The Boston Bruins continue to be cooking dinner in the collective kitchen of the Devils’ heads.
After losing 3-1 to the Bruins for the second time in under a week, the frustrations were boiling over in the Devils’ locker room Wednesday night. Per Ryan Novozinski of NJ.com:
‘Jack Hughes was speechless.
After yet another Devils loss to the Bruins on Wednesday – their eighth defeat in the past nine games – Hughes removed his pads in the tense dressing room and tried to cheer his teammates up. Some players were slamming equipment, while others – Hughes included – wanted to quickly exit and prepare for morning skate on Thursday.
Once reporters approached Hughes for questions, his frustrations boiled over.
“I’ve got nothing for you guys today. Sorry,” Hughes said, before fleeing the room.’
The Devils out-shot the Bruins 16-8 in the first period but thanks to more stellar goaltending from Linus Ullmark, were still in a scoreless tie with the Bruins heading into the second period. The next thing they knew, the best team in the NHL was back up off the mat and the Bruins had a 1-0 lead on a Trent Frederic goal 8:57 into the middle frame. The Devils would tie the game on a Nico Hischier tally 6:11 into the third period, but the Bruins answered with a Patrice Bergeron goal at 15:51 and then an empty-netter by former Devils forward Pavel Zacha at 18:11.
“It’s just too bad,” said Devils winger Erik Haula, who was acquired in exchange for Zacha last summer. “We played a good game today, we did all the things that we talk about, but then we give them the goal. And then our details are lacking on the second one. It’s just a team that, they don’t miss too often. So you’ve got to play 60 minutes. Especially when you play against the best teams in the league, if you don’t play 60, you’re vulnerable. And we’ve got to fix that. Like, now.”
After going neck and neck with the Boston Bruins for the best record in the NHL over the first two months of the season, the Devils are now 3-7-2 in the month of December. They also clearly can’t hang with the Bruins, even when the Bruins aren’t at their best.