by David Pavlak on 05/09/12 at 02:48 AM ET
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.
“I was jumping with 31 seconds left, but they canceled that goal,” Brodeur said to Rich Chere of The Star-Ledger. “It’s a good feeling, but at 40 I don’t jump as high anymore.”
Bryce Salvador and Ilya Kovalchuk each scored a goal in the game and David Clarkson was the beneficiary of a poor pass off the stick of goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov, which ended up bouncing off Clarkson and into the net. The Clarkson goal was the game-winning goal.
“I don’t think a lot of people thought we could do that, and that’s fine,” Zach Parise said. “We believe in here and we’re getting better as the playoffs go along.”
Brodeur credits the teams discipline in being a key reason as to why the Devils were able to do so well.
“Stay disciplined. You could talk about scoring goals, forechecking them and playing well and all that,” Brodeur said, “but I think what was tough on them was us not retaliating to any of the stuff they were doing and all the stuff they were saying every single game. Guys just turned away and didn’t respond to anybody. They were able to get Pittsburgh all wrapped up in that stuff. It must’ve gotten tough on them a little bit to just talk to themselves all day long.”
“We’re happy,” Brodeur said. “We had a little scare in the first round there (against the Florida Panthers). I thought we played pretty good. We played against a resilient team that had our number on their power play. And we had a hard time shaking them off. We were fortunate to do that. We came in with a lot of confidence because I thought Games 6 and 7 of that series really showed what we were able to do. We just continued it into this series. We’re really excited to be one of the top four teams in the NHL to still be playing hockey this time of year.”
Flyers Head Coach Peter Laviolette could only say good things about the Devils, even as his team suffered defeat.
“You’ve got to give the Devils credit for the way they played. They played a very good brand of hockey at both ends of the ice. Commenting just on that and this series, we just weren’t able to get on track with what we wanted to do.”
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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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