Friday, June 08, 2012

N.J. Devils ~ Defending Newark From Kings and Elimination

From the desk of:   THE BRICK CITY DEMONS

Stanley Cup Finals

Kings Lead Series 3-1
I  -  LAK 2; NJD 1*
II  -  LAK 2; NJD 1*
III  -  LAK 4; NJD 0
IV -  NJD 3; LAK 1
* overtime


Los Angeles Kings
Brick City, Newark

NEW JERSEY DEVILS:  Game Four's Counter-Offensive In Los Angeles Brings the Battle for Lord Stanley's Cup
Back to Newark.

How much more can the renaissance men offer?  Are they crafty enough to win three more games?  Can Martin Brodeur hold back another seventy-five shots?  That's what it will take.  It's certainly another way of looking at things, isn't it?  Martin Brodeur, along with Petr Sykora and Patrick Elias, are the last horsemen of the old Stanley Cup winning Devils.

Martin Brodeur looks up to the task.  But that doesn't rule out Jonathan Quick being better.  And Quick just needs to be better in one game.  Not three.

Coach DeBoer knows this, and reactivated Petr Sykora.  And who can blame him?  The Devils needed more scoring.  Say this for Coach DeBoer, he's been pro-active throughout these playoffs.  Did his move to reinstate Sykora help?  Sykora was plus-one, with one shot on goal.  So the jury is still out.

But I do not think it is a coincidence that Patrick Elias scored his fifth goal of the playoffs, and the Devils won.  I also do not think it was a coincidence, that Dave Clarkson registered a point, and the Devils won.  Likewise, with Ilya Kovalchuck's eighth goal of the playoffs.  If Kovalchuck is indeed hurt, he is still trying.

The Carter-Bernier-Gionta line has been quiet.  The Devils rode their backs for a few games.  So it's not like you can just stop expecting them to come through now.  And the Devils are also still waiting for Zach Parise to erupt.  Beyond a shadow of a doubt however, Adam Henrique continues to be the Devils' best player through this series.  He scored his fourth goal of the playoffs, and the Devils' second goal of Game Four, in the third period.  Without Henrique, where would the Devils be?  Certainly not in the Finals.

Adam Henrique's goal was the Devil's response to Los Angeles tying the game on Drew Doughty's power play goal at 8:56 in the third which negated Patrick Elias' score exactly one minute earlier.   Adam's goal turned out to be yet another game winner for Henrique during these playoffs.

The Devils are still spitting into the wind when it comes to the power play.  They are now 0 for 15 this series, while L.A. seemingly has their power play working now, as they have scored three times in the last two games on the man advantage.  That does not bode well for the Devils at all.  Not if they plan to win three games it doesn't.  The Devils can't realistically expect Martin Brodeur out-play that stat.

The Devils have proven this much during the series, they can defend Los Angeles for prolonged periods of play.  And finally in Game Four, they proved to themselves, they can score goals again.  They had to wait till the third period for the goals to come.  But throughout these NHL playoffs, three goals has proven to be good enough to win.

While the Devils keep waiting for a couple of their top scorers, to score..., more, in the mean time, the defensemen have been contributing their share of points.  Volchenkov, if you remember, scored in Game One.  Marek Zidlicky added an assist in Game Two, and most recently in Game Four, Bryce Salvador picked up two assists, and Andy Greene one.

If you're going put yourself behind 3-1 in the series, I guess heading back to Newark is the next best place to be.  And so, the Devils will try and hold home ice Saturday night.  They showed a lot of fight in Game Four.  There is still some fire burning in the Devils.  Saturday night, they dance again in Brick City.


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