It seems like just yesterday that I sat down to start writing the preview for game 1 of the 2011/2012 season. I can’t believe that I am already sitting here, writing up the preview for game 82. The mission for 2011/2012 was to return to the playoffs. I’m happy to say, Mission Accomplished and now we can move on to our next mission, which is making it past round 1. Unfortunately we don’t know who our first round opponent is but in a few hours, we will know.
This is pretty much a meaningless game because we are secured into the 6th position without the ability to move up or down. The Devils should use this game as a way to start perfecting the things that will make us successful in the playoffs but I cautiously say that because these are the types of games I fear. Could you imagine losing an important player for the playoffs in a meaningless game? While I want the Devils to work and attack the Senators this afternoon, part of me wouldn't mind watching the 4th line A LOT today.
Assuming the Devils don't sit back today, what are those things the Devils should work on for the playoffs?
- Defense - The Devils were a great defensive team back in the late 90’s and early 2000’s and it helped them make deeps runs.
- Physicality – I have a feeling these playoffs will be the most physical we’ve seen yet, start hitting...A LOT!!
- Power Play – When teams get physical, penalties happen. While there are teams that have succeed with horrible power play units (Boston in 2011), successful power plays usually mean success in the playoffs. Make them pay for sitting in the box.
- One shift at a time. Don’t get ahead of ourselves and just take it shift by shift.
While I’m not overly pumped for this afternoon’s game, I am pumped for what lies ahead of us later in the week, whoever that might be against!!
A little inspiration for what lies ahead….