.Goaltending woes:
Although he has still shown flashes of brilliance, Martin Brodeur is struggling this season. He currently has a GAA of 3.08 and a 8-9 record. He has also given up 52 goals on the year. His counterpart, Johan Hedberg, has actually faired pretty well this season. He currently sits with a 2.41 GAA, a 10-5-1 record and a .931 save percentage. Both goalies are seasoned veterans, however, and the Devils will need to start looking for the “goalie of the future” if Brodeur retires at the end of this season.
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