The New Jersey Devils played their first postseason game since 2018, and it was awful. (Note: I’ve adopted the Devils for the postseason. It’s a bit. Mostly.)
Vladimir Tarasenko scored five minutes into the game as Jonas Siegenthaler got out-muscled. Chris Krieder deflected a shot from Adam Fox to make it 2-0 after one period. The Devils dominated the second period but couldn’t convert – not the case for Ryan Lindgren, who beat Vitek Vanecek up high.
Halfway into the third period, Chris Kreider did it again, deflecting Fox’s shot. Jack Hughes notched his first career postseason point with a penalty shot of all things, but that was all the scoring they could muster. The Rangers got the empty-netter, and that was that.
Rangers beat Devils 5-1. Rangers lead the series 1-0.
LINDY SO NICE WITH IT pic.twitter.com/Rd3jW83P8C
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) April 19, 2023
Obviously we’re not going to have any Joe B suits unless he DMs me, so here’s the jackets the Devils wives and girlfriends were wearing. Incredible look.
— simply_hads 🦊 (@Avs_n_F1) April 18, 2023
The idea is that the ice shrinks in the playoffs, that everyone plays tighter, so maybe the aggressive rush style of the Devils wouldn’t translate well. I’ve never been too sure about the conventional wisdom there, and I don’t want to jump to a conclusion about New Jersey’s postseason, but I can see the point. I’m thinking back to that Kings team of the early 2010s that won the Cup by dumping and cycling like a dude with IBS riding a penny farthing. The Devils certainly aren’t that team, but that doesn’t mean they can’t still be viable. Just not tonight.
Game Two is Thursday night.
Headline photo: @JulianColtre
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