STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS ~ 2012 ~ QUARTER FINAL ROUND
NEW JERSEY DEVILS
SERIES TIED 3-3
I - NJD 3; FLA 2
II - FLA 4; NJD 2
III - FLA 4; NJD 3
IV - NJD 4; FLA 0
V - FLA 3; NJD 0
VI - NJD 3; FLA 2*
NEW JERSEY DEVILS: Game Seven is Hell.
Game Six was a mixed bag of goods. On the one hand, the Devils earned a hard fought overtime win on home ice to stave off elimination for at least one more game.
On the other hand, they needed overtime after blowing a 2-0 second period lead. You might say the Devils won in spite of Martin Brodeur. In a game in which the Devils peppered the former Devil back-up goalie; Scott Clemmensen; with forty-two shots on goal, Martin Brodeur was charged with handling all of sixteen shots by Florida. Yet, he still allowed two of those pucks to get by, erasing New Jersey's two goal lead. If that didn't bring back flashes of Game Three, it should have.
Who exactly are the Devils going to get between the pipes tonight? Will it be the one who got pulled after allowing Florida to erase a three goal deficit in Game Three? Will they get the goalie who opened the door for overtime in Game Six? Or will they get the future Hall of Fame goalie who shut out the Panthers in Game Four?
This can potentially mark the last game for Zach Parise in a Devils uniform. The future unrestricted free agent is unlikely to continue playing for New Jersey come next season. That's just not in the Devils' economics right now. Not while owner Jeff Vanderbeek is snagged in a financial bear trap with the city of Newark.
This might also mark the end of a career for Martin Brodeur as well. He will shortly turn forty years old. But for the moment, he and Zach Parise have the power within them to put those matters aside for at least another two weeks with a series clinching Game Seven victory tonight in Sunrise, Florida against the gutsy Panthers.
The Devils come into tonight's game with as much Game Seven savvy and experience as one can admire. So they'll have that on their side this evening. But they need to stop tripping over themselves and spending time in the box.
Additionally, the Devils can hardly depend on Steve Bermier to continue scoring for them. He scored his second of the playoffs in Game Six. But every Devils fan knows damn well who needs to rise and deliver. Ilya Kovalchuck scored goal number three during game Six as well. Like I say in any huge situation - the team's biggest players need to step up and take the game into their hands. That could be Kovalchuck. That could also be Parise, or even David Clarkson. But if I'm playing hunches and theorizing who might step up to be tonight's hero, I'm thinking Patrick Elias. Like Game One.
There are still players on this team who know how to win championships.