The lights are out at the rock as the Devils season has come to an end. In Lou We Trust says that this wasn't a cheap win by the Flyers, the Devils gave this one away through mental mistakes by players and coaches alike:
The fault for this game and the series lies entirely with the Devils players and coaches. Even with all of the opportunites the Flyers' seemingly handed the Devils tonight, once again, they couldn't put it together. Once again, the team showed a lack of resolve, guts, and intensity on the ice overall. At times it was worse than that, the Devils showed a lack of brains at times.
In retrospect, I don't know what was the bigger turning point. The moment Danny Briere scored on that backhanded one-timer (or re-directed off his skates, whatever) when he was wide open the slot on Martin Brodeur's flank? A power play goal that put the Flyers up early in the game only to never look back? Or Jamie Langenbrunner tripping a Flyer during the Devils' first power play, one that was gifted to them within the first minute of the game by The Actor, Dan Carcillo? Either way, when both happened, my internal monologue just groaned, "Oh, no, this is going to be ugly."
And it was ugly. I'm sure the big complaint about Jacques Lemaire will be that he changed the lines so much. I feel that was the least of their concerns, especially tonight. Frankly, he and the Devils coaching staff were more than just outcoached. They had no answers for the Flyers' tactics and their own adjustments.
Philadelphia moves on and the Devils are left to ponder yet another wasted post-season opportunity.