by David Pavlak on 01/19/12 at 12:39 PM ET
The Bruins came to the Prudential Center about two weeks ago and unloaded every container of ammunition they seemed to have on them. The Devils were embarrassed on their home ice with the game finishing a very lopsided 6-1. In that game, the Devils were careless with the puck, forgot how to backcheck and never had their legs underneath them after the horn sounded to end the first period. With so many holes to try to plug, the Bruins walked all over the Devils and Martin Brodeur, who had a forgetful outing.
This time; however, the stage is set a little differently. The Devils have strung together strong wins against the Panthers (5-2), Penguins (3-1), Oilers (2-1) and two victories over the Jets (2-1 / 5-1). The lone loss in this stretch came against the Calgary Flames, who poured in four first period goals which the Devils were never able to overcome.
The Devils look refreshed and ready to roll as they begin the second half of the season. Facing the Bruins again will be a true test to see if they will be able to compete down the stretch against the top talent in the NHL. To do so, the Devils will need to remain focused and disciplined. They will need to remember that it is a 60 minute game, and thus should be played that way. Brodeur, who I assume will be given the start, will also need to remain sharp against the dangerous forwards that the Bruins possess. If the Devils defensemen can give Marty a hand, the Devils have a real shot at taking a game away from the defending Stanley Cup champions.
Kovalchuk on a tear:
Through the recent stretch of victories, Ilya Kovalchuk has been all over the ice and the score sheet. In the past five games, he has recorded five goals and three assists. He is also +/- 3. If Kovy is starting to heat up, it couldn’t have come at a better time. The Devils are preparing to go against a tough stretch of teams, including Tim Thomas and the Bruins, Ryan Miller and the Sabres, Ilya Bryzgalov and the Flyers and Henrik Lundqvist and the Rangers. We these strong goaltenders standing in the Devils way of attaining points, they will need all the firepower they can get.
Devils snubbed out of All-Star Game:
I know this is a little late, but it is better then never. None of the Devils were selected to the NHL All-Star Game this year. Worthy candidates included Patrik Elias (17 G, 27 A), Kovalchuk (19 G, 21 A), Zach Parise (15 G, 24 A) and Adam Henrique (13 G, 21 A). The Devils did have two rookies selected to partake in the activities. Both Henrique and Adam Larsson were chosen on behalf of the Devils.
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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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