Some of this is just typical NFL parity churn, with weaker teams vulturing big-name players from stronger ones, but the caliber of talent and the reason for its easy availability makes this offseason unique. Instead of top contenders sloughing off expensive veterans for the bottom-feeders to fight over, middling teams are putting premium players on the block so they can sign 35-year-old running backs and backup Bengals quarterbacks instead.
That’s the culture in need of changing in the NFL. And it means embracing individuals like Suh and Beckham, not quitting on them.
Hall’s shorthanded goal with 4:07 left in regulation broke a 1-1 tie and gave the Devils their second goal of the third period. Goalie Keith Kinkaid allowed one goal in the closing seconds of the first period, but he stopped the other 25 shots he faced.
The Devils’ lead over the Florida Panthers for the second wild card in the Eastern Conference jumped to seven points. The Panthers have two games in hand while chasing the Devils for the final playoff spot in the East.
The magic number for the Devils to clinch a playoff berth is down to four points. That number can go down by points earned by the Devils or lost by the Panthers. They could clinch a playoff spot with a win over the Rangers on Tuesday if the Panthers lose in regulation on Monday or Tuesday.
The Devils struck twice in the third period, bouncing back from a sluggish opening 40 minutes.
The first intermission appeared to be heading toward a 0-0 tie before the Canadiens scored on a power play with 8.4 seconds left in the frame. After a failed 2-on-1 shorthanded rush by the Devils, the Canadiens turned for a 3-on-2 the other way, where Daniel Carr snapped a high shot past Kinkaid.