Game 1 – Stanley Cup Finals!! A quick show of hands, who predicted this at the beginning of the season? Anyone!!?? Actually, I went back and looked at the season preview that Debra and I did in the beginning of the year and I predicted the Devils to make the playoffs but I didn’t put any predictions down beyond that. At that time, Debra was writing for this blog and she made this bold prediction…
If the Devils can make it past the first round of playoffs, thereby shaking that monkey off their backs, they will play in the Stanley Cup Finals.
Wow!! Way to go Deb!!!
So Game 1 and this series is certainly going to feature two teams that are very similar. Both have great offensive power and are huge scoring threats. Both have a decent defense that can control a game. Both have significant depth in their lineups. Both fore-check very well which opens the game for their offense and both have amazing men in between the pipes.
If you are looking for an edge on either side, it is going to be hard to point one out. The one thing I can say about NJ is that our 4th line has done a better job of putting up points than the King’s fourth line but then I would have to point out that the Kings are an amazing road team.
This series is going to be VERY tight and of course stressful and probably have you on the edge of your seat every night.
The Devils get home ice advantage in this series which means in Game 1 and Game 2, the Devils get the benefit of the last line change. The bad thing is, the Kings are 8-0 on the road this postseason so that last line change hasn’t hurt them at all. That means if the Devils plan A doesn’t work, they have to be ready to go with plan B, place C, etc. In fact, this is a good word of advice going into the series against the Kings.
Keys To Winning
- Out work the Kings. They are a hard working team but the Devils need to be that much better. Stay with the fore-check and don’t EVER sit back. Leave everything on the ice every night. You need just 4 wins and you get the cup and a summer of relaxation and partying with the cup.
- That thing I just said about the cup, forget it. Don’t get ahead of ourselves. Take this shift by shift and game by game. Stick to the basics and the things that got you this far.
- Be disciplined and stay out of the box. Don’t give the Kings any easy opportunities by taking dumb penalties. If you get a chance on the power play, make it count. The Kings have the best PK in the playoffs so doing that is going to be tough. Move the puck around and make Quick work the entire net.
- The one thing to remember is that the Kings haven’t faced a lot of adversity in the post season. They’ve controlled most of the games and the series they have played. Make them work. Hopefullywhen things start getting tough for them, the entire thing will just cave in on them.
What scares me most about the Kings is that they have a few players on their roster that have lost in the Finals. I’m nervous that their appetite for getting that cup is going to be huge. I’m sure we all know Jeff Carter and Mike Richards are on the Kings now and they used to cause so much damage to NJ when they played in Philly. This is a tough, tough team, much tougher than the Rangers in my opinion but we can beat them if we do the little things. We faced them twice this season and beat them both times. Hopefully that trend continues.
If you are looking for some insight into the Kings, I suggest you head over to our Bloguin counterpart, The Royal Half and take a look at what they are saying about us. While you are there, really let them know who’s going home with the cup this year!!