Devils coach Brent Sutter doesn't want to answer any more questions about the team’s nine-game, season-opening road trip. The Devils are 3-4 so far after tonight’s 4-0 loss in Philadelphia with games remaining Saturday against the Islanders and Thursday against the Rangers before playing their home opener against Ottawa on Oct. 27.
Sutter doesn’t want the players to use the trip as an excuse for letting up, though, and snapped at a Philadelphia radio reporter who asked about the grind after tonight’s game.
“I’m not talking about the road anymore,” Sutter said. “I’m tired of talking to you guys about the road, the road, the road. God, we played in Pittsburgh last night and it was a 30-minute flight here and they’ve been lying around here all day to play today. They’re pros. That’s what you’re supposed to do. You play games on the road. It doesn’t matter where you play hockey games. You’ve got to play.”
When the reporter apologized, Sutter replied, “You don’t have to apologize. I’m just tired of talking about it. All it is is it’s being used as an excuse or a crutch and to me that’s nonsense.”
Sutter didn’t single out individuals, but wasn’t happy about defensive mistakes that led to the Flyers’ first and third goals. On Mike Richards’ power-play goal that opened the scoring 3:49 into the second period, the Devils’ failed to get the puck out of the zone. On the third Flyers’ goal, scored on a deflection by former Devil Jim Dowd, defenseman Karel Rachunek had an easy play to get the puck out of the zone, but threw it softly up the boards and it was intercepted at the left point by Randy Jones.