The Devils picked a pretty rough time of year to go into a five-game losing skid. I guess the playoffs excite everyone.
Mark Everson has an interesting solution, though: Move checking center John Madden (and his 19 goals) from the checking line to the top scoring line with Brian Gionta and Patrik Elias. While Devils coach Brent Sutter has tried to make the Devils less of a line-matching team than in previous seasons, Madden has primarily been a checking center, even as he moves toward the best offensive season of his career. Obviously, Sutter is worried about sacrificing defense for the prospect of offense, but at this time of year, it’s good to remember it doesn’t matter if you lose by one goal or ten goals.
Madden’s got speed and size. At this point, Sutter has less and less to lose by seeing what Madden can do with Elias and Gionta.