Go join Seth on Spreecast talking about tonight's game....
Go join Seth on Spreecast talking about tonight's game....
The Devils are one win away from a date with the Los Angeles Kings in the Stanley Cup Finals. After coming out quick and early, scoring 3 goals within the first 10 minutes of the game, New York "rallied" back, scoring & knotting up the game after 3 un answered goals. Two of the goals, questionable, as well as MANY calls in general, throughout, for BOTH teams. A blatent missed call on Callahan when he hi-sticked Zubrus in the face, drawing blood. How in Gods name THAT wasnt a penalty, is beyond me. While on the topic of Callahan, his 'goal', and I quote the word 'goal' because it was a real big turning point in the game. What most will believe was a kicking motion, the referee's thought otherwise. I can only begin to imagine how many fans were at home screaming at their television sets when the goal was allowed. Captain Cally's goal was the lone goal scored in the middle period, a mere 32 seconds in, would bring the Rangers to within one of the Devs.
The scoring for the two teams would be kicked off early, and FREQUENTLY in the first period. Goals by Baby Gio, Elias, & Zajac would lead the way for New Jersey to take this game by the reigns. Assists from Mark Fayne, Steven Bernier, Adam Henrique, Ilya Kovalchuk, Zach Parise & Bryce Salvador would add insult to injury early on for the Devils' stampede over the Rags until Brandon Prust squeeked one under the stretched out arm of Brodeur on the breakaway with Zidlicky trailing behind, laying out for the back check attempt. Prust's first goal of the series comes in his first game since serving his one-game suspension which he was dealt after a Game 3 incident with Anton Volchenkov; Prust's marker was scored 15:41 in the 1st period assisted by Ruslan Fedotenko & Derek Stepan. The only penalty of the period was assessed to Fayne, 10:08 through the first twenty for boarding.
The second period would begin the prelude to the nightmare. An early tally by the Rangers captain would look as though the force of momentum would slip into New York's hands. The "Marty" chants reigned down from the nosebleeds of MSG, a haunting sound to the ear of the Devils' faithful, even when we were still up by a goal. The Garden was loud... REAL loud. In wake of Callahan's goal, the penalty parade would commence. Penalties are as follows:
|03:12||NJD||DAINIUS ZUBRUS : HOOKING - 2 MIN|
|07:19||NYR||BRANDON PRUST : SLASHING - 2 MIN|
|09:32||NJD||PETER HARROLD : ROUGHING - 2 MIN|
|09:32||NYR||BRANDON PRUST : UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT - 2 MIN|
|15:51||NYR||RUSLAN FEDOTENK: BOARDING - 2 MIN|
As for the penalties, and goals, there'd be no more, until the third...
Three more goals would hit the back of the net in the closing period, one for New York, TWO, for New Jersey! An awkward shot from the side of the cage from the nearly invisible Marian Gaborik chipped one towards the front of Marty's cage. The puck managed to trickle its way in behind Brodeur where he'd cover it up on the goal line, only to get poke checked practically into his net, allowing the puck to dance its way out from under Marty's mitt and over the goal line. 3-3 the score, EARLY, in the third period. As time went on and chances went up and down the ice for both teams, the tension continued to boil, the stress increased, and the time decreased. After a chip into the New York zone, and a terrific forecheck by Ilya Kovalchuk, would lead to a loose puck in the corner only to get scooped up by the youngster, Stephen Gionta, who sent a pass across the crease of the Queen to a driving Ryan Carter who drilled the wrister through the arm of Lundqvist to put New Jersey on top once again, 15:36 into the 3rd period. Carter's goal was clutch. In his own words, "The biggest goal of my career.", and boy oh boy, was it ever... The Devs would cap off the night and put the nail in the coffin with 32 seconds left, the empty netter for the Captain. Zach Parise, his 7th of the playoffs would put New Jersey up by 2 in the waining seconds of the game.
A pathetic number of shots, lead to one helluva victory for the Devils. 16 shots faced for Lundqvist, 4 goals allowed, leaving him with a .750% save percentage on the evening would hit New York where it hurt... in the loss column. The New Jersey Devils have pushed the New York Rangers to the brink of elimination returning home Friday night.
New Jersey's win in The Garden gives them the 3 games to 2 lead in the Eastern Conference Finals series. One more win for New Jersey will bring them to their first apperance in the Stanley Cup Finals since 2003, and 5th time in franchise history. Be sure to check out our "RWTD" app for iPhone & Android! As for social networking, we have our outlets as well! Follow us on twitter at: @RWTDblog@DEVIN88MATTERA, @RealScottRobb and @Rvaidya33. Along with twitter, be sure to check out our facebook page or find us on Instagram, "rwtdblog". Be sure to hashtag #RWTD ! From all of us here on Running With The Devils, Im Devin Mattera, you stay classy Devils Fans!
Series tied 2-2 going into tonight’s Game 5 at Madison Square Garden. It’s been a doozy of a series already with a lot of back and forth in the win column but truth be told, I think the Devils have really outplayed the Rangers for most of the series. I could probably count 3 periods and not a full 3 periods where the Rangers put something together that was better than what the Devils were putting together. Unfortunately for us, 2 of those 3 periods came in the 3rd period of a 0-0 game and got the win for NY. Frustration hasn’t gotten the best of NJ because being tied 2-2 in a series where you’ve dominated most of the time on ice is frustrating.
So what are the keys to tonight’s game for the Devils?
- Be Aggressive to start the game. NY hasn’t shown much aggression or hunger in terms of getting the puck (being aggressive and cheap when skating by Marty is a different story!!) so NJ has to expect the Rangers to come out with all they’ve got tonight. It’s important to get a good start when you are playing in a place like Madison Square Garden. It’s the Garden, you are not going to every take the crowd out of the game but getting off to a good start can go a long way when it comes to dealing with their crowd.
- Stay Cool, Calm and Composed. We didn’t fall into the trap of retaliation against the Flyers and didn’t fall into the other night in Game 4 when Rupp started being himself. (BTW, what happened to Rupp? He wasn’t a piece of shit when he played here but now he is a BIG piece of shit…must be that jersey!!) I would expect more of the same from NY, especially if NJ finds a lead. I do love how Torts calls us dirty and then throws Rupp, Eminger and Bickle on the ice together like he isn’t trying to start something!!
- Stay with the fore-check and do it often and do it hard. The Rangers don’t have a lot of answers other than Lundqvist making some brilliant saves when the Devils really get on their fore-check.
- Marty has been good and he has to keep being good.
Enough with this Zach Parise contract crap in all the papers. I’m fairly confident he has only one thing on his mind right now and that’s Game 5. Tomorrow it will be Game 6, not where he’s going to play next year.no comments
The New Jersey Devils have delivered! In wake of some 'words of wisdom' from alternate captain Patrik Elias to the media, "We're not done yet", this team proved to the hockey world that in fact, they're not done yet. With a tatic that only you'd expect from Philadelphia, New Jersey tried a bit of the mind-games to COMPLETELY alter the mind set of the opponent. Boy, did it work today! New Jersey was disciplined. Very disciplined for that matter, giving New York one powerplay opportunity on the evening (Anton Volchenkov, 18:20, 1st period, tripping) in which the Devils would kill off. As for the Devs' PP opportunities, something in which has been a key place for improvement this post season, it'd finally click! After going up 2 quick goals early on in the first, the lone powerplay goal of the evening would be punched through Lundqvist's "Bryzgalov", the second goal of the night Hank would allow to squeeze through his wickets.
The ice was tilted yet again for what looked to be the 4th consecutive game in which Jersey's Team would rule the majority of the posession and lead the way in opportunities. It was as if New York was just handing the Devils opportunities, allowing the Dev's to cap off the night with 10 take aways, a statistic that'll probably go by the way side in the aftermath of this penalty filled game. 43-23 PIM in favor of the Rags. McDonagh & Henrique (shwon in the picture above) got involved in a short scrap early in the first, breaking through on the box score penalty sheet. Following suit to the two 5 min. fighting majors, NY would go short handed on a Brian Boyle holding call which would be killed off and then the period being wrapped up with an Anton Volchenkov penalty for tripping. Volchie's penalty would lapse over into the second period, but, would be killed by the Devils. Penalties weren't the only thing to hit the box score in the opening 20; along with the four penalties to be assessed, two goals would be marked up on the score sheet, in the "New Jersey" column. The opening goal would come from a drive on the point from one of this team's unsung heroes, Devils D-man Bryce Salvador recorded yet another goal this post season as he sent a blue-line blast all the way through traffic and in between the legs of Lundqvist to put New Jersey on the board, 1-0. Salvador's goal, his 3rd of the playoffs would help increase his rising point total to 9pts in 15 games played which is a tremendous statistic considering Bryce had 0 goals and 9 assists for 9pts in 82 games in the regular season. Salvy's goal was assisted by Ponikarovsky & Clarkson. Nearly four minutes later, a sloppy defensive play from Michael Del Zotto would lead to the ensuing 2 on 1 odd man rush for New Jersey, Parise on the right wing with Zajac driving the net to "King" Henrik's right. Parise lifting the puck over a trailing Rangers defenseman would put the puck right on the tape of Zajac who would bury the shot up top, "Where Momma' Hides the Cookies", bar-down for the even strength goal to propel the Devils to an early 2-0 lead. An early lead for either team is excessively important in a close series like this, even MORE so when you're putting two goals up on the nearly flawless Henrik Lundqvist. I mean, you have to give the guy credit... he has played WELL above expectations & has truly been the back bone of this Rangers hockey club down the stretch, having to steal BIG games with BIG saves night after night.
A rather, relativly SLOWER second period would have no goals and a couple penalties, an offsetting minor penalty would be awarded to a little bit of "childs play" between Kovy and Cally. When an initial save was made by Hank, a steadfast Ilya Kovalchuk could not manage to put on the brakes quite quick enough as he ran into the back of a Rangers defenseman, initiating Ryan Callahan to throw a jab at the side of Kovy's head which would lead to Ilya retaliating imaturely, poking Cally in the crotch with his stick. Both would sit in the sin bin for a deuce. This little scrum would ultimately be a foreshadowing of what was yet to come from these two bitter rivals. Brodeur and Lundqvist would close off all shots faced in the middle period of play, Marty was 11-11 on shots faced where as Hank was 9-9.
In this Eastern Conference Finals matchup between two Atlantic Division rivals, a rivalry that dates back to 1982 with many numerous historic moments, its only a matter of time before THIS playoff series etches its way into the Hudson River Rivalry Story Book. The third period would certainly be a good start for the physicality & the TRUE, blood boiling tension between New York and New Jersey, all beginning with two former teammates; their names, Michael Rupp, and Martin Brodeur.
This period, all hell broke loose at The Rock. Fists thrown, goals scored, clutch saves, and tempers flairing would be the highlight of the period and ULTIMATELY the game. Early on, Derek Stepan would take a call for hi-sticking which would lead to the lone powerplay goal of the evening scored by New Jersey's captain Zach Parise. Parise would gain his 2nd of 3 points of the evening being credited the 1st star of the game after a terrific effort all around in what many believed to be a must-win for the Devils, being down 2-1 in the series. With teams back at even strength, Michael Rupp would go after a loose puck behind Brodeur's cage, lunging up drawing the delayed penalty, a double minor for roughing. Once the puck was touched up, it would only escalate. As Rupp was being escorted towards the penalty box by referee's, he managed to slither his way infront of Brodeur, in which, he proceeded to throw a jab at the mask of the future Hall of Famer, leading to an eruption by the Devils' team on the ice, in the stands, on the bench, on their couches, and on the internet. With players literally LUNGING at Rupp to get a piece of him, John Tortorella took it upon himself to initiate a shouting match between himself and and Dev's head coach Pete DeBoer (both head coaches declined comments in post game interviews). After all was said and done, Michael Rupp would be piled on with a total of 14 minutes worth of penalties, along with offsetting minors awarded to Stu Bickle and Ryan Carter. About 2 minutes later, New Jersey would be credited with a potential 5-3 powerplay opportunity in which New Jersey could not deliver on when Carl Hagelin would take his first of back-to-back penalties. Eventually, BOTH Hagelin penalties would be killed by the Rangers. Before the conclusion of the game, with nearly 5 minutes remaining, Brodeur's goose egg would be cracked on a Ruslan Fedotenko goal from the top of the faceoff circle, beating Brodeur low blocker side, bringing the score, 3-1. That would'nt be all! Down by 2, Torts would give Hank the call to the bench, sending the extra attacker onto the ice. The 6-5 Rangers advantage would not work. Zach Parise would cap off arguably his most explosive, playoff game of his young career, and a very important one at that, doing what many are comparing to the heroic leadership characteristics of Shane Doan in G4 of the PHX-LA series. On Parise's goal, Martin Brodeur would be credited with the primary assist, handing Marty yet ANOTHER NHL record. Brodeurs 4th assist of this post season (leading all goalies with 4pts) makes him the 1st goaltender to record 4pts in a single playoff series in NHL history. The Devils and Rags would send Ponikarovsky & Del Zotto to the locker rooms for offsetting minors late in the third, wrapping up a very dominant game, 4-1 the final!
The Devils' win tonight knots up the Eastern Conference Finals series 2 games a piece heading into Wednesday evening back at MSG, 8:00pm. New Jersey looks to take a 3-2 Series lead before heading home to the Prudential Center Friday night where we all hope they can close out the Rangers! Be sure to check out our "RWTD" app for iPhone & Android! As for social networking, we have our outlets as well! Follow us on twitter at: @RWTDblog @DEVIN88MATTERA, @RealScottRobb and @Rvaidya33. Along with twitter, be sure to check out our facebook page or find us on Instagram, "rwtdblog". Be sure to hashtag #RWTD ! From all of us here on Running With The Devils, Im Devin Mattera, you stay classy Devils Fans!
After Game 3, I can admit to being a little aggravated with this team. I thought they did a good job putting the pressure on the Rangers but missed a lot of opportunities. Yes, Lundqvist was good and did what a good goalie should but the Devils are a better team offensively than the Rangers yet failed to produce anything in the goal column. I think it showed in the third because NJ came out flat and let the game get away from them.
There isn’t much to say other than finish your opportunities. Yes, I know you aren’t going to finish every one of them but you have to finish some. Get more guys in front of the net. That proved to be the key to success in Game 2 but we got away from it in Game 3.
Changes tonight – Jossefson in and Sykora sits. It seems that has angered a lot of people but Sykora hasn’t really done anything offensively in this series so maybe Jossefson could create a spark much like Larsson did in Game 2 in Philly.
I don’t think we have to change much, just finish and we will get the win. In all honesty, NJ has been the better team 6 out of the 9 periods played. The third periods in Game 1 and 3 proved to be the difference for the Rangers. (Period 2 of game 2 is the other period I would say NY was better in .)
And Finally … Thoughts on the Prust suspension and Tortorella’s reaction…
Prust absolutely deserved one game for his elbow to the head and to suggest the NJ is a dirtier team that NY is downright preposterous. Let’s see, New York Rangers - Total times shorthanded in the 2012 postseason: 58. New Jersey Devils - Total times shorthanded in the 2012 postseason: 56. Pretty even there. New York Rangers, total suspensions handed out in the 2012 postseason: 2 (4 games total). New Jersey Devils, total suspensions handed out in the 2012 postseason: 0. Try again jackass. I get it though, the Devils aren’t giving you any bulletin board material so you are trying you best to get DeBoer and crew to say something in retaliation.no comments
I had so much hope coming into this game. This “hope” per se, was a pure masterpiece. However, as you all have seen in some movies I bet, some masterpieces end up shattering and at that moment, you’re left helpless. That’s what happened to me today and most probably, every Devils fan on Earth. Thinking that the next two games would be played in Newark, one could almost be certain that the Devils would take control. Instead, this game can be described as Game 1 with a switch of jersey colors.
Well, this was an exciting start! Chances on both ends of the ice and the Devils even had a chance to score on a 2-on-1 (Michael Del Zotto saved the Rangers with a block). It seemed though as if the Devils were going to score fairly quickly due to the amount of chances they were getting. New York took a penalty at the 14:49 point as Derek Stepan went off for hooking. Honestly, if this team was the Flyers, New Jersey might’ve scored on this power play. As the Rangers mantra goes, “block the shot or get the fudge outta here”. Clearly that’s what saved the Rangers from falling behind. Around the 9-minute point, there were some great chances generated by the Devils. 3 great shots from New Jersey sticks evaded the blocking presence of Ranger defenders such as Ryan McDonagh and found their way to Henrik Lundqvist. Unfortunately for the Devils, Lundqvist stayed firm. At the 4:37 point, Ilya Kovalchuk was called for high sticking McDongah, but seriously, did no one see the retaliation punch by McDonagh on Kovy moments after? Either way, Marty Brodeur didn’t face much pressure on that power play and the Devils killed it off effectively. Captain Zach Parise missed on a 2-on-1 with Travis Zajac with 11 seconds to go, in which Parise could have passed the puck back to Zajac, but elected to shoot instead. Nonetheless, there was no score as the teams headed back to the locker room. Shots-on-goal were 11-5 in favor of New Jersey.
Like the first period, the second also had an exciting start. In the first minute, Kovalchuk took a pass from Mark Fayne and went on the breakaway but instead of scoring, his forehand shot was stopped by Lundqvist’s glove! To me, that was arguably the turning point of the match. Seconds later, a slapshot by Dainius Zubrus was held by Lundqvist. This forced John Tortorella to call a timeout for New York just 2 minutes in. While some were cheering, I felt a bit nervous because I’ve seen the end results of opposing teams calling timeouts early. An incident occurred at the 17:28 point, where Rangers forward Brandon Prust took a cheap shot on Anton Volchenkov, causing Volchenkov to go down. A replay clearly shows the elbow of Prust making illegal contact with Volchenkov. Perhaps this is worthy of a Shanaban? You be the judge http://bit.ly/KuHBl5. At the 15:45 point, Marty sprawled from one side to the other, robbing Ryan Callahan of a sure goal! This save was similar to his save on Marc Staal in Game 1. The helter-skelter moments of the second period occurred when Petr Sykora took a shot from the side which was stopped by Lundqvist. A few seconds after the 11 minute mark, Brodeur made a big save on a bad angle shot and 30 seconds after, Kovalchuk was denied by Lundqvist again on the breakaway. But wait there’s more! Immediately after Kovy’s breakaway attempt, the Rangers took it back for a dangerous 2-on-1 but Marty preserved the scoreless tie with a nifty poke check! At the 9:25 point, scumbag Mike Rupp took a tripping penalty, giving the Devils the power play, which again, didn’t do much except generate a few shots. Most of them were blocked, but that’s not much of a surprise if you’ve been paying attention to the series. The Devils had another chance to redeem themselves on the power play when John Mitchell took an interference penalty at the 5:56 point. This power play was downright awful! The Devils couldn’t generate a single great scoring opportunity, were wasting time passing, and the Rangers were blocking shots and creating shorthanded chances! Adam Henrique tried to give the Devils a lead with 7 seconds to go in the period but the goalie battle continued after two periods of play. Shots-on-goal were 26-14 in favor of New Jersey.
If you’re a big believer of superstition like me, then please feel free to rant/be mad at me because I immediately thought about Game 1 when I shouldn’t have. Why did I have to think of déjà vu for that split second? I was just hoping it wouldn’t happen now. This period didn’t start out beneficial at all for New Jersey. Brad Richards hit the post and then Marty stopped Marian Gaborik in tight. Two great chances for New York but the Devils had a bit of luck on their sides. At the 17:49 point, the Devils essentially lost control of this game. Bryce Salvador went off for hooking and the Rangers were awarded a power play. 1 minute and 8 seconds later, disaster struck as Dan Girardi fired one past Marty from Marty’s left side. Does anyone remember how Girardi broke the tie in Game 1 from that same position? Nonetheless, Girardi’s 3rd of the playoffs was assisted by Richards. The misery continued 1:57 later when Chris Kreider deflected a shot in front past Brodeur. It was Kreider’s 5th of the playoffs (3rd of the series) with the assists going to McDonagh and Callahan. Does anyone remember how Kreider made the game 2-0 in Game 1? Déjà vu hurts when you know it’s true but the reality was that the Rangers now had a commanding 2-0 lead in Game 3. New York took a penalty when Marc Staal went off for holding-the-stick at the 11:51 point. The only shot on that power play was a one-timer by Kovy that was held by Lundqvist. I wasn’t surprised that the 4th line was still trying to generate some goals (especially nearing the 9 minute point) but it’s concerning that the Devils’ top lines were asleep. As Coach Pete DeBoer said in differentiating between 1 PM games and 8 PM games, “Instead of spaghetti, you eat pancakes”. Looks like those pancakes had some sleeping potion inside. The Rangers took another penalty at the 4:54 point as Richards went off for interference. On the power play, Peter Harrold hit the post and Lundqvist covered up. DeBoer used his timeout then (too late if you ask me) in hoped of getting his troops energized again. Close but no cigar. Brodeur was pulled with 2:33 to go and 20 seconds later, Callahan finished it with an empty netter (and a hilarious celebration followed as if he scored a game winner). Callahan’s 4th of the playoffs was assisted by Brian Boyle and Ruslan Fedotenko. That’s how it would end. 3-0 in Game 1 with an empty netter as the 3rd goal and 3-0 in Game 3 with an empty netter as the 3rd goal. Shots-on-goal were still in NJ’s favor 36-22 but it’s scarcely relevant as the Devils now trail the Rangers in this Eastern Conference Finals 2 games to 1.
Key Notes: Referees today were Kevin Pollock and Brad Watson. These guys were alright but there were some blatant calls which they missed. Poor job on their part. Steve Eminger returned for the Rangers in place of Stu Bickell, and the Devils had a little trouble getting past his presence. There were no changes to the lineup as Adam Larsson, Eric Boulton, Cam Janssen, and Tim Sestito were scratched. Perhaps DeBoer should try benching Salvador or Volchnkov and put in Larsson and see what would happen. It’s worth a shot. Brian Gionta was at the game today to support his younger brother, Stephen. Lil Gio is a boss and I’m feeling a strong Game 4 for him! Today’s game was the first Devils home game to be broadcasted on NBC since 2007. Their first game on NBC was against Philadelphia on the road, also for the first time since 07 but this was the first home game. I’m glad they caught the sellout crowd of 17,625. However, how many of them were Devils fans because there was a Marty chant during the 2nd period. If it was Devils fans, shame on your part and if it was Rangers fans, that’s a concerning point that a majority of the stadium cheers for the other team. New Jersey went 1/2 on the PK but 0/5 on their power play chances. Simply disappointing.For all the latest Devils news, follow us on twitter: @RWTDblog, @Rvaidya33, @RealScottRobb, and @DEVIN88MATTERA and you can like us on our Facebook page! Also, be sure to check out “Masala Monday” (next edition on May 21st).
The Eastern Conference Finals changes venues this afternoon for a 1pm start, which absolutely sucks when there isn’t a WCF game scheduled for Prime Time. I can’t guarantee anything other than the game will be played in a building where the ice isn’t as poor as it was in game 1 & 2 and every door in the building works properly.
Wednesday night was stressful to say the least but I knew going into this series that it was going to be stressful. The Devils wore down the Rangers the other night with a ferocious fore-check and a hunger to win every battle and get to every puck. They did let up in the second but got it back for the third. I have a hard time believing that the Rangers are going to let that happen again. With 2 days off instead of the normal 1 day in between games, I would imagine that the Rangers will have a little more energy and pep to their game than they did in Game 2.
DeBoer said after Game 1 that shot blocking wasn’t the big story of the series and in Game 2, the Devils proved it wasn’t but they are going to have to keep proving it every game.
The task at hand is a rather large task but if the New Jersey Devils can just take care of their home ice, then we can put this series to bed. However, it is important not to get too far ahead of ourselves. The Devils did a great job taking the Philly series 1 game at a time and not looking ahead to what winning the series meant. Let’s hope Deboer is keeping the Devils grounded and focusing on the 60 minutes that lie ahead of them this afternoon.
How to Win Game 3:
- Stay out of the box which given the horrible calls made by the referees this post-season in every series, that isn’t very easy to do. Don’t give the refs anything easy to call. The Devils made 4 trips to the box the other night and the Rangers got 2 goals from it. Yes, 1 was a wacky MSG bounce off the boards and the other was a perfect screen in front.
- Speaking of screens, try to help Marty out and clear out the path in front of him. If Kreider isn’t there the other night, the Rangers never score that second PP goal.
- The Devils were superior in the face-off circle winning 32 out of 59. More of the same please…
- The book is out on Lundqvist that his weakness is the high glove. We shouldn’t always shoot there but we should do it more than I think we do. Look at Kovy’s PP goal the other night..high glove, NO CHANCE WHAT-SO-EVER.
- Keep trying to get traffic in front. Two great deflections became the difference maker in Game 2.
- Fore-check, Fore-check and Fore-check some more.
I would love nothing more than to run the Rangers out of the building but I am also realistic in seeing that it probably won’t happen. NY has played A LOT of close games in these playoffs and we should get used to the stressful, nail biters that Game 2 was.
A lot has been made of John Tortorella and his approach to the post-game interview (or even the in-game interview that they do). He’s not going to answer questions and we should just get used to that. Yes, I think it’s a jerky thing to do because the media guys are just trying to do a job and get answers for their fans and all they are met with is a guy who likes to give them absolutely nothing. If you watched the other night, you knew immediately by the snarky look on his face that he wasn’t going to answer squat. I give DeBoer a lot of credit in his post-game interviews. He may not answer the questions very thoroughly at times but he answers them while not giving away the game plan. Of course, when the Rangers lose, all of Tortorella’s tactics have people talking about his post-game interviews instead of talking about how poorly the Rangers played so maybe that is the purpose. The point is, the media should stop focusing on his press conferences all together and focus on the team. It’s like Torts has put bounties on player’s heads. Oh well, whatever, he still comes off like a d-bag.
Let’s send this D-Bag home without a cup!!!!
Game 2 – A loss would mean returning to the Rock down 0-2 and hearing nothing about how the Rangers had a stranglehold on the series. Thankfully we don’t have to hear it as the Devils found a way to win the game 3-2.
The Devils started the scoring on a power play goal by Ilya Kovalchuk. He had the time, the space and beat Lundqvist high to the glove side. You want to give Kovalchuk that shot, I’ll take those odds any day of the week. The Devils ended the first period with a very strong effort.
Marc Staal tied the game at 1 in the second and then Chris Kreider put the Rangers up 2-1 with a little over 8 minutes remaining in the second. The Devils then started to surge and put the pressure on the Rangers. After Gaborik failed to clear the puck, Salvador took a low shot which was deflected in by Ryan Carter for a 2-2 tie. I thought the Rangers owned the second period but the never say die Devils did a great job finding life.
In the third, the Devils team from the first returned. They went hard to the puck, won the battles and eventually Clarkson tipped home the game winner.
All in all great effort by the Devils tonight and the better team certainly won the game tonight.
A few more thoughts:
- Marty made some key saves at very key moments, He wasn’t extremely busy but he made saves when we needed them.
- The Devils did a better job tonight against the shot blocking.
- The Devils need to do a better job clearing out the players trying to screen Marty. Both Rangers goals came with guys in front on Marty.
- Kovalchuk had a great first period but then disappeared in the second and third. He had a huge hit in the first so you have to wonder if he tweaked something.
- The face-offs were much better for NJ tonight
- In Game 1, the Rangers controlled the physicality of the game but tonight it was NJ initiating that aspect. Who knew that would be a factor in getting a win!!
- There were a couple of weak calls on both sides tonight but I guess that just the way it goes this playoff season.
- I didn’t quite understand the review on the Prust wrap around try but when Elias put on into the side on Lundqvist, it wasn’t reviewed.
- The ice at MSG sucks, the penalty box door didn’t open for what seemed like 10 minutes. The most famous arena is a huge piece of crap.
- Tortorella benched one of the best scoring threats on the Rangers for the first half of the 3rd period for some reason. Not the time to make a statement to a player but I certainly appreciate it.
The series now shifts to NJ on Saturday afternoon. We won game 2, now let’s just take care of our home ice and put this series to bed!!no comments
Game 2… time to right the ship and shut those Rangers fans up. Yesterday was pretty unbearable when it came to hearing the Rangers fan yapping at us all day long and verbally attacking players kids on Twitter. Congrats, you won game 1, be gracious about it, it’s only 1 game, not the series. There is plenty of hockey still to be played.
Peter Deboer, who is constantly being asked about shot blocking, mentioned during his press conference yesterday that shot blocking is not the story of the series. It’s hard to agree or disagree with that statement but we can’t allow it to be the story of the series. It was certainly the story of the night after Game 1 because the Rangers did so well blocking shots. Hopefully the coaches came up with a game plan and watched some Capitals tape on how to combat the constant shot blocking of the New York Rangers. It can be overcome. Shot blocking isn’t going to be the be all end all of winning hockey games.
Since I am on the subject of shot blocking, I’ll throw my 2 cents into the conversations going on. Listen to hockey broadcasts, radio programs and podcasts, everyone is talking about it. Yes, it makes the game boring, something I’m sure Ranger fans will never admit to. I mean did we admit to the Neutral Zone trap being boring? No, it won hockey games and that to us wasn’t boring. Same thing for Rangers fans but this talk about how to get it out of the game, not sure we should be going that far. The only problem I have with it is that it does make for a boring hockey game but if guys want to throw their bodies in front of slap shots, go ahead. That’s a lot to ask a player to do because injuries are certainly possible. I don’t think I could ever do it intentionally but then again, I’m not a professional hockey player. I do fear that someday real soon, a guy is going to take a slapper to the face which will certainly make this a hot ticket debate. In due time, teams will figure out how to get around the shot blockers.
As for the Devils getting around the blockers in this series, I am certainly missing a guy like Brian Rafalski right now. He had the ability to take a (get my Boston accent out) wicked wrister (or should that be wicket wrista??) from the blue line and have it find its way through or find a defection on its way to the net. Maybe someone on the Devils can find a way to channel Brian Rafalski? The Devils could do a better job faking shots, waiting for the blocker to slide out of the way before taking the shot, although the Rangers have layers of shot blockers. The one true method that worked for Washington was quickly and effectively moving the puck around the entire real estate of zone. Not to take anything away from Lundqvist, because he is a good goalie but if the defense in front of him didn’t block so many shots, would he be just as good as he appears now? Ilya Bryzgalov probably would have come away with a shutout the other night if he had that type of shot blocking in front of him.
We will need to get more out of every player on the ice tonight. The Devils didn’t do a great job with the execution of whatever game plan they had. One major sticking point for me the other night was that Parise and Kovalchuk both allowed Ryan Mcdonagh to break up two good scoring chances, which is something they never let happen against Philly. Zidlicky, Greene and Salvador, 3 players that were crucial in our wins over Florida and Philadelphia had horrible performances in Game 1. Fix it!! I expect the ice to be just as bad tonight and hopefully NJ does to.
No way is this series close to being over. The Devils will bounce back if they just keep doing the things they’ve done up to this point. Really throw the forecheck at them tonight. The Rangers have a bad habit of coughing up the puck in their end which will give us chances but they have to capitalize on them. Hopefully NJ does a better job at winning face-offs in the Rangers zone as well. The Rangers have played two tough series up to this point and fatigue is certainly being questioned at this point. If they aren’t tired now, let’s make them tired.
Get Game 2 and take this series back to NJ where the game plan changes a bit.
Changes that you may see tonight, which were hinted at in the morning skate are: Parise, Zajac and Kovalchuk being reunited as the Devils top line and Peter Harold being inserted into the lineup and rookie defenseman Adam Larsson getting the healthy scratch. I have no problem with the change to the top line but I don’t understand the constant need to sit Larsson
We in the US get the NBC feed who, don’t get me wrong, is far better than it was but in Canada, they get the CBC feed who puts time and effort into their pregame presentations. This was the video before game 1 the other night. I don’t know how often they do these for the conference finals, I know they do them before each game in the finals but everyone they do, I will post right here for the next game.
Well that didn’t go exactly as we had hoped. I wasn’t 100% confident that we could go in there and win Game 1 but I did think that we would have generated a little more offense than we did. We knew the Rangers do a great job at blocking shots but even though we knew it, it’s still so frustrating to see. I’m not going to take anything away from Lundqvist, he is a good goalie but if the guys in front of him aren’t blocking so many shots, how good is he? I’d like to pepper him with rubber so that we can find the answer to that question.
The reality is that the Devils gave themselves a chance after the first two periods but somewhere between the end of the 2nd and the beginning of the 3rd the team got sloppy. After a 0-0 tie through 2, I was worried that 1 mistake was going to result in the winner and the Devils made the mistake. They forgot about Girardi who came off the bench and just fired home a slapper from the blue line. After that, the wheels just kind of came off.
It’s just 1 game. We made some mistakes, we have things to fix but it’s just 1 game. We’ve been down a game in the playoffs before and have always responded well. I think DeBoer will make the right adjustments needed to get the Devils back into this.
Some more quick thoughts:
- Zidlicky has to get his head in the game. He was an important part of the first two series but last night I saw him make mistake after mistake. I’d even say the same about Salvador.
- The ice conditions were bad. There isn’t much more to say than that. Hopefully NJ can figure out a way to deal with it because I can’t imagine it improves drastically for game 2.
- Patrik Elias took a puck to the face in the first period and his nose got busted open. He opted to stay on the bench, have gauze sticks jammed up his nose to stop the bleeding and get back out on the ice. Tough as nails. It’s a shame we couldn’t find a way to fight like that on the ice.
- Kovalchuk had three shot on net last night, including what was likely Lundqvist's biggest stop of the night. However, I can’t say that Kovalchuk had a great game when he missed the net six times. Need more from him at this time of year.
- I felt that the Devils were trying to rush things a bit and the ice conditions made the rushing really sloppy. Pucks were bouncing over sticks, passes weren’t being completed. Trying to push the tempo of the game is fine but you need to control the puck first. Don’t think you can keep a puck along the boards in the zone with just your stick, get your whole body in front of it.
- The Devils held Brad Richards to 0 shots on net tonight and remember, he’s the guy who was leading the postseason in shots on net so that's is definitely something to build on. Gaborik had four shots but none of them found twine so that is a positive as well. Girardi got lucky and I’ll give him that shot a 1000 more times.
- The Rangers iced the puck so much last night it’s a shame NJ couldn’t capitalize on it. Zajac went 11-21 in the faceoff circle while Elias and Henrique both wen 5-15. Losing the faceoff battle never helps a team win a game.
- The Devils need to get more pucks on Lundqvist. Parise and Kovy led the team in shots on net in Game 1 but they didn’t get a lot there. We need more from Elias, Clarkson, Zubrus, Henrique, etc.
The bottom line is a 3-0 loss to the hatred Rangers is never a good feeling and I think today will be full of feeling crappy and putting up with gloating Rangers fans who are acting like the Canyon of Heroes parade is this afternoon (I came into work to find doughnuts in the kitchen because of the win) but it’s not the end of the world. There is a lot more hockey to be played. So until tomorrow when we can right this ship, hang in there Devils fans!!