The New Jersey Devils couldn’t take advantage of Matt Rempe’s bad decision making

The New Jersey Devils couldn’t take advantage of Matt Rempe’s bad decision making.

New Jersey Devils v New York Rangers
New Jersey Devils v New York Rangers / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

The New Jersey Devils are not going to be a playoff team this year. There are a lot of reasons that is the case but one of them is that they don’t take advantage of opportunity. 

Somehow, despite all of the negativity, a win on Monday night against the New York Rangers would have gotten them within four points of the playoff line. The talent is there with this team but they fail to get it done when it matters most. 

It felt that way again in this game after the New York Rangers took a 2-0 lead. Despite the deficit, New Jersey was given a gift. Matt Rempe decided to take his antics to a new level by elbowing Jonas Siegenthaler in the head. 

Of course, after making a complete fool of himself, he was handed a game misconduct penalty. He was also given a five-minute major penalty for elbowing. Yes, New Jersey had a five-minute power play opportunity to score as many goals as they could. 

The New Jersey Devils were unable to take advantage of the situation 

Rempe begged the Devils to tie the game. Of course, they did nothing with the power play and remained down by two goals. Eventually, New York topped New Jersey 3-1. 

The Devils just don’t have it this year. Some of their top players are putting up points regularly but they aren’t as deep or scary as they were a year ago. It is almost a foregone conclusion that they will miss the postseason. 

This is the second time in a month that the Devils couldn’t take advantage of Rempe’s terrible decision-making. In their last meeting, he had a dirty hit on Nathan Bastian that also led to a five-minute major. No, New Jersey couldn’t score there either. 

Although the Rangers better get this kid in check (when he returns from his inevitable suspension), they are playing much better than the Devils this season. They just better hope he doesn’t hand the Boston Bruins, Florida Panthers, or Toronto Maple Leafs a five-minute power play in the playoffs. 

They even got decent goaltending in the Devils debut of Kaapo Kahkonen. He played as well as you could have asked him to and should be able to continue playing well down the stretch. As bad as things have been for the Devils, they are far ahead of the San Jose Sharks where he came from.

Seeing the Devils unable to take advantage of an opportunity has been the story of the season. This is something that they must get figured out in time for 2024-25 because they don’t want to waste another year with this good young core.