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April 26, 2001
Leafs Defeat Devils 2-0
    The New Jersey Devils lost their Round 2 series opener against the Toronto Maple Leafs 2-0, at home on Thursday, April 26, 2001.   Nik Antropov and Steve Thomas scored the goals for Toronto.
    There have been several major problems with the Devils in playoffs so far.   The lack of offensive production from the "A" line has been a factor in the Devils overall scoring drought.   Even though the Devils power play was first in the league during the regular season, they have only gotten 2 goals in 32 power play opportunities in the playoffs.
    Not to make excuses for the Devils, but Game 1 saw some of the worst officiating I have seen in quite some time.   There were several non-calls on Toronto, in situations where they had clearly violated the rules.   They linesmen made many bad calls incorrectly calling the Devils offside when they had a breakaway.   On at least three separate occasions the Maple Leafs were clearly offsides, but play continued.   There is also the issue of the delay in dropping the puck.   I would estimate that 65% of the faceoffs were delayed either by the officials for no apparent reason, or the Leafs were allowed to take as much time as they needed to prepare.   As I said, I am not trying to say this is the reason the Devils lost - they may have lost even without these officiating problems - but the problems did change the game.
    The Devils did hold the Leafs to one shot in the third period, and did have a few decent scoring chances, but they were unable to finish the job, and put the puck past Joseph.   Curtis Joseph stopped all 32 Devils shots, getting the shutout, his third of the playoffs.
    As a side note, I would like to thank all the New Jersey faithful fans would stayed until the end of the game Thursday night.   Of course I am kidding - 1/4 of the arena left with 9:45 left on the clock.   Have a little faith in your team.   How much better was your life because you left 10 minutes early?   Show some support!
    By losing game 1 at home, the Devils have surrendered home ice advantage to the Maple Leafs.

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