Stanley Cup Playoffs – Game #1 Preview – New Jersey Devils vs. Philadelphia Flyers
Stanley Cup Playoffs
New Jersey Devils vs. Philadelphia Flyers
3:00 PM E.T.
TV: NBC, CBC, RDS
Radio: Bloomberg 1130AM or SiriusXM 92
Well, the Devils have made it to Round 2 for the first time since 2007. If you don’t think this is a big deal, well, I don’t know what to say to you other than, it is! We not only broke the one and done curse, but we also won back to back games in the playoffs for the first time in five years. For this group of players, especially one Zach Parise, this is huge right now.
After having grueling back to back overtime games, the Devils will face the Philadelphia Flyers who have been idle for a week after defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins in six games. The Devils need to carry the momentum of the past two games into this afternoon’s game in order to have a chance to beat this hungry and well rested Flyers team. The season series between the Devils and Flyers was tied, but that means nothing when you enter the playoffs. All each team needs is a momentum shift one way or another and it could easily fall in their favor.
Goaltending has been an issue for both teams this playoffs. While Martin Brodeur shown flashes of his old brilliance with 40 fast approaching, there have been times when we haven’t seen the future Hall of Famer we’ve all come to love here in New Jersey. In order for the Devils to continue their success in the playoffs, Marty needs to bring it. On the other side of the ice in net, is Ilya Bryzgalov. “Mr. Universe” as he’s been affectionately named after HBO’s 24/7 series, has not been as great as the Flyers would want. In Round 1, he gave up 21 goals to the Penguins and was pulled in the 10-3 route in Game 4. Goaltending has always been an issue in Philadelphia, and it’s no different now, except their offense is powerful enough to pick up the slack on most nights. Will it be enough in this series? We shall see.
Speaking of offense, Claude Giroux has been a beast in the playoffs so far and if the Devils want to have any kind of success in this round, they need to try and contain him, if even just a bit. He has 6 goals and 8 assists so far, for the league lead in the playoffs.
Travis Zajac has been fantastic since his return to the line-up and leads the team with 3 goals and 3 assists in the playoffs. In addition to scoring, he has had great success in the face-off circle, which is something desperately needed against this Flyers team. In addition, if forwards like Ilya Kovalchuk and Zach Parise can continue to find scoring chances, the Devils will keep pressing on. But, it’s not just the top line that needs to keep going, Patrik Elias has been laying low and now is the time for him to step up because he has had a lot of success against the Flyers in the past.
So here we go, Game 1 is this afternoon, in the battle of the Turnpike! We advanced to the second round, I didn’t stop believing in Round 1 and I’m certainly not going to stop believing in Round 2.
ONE SHIFT AT A TIME, ONE PERIOD AT TIME, and ONE GAME AT TIME… LET’S GO DEVILS!!