Struggling Devils Take Exception To The Boos At The Prudential Center
The natives are getting restless in Newark.
The Devils are winless in their last five games (0-3-2) and have won just twice since Nov. 22 (2-7-4). On Wednesday night they heard it from their disgruntled fan base, getting booed during a 2-0 loss to visiting Ottawa.
New Jersey (11-16-6) now sits in sixth place in the Metropolitan Division, 16 points behind first place Pittsburgh, and is tied with Tampa Bay for most games played in the Eastern Conference.
At least one veteran was disappointed by the fans’ reaction during the loss to the Senators, a game in which the Devils owned a 34-16 shots advantage but had no answer for Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson.
“They were booing. They were disappointed. So were we. Trust me,” Elias told NJ.com. “But we didn’t deserve that today. The effort was there. We were the better team. We understand it, but it wasn’t deserved tonight. I didn’t appreciate it.”
Defenseman Eric Gelinas agreed.
“That’s tough. I don’t think we played a bad game,” Gelinas said. “We dominated the entire game. I think we played well. They got an early power play goal and that was the game-winner right there. It’s just a matter of scoring.”
Gelinas hit the nail right on the head. The Devils have scored just 11 goals over their last seven games. Michael Cammalleri, who was signed to a multi-year contract during the offseason to provide a complement to Jaromir Jagr, leads the team with 11 goals, but has missed the last two games and 10 overall this season due to injuries.
Elias, who has 396 goals and 995 points during his 18-year career, has just three goals in 27 games this season.
Coach Peter DeBoer, who was booed during pregame announcements, said there’s no way his team deserved the reception it received from its fans.
“That’s as (good) as we can play and not win,” DeBoer said. “They came out and wanted to make a statement about us being at home and I thought the effort was there and the execution was there. They did everything we asked them to do, other than the result. You can’t fault them. They showed up and, I thought, gave everything they had tonight.”
The schedule doesn’t get any easier for the Devils as they play Tampa Bay, Washington and the Rangers over the next nine days.