The New Jersey Devils did quite a job of self-destruction against the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday night, and head coach Lindy Ruff didn’t mince words to describe his men’s performance.
It was a rough night for Little Caesars Arena patrons. The Devils tested Alex Lyon just 16 times and a series of mistakes led to three consecutive Wings goals late in the first period.
• Read also: What will happen to the Oilers now?
During this horrific sequence in which losses were multiplied, Lucas Raymond, Dylan Larkin and Robby Fabbri hit the target in rapid succession within 1 minute and 12 seconds of each other.
“I saw sabotage, a real lack of respect for our puck game,” Ruff told reporters after the game. We lost too many pucks. Every time we had a turnover, the puck was in our net. It was a disrespect for our habits and our puck management.”
Tyler Toffoli especially felt affected by his instructor’s comments.
“Twice I was guilty of loose balls and they ended up with a goal each time. I am very disappointed with my performance in tonight’s game. It really wasn’t good enough,” admitted the former Montreal Canadiens forward.
Lack of effort
Jack Hughes was almost invisible in his second game back from injury despite 22:06. No player was used more by both teams than him, but the offensive leader failed to make his mark on this match.
Ruff wasn’t exactly happy with his striker’s performance, apart from insisting that he take some of the blame for the bitter 4-0 loss.
“They wanted it a lot more than we did,” he said of the Red Wings. They skated better than us and outplayed us. At the end of the night, we got exactly what we deserved.”
“It’s my responsibility to get them in the right mood, it’s my responsibility to make sure they’re ready. I don’t care what the situation is, we have to play much better than tonight,” added Ruff, who was in no mood for jokes.
After losing five of their last six games, the Devils will look to get back on track against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday afternoon.
“We have to put this behind us and turn things around quickly,” Toffoli said. It is not an excuse that we lack boys. We have to play with the guys that are in the lineup and play hard every night. We have shown that we can do it, but we have to do it again.”