This wasn't Herb Brooks making the 1980 U.S. Olympians do up-and-backs until they dropped following a poor effort in an exhibition in Norway, but it had a similar intention. Devils coach Brent Sutter was so unhappy with his team's effort in tonight's 5-0 loss to the Penguins that he had all of the players -- with the exception of goaltenders Martin Brodeur and Kevin Weekes -- take a part in a punishment stationary bike ride after the game that left them panting and soaked with sweat.
"We looked dead out there," center John Madden said. "We didn't have any second effort. We didn't win any battles. We didn't have any urgency tonight. That's something that as long as I've been here as a Devil, we've always had that. We always had an effort."
Sutter didn't think they had one tonight, so he made them work afterward.
Here's some of the highlights of his postgame press conference:
"Our effort was brutal outside of our goaltenders. If it wasn’t for the goalies, it probably would have been 8-0 or 9-0. To me, tonight was a total lack of professionalism by our commitment as individuals and as a group, our preparation for how to play. It’s totally unacceptable.
"I will not accept that. That’s not even close. That's players' accountability to the front of that jersey."
Sutter thought his players took the wrong message out of being given the day off Sunday after playing three games in four nights.
"We've been a pretty good team up to tonight in the last three or four games. I know one issue and it will be resolved so it won't happen again. We thought that they played a few games in a short period of time and we gave them the day off yesterday. I thought it affected us today. That's the players' responsibility and accountability to themselves and each other to make sure they came to the rink today ready for game day. Obviously, they weren't. I'm surprised. There's no other way to put it. I'm not going to sugarcoat it. Our commitment tonight to being prepared was unacceptable whenever you play. This was a big divisional game and to come to the rink like that just doesn't cut it."
The power play failed to click on two early chances, went 0-for-4 for the night, and is just 2-for-33 over the last eight games.
"I think we get too cute on it. We look for too many easy plays," Sutter said. "We don't score enough ugly goals on it. Tonight has just been a reflection of how our power play has been going recently. Outside of (Travis) Zajac's line with (Brian) Gionta and (Zach) Parise, the three of them -- I'm not talking about Marty Brodeur, I thought Marty played well and I thought (Kevin Weekes) played -- so you take away those five hockey players and that leaves 15 guys. I thought Paul Martin was OK, but after that, I thought we had a lot of average players."