In only five games the New Jersey Devils defeated the Philadelphia Flyers, propelling them to a date against the Rangers or Capitals in the Eastern Conference Finals.
In the series against the Flyers, the Devils shed the “tired and sloppy” look for one that suited them much better against the highly-favored Flyers squad. The Devils relied on a strong defensive prowess to shut down the potent offense that the Flyers possessed. What’s even more impressive is the Devils accomplished the five-game series win with a goaltender who just recently turned 40.
From Mike Vorkunov of The Star-Ledger:
“I think we really recognized how our team needs to play to win games,” Parise said. “I think we’re starting to do that on a more consistent basis. We understand that we don’t want to exchange rushes, exchange 3-on-2 with teams. We want to play down below the goal line. I think once we’ve seen it work we see it pay off then we really recognize thats how our team needs to play and it’s been working.”
Do you agree with Parise? What have you seen that the Devils are doing right in order to control the series against the Flyers? What are your predictions for tonight’s game? Let me know!
The momentum in the Devils/Panthers series ping-ponged back and forth seemingly every game. However, in the decisive final game, the Devils were the one skating victorious. Adam Henrique’s double-overtime goal gave the Devils a 3-2 win and 4-3 series victory.
The sixth seeded New Jersey Devils will be staring elimination in the face tonight when they take on the Florida Panthers in game six of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.
The series has had a mix of ups-and-downs for both teams, with games where the offense was potent and others where the defensive won the battles.
With the Devils down 3-2 in the series, they will have to win the last two games in order to advance further in hopes of bringing the Stanley Cup back to New Jersey for the first time since 2002-03.
Martin Brodeur watched the end of game three from the bench after he allowed three goals on 12 shots. Game four produced different results though. Back between the pipes, Brodeur turned aside every shot that made its way to him en route to a 4-0 Devils victory. Brodeur looked like the Marty of old, with his glove hand lightning quick and his pads ready to kick out any low shot. Brodeur’s shutout also broke the NHL postseason shutout record originally held by Patrick Roy. Brodeur now sits atop the list with 24 postseason shutouts.
The first two games in Florida are over and the Devils, who are favored even though they are the six seed, have split the games with the Panthers. Both games were hard fought for the Devils, however, an early lead for the Panthers in game two was one of the reasons the Devils couldn’t mount the necessary comeback. Heading back to New Jersey, the Devils will have to turn up the heat and walk away with two additional wins before locking up the series in Florida.
Ilya Kovalchuk won’t begin to harp on the possibility of a Stanley Cup. Not yet, at least. Kovalchuk has been known to struggle in the playoffs, playing in only nine postseason games throughout his career.
“Let’s not talk about that right now,” Kovalchuk said to Tom Gulitti of The Bergen Record. “We just want to make a little step forward at a time. We want to do well in the first round first.”
“I’ve played 10 years in the league and I’ve played only nine games in the playoffs,” said Kovalchuk. “Hockey is fun, but you want to win. It’s fun to go play for your country in the world championships and stuff and I got some experience when we won (with Russia in 2008 and 2009), so that’s nice, too. But this is the best league in the world and I think the Stanley Cup is the toughest to get and when you get that chance you always want to be successful.”
With a 5-0 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes, the New Jersey Devils have officially clinched a berth in the postseason this year. The Devils failed to make the playoffs last season. In the past 22 seasons, the Devils have been in the playoffs 21 times.
Martin Brodeur, who pitched a shutout to solidify a Devils playoff birth, is happy to be back in the playoffs after last years mess.
“It was tough,” Brodeur said to Tom Gulitti of The Bergen Recod, “I didn’t think it was going to bother me that much because we were out for so long, early in the season. It was a tough start we had. But when I started to watch a little bit of hockey maybe in the second and third round, I was like, ‘Wow, I’m really missing this atmosphere.’ This is why was an important thing for me to go out and try to get in the playoffs, get back at it.”
The New Jersey Devils and Chicago Blackhawks had a real defensive battle last night. Martin Brodeur played amazingly well considering his team was severely outshot in the game. With a 1-1 score, the game would need to be settled in a shootout. After just returning to the lineup the other game, Travis Zajac came out as the fifth shooter and snapped a shot over Corey Crawford to score the decisive goal. The two points tonight puts the Devils just four points out of securing a playoff spot.
“It’s been great,” Zajac said to Tom Gulitti of The Bergen Record. “I felt like I haven’t sat out for most of the year, actually. The locker room, it’s a good group of guys in here. It’s easy to get along with everyone. So, that’s been easy. That’s been the easy part.”
It seems that Devils center Travis Zajac is continuing to move closer to a return with the team. He is ruled out against the game tonight against the Toronto Maple Leafs, but I could see him making a return sometime around Thursday’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Lightning currently sit in 12th place in the Eastern Conference. No one has given up more goals this year then Tampa Bay.
“We’re not going to rush it,” DeBoer said to Tom Gulitti of The Bergen Record. “It wasn’t him saying he’s not ready. I never said that he would play tonight. You guys insinuated that. I said he was day to day all along and we woke up today and decided day to day doesn’t mean today.”
About Devil's Advocate
I am an all around NHL fan. I love to watch Atlantic Division, and root for the Philadelphia Flyers. Just because I cheer for the Flyers, doesn’t mean I don’t keep up with the other teams in the division, specifically the New Jersey Devils. Devils Advocate will provide you with the most important Devils news, filled with my opinion about the selected topic.
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