The New Jersey Devils were able to shutout the Arizona Coyotes 3-0 on Monday night as the season starts to shift into second gear as the playoffs draw closer.
The Devils were able to maintain control of the flow of the game due in large part to Cory Schneider‘s performance in net and an astounding 38 saves on his part. On the other side of things, Arizona’s goalie Mike Smith struggled to find a rhythm against a Devils squad that leaves everything on the ice.
Smith allowed two goals on 27 shots and played all but the last twenty seconds of the game where the Coyotes got desperate.
Arizona’s season has gone from bad, to really bad, to pretty bad, to know being in the worse possible situation. Placed in the back of power rankings posted on popular sites like ESPN and Bleacher Report indicate that the Coyotes have clearly fallen down a dark and lonely road.
As for the Devils, despite having a losing record, this could be the turning point for them and their season. It may have taken a game against one of the league’s worst teams, particularly when it comes to defense, but it was just the right kind of spark for a team that was looking for answers itself not long ago.
Looking ahead, there’s really little to no chance that the Coyotes will be able to catch their division foes–the Canucks, Sharks, Kings, and even the Flames are handling business appropriately enough to stay away and keep on edge.
If there had to be a comparison or some sort of metaphor to describe the Coyotes’ season I would have to compare it to the way the 76ers’ season has gone in the NBA. The Sixers couldn’t seem to buy a victory early on, but when they’ve won or played lights out basketball, it’s come against the league’s best and brightest.
If only the Coyotes could erase this season. It’s a shame we’ve still got some months to go.