The New Jersey Devils were defeated by the Montreal Canadiens 3-2 at Prudential Center. They went down 2-0, came back to tie it in the third period, and then blew the lead again.
In the loss, Alexander Holtz was the one that tied the game at two. On the same double minor power play that Luke Hughes cut the deficit to one, Holtz blasted a perfect one-time pass passed the goalie for the tie.
After tying the game, Holtz only played two shifts from there. It was a very questionable decision by head coach Lindy Ruff considering he led a team looking for more offense in shots on goal (tied with Timo Meier with four shots) on top of actually scoring one.
Holtz is having a very strong season after taking some time to stick in the NHL. Finishing this game with 8:07 minutes of ice time is a blasphemous decision by Lindy Ruff.
The New Jersey Devils were defeated by the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday
After the game, Ryan Novozinsky of NJ.com asked Ruff about it and he didn’t like it. He told the reporter that he didn’t watch the game well. That is the most ridiculous/unprofessional way he could have answered a very valid question that was asked in a completely respectful manner.
He then went on to talk about a mistake that Holtz made earlier in the game trying to make an offensive play. At that point, it had been over 100 straight minutes since they scored a goal as they were shut out by the Boston Bruins a few days prior.
Holtz was drafted to score goals and produce offense. He wasn’t drafted to be Nico Hischier with his defending. He has 11 goals and 10 assists for 21 points in a minimal role. That comes in many games where he is glued to the bottom six.
You’d think with guys like Jack Hughes and Ondrej Palat out of the lineup, they’d expand the role of Holtz but that hasn’t been the case. It would be nice to see more of him as the season goes along but don't count on it with Lindy Ruff in charge of him.
It might be time for a change. After losing again, the Devils might be better off moving on. Something is missing from this team. They need a coach that will make them play fast like we know they are capable of.
It hasn’t all been Ruff’s fault as the injuries have been a big issue but he hasn’t gotten the most out of his players this season. Windows don’t stay open forever and this is a very valuable year that isn’t worth wasting.
New Jersey is back in action on Friday night when they visit the Columbus Blue Jackets. It will be interesting to see how they respond to this mess that took place on Wednesday.