Stanley Cup Finals Game 1: Devils Looking to Take Advantage of Home Ice

2012 Stanley Cup Finals, New Jersey Devils vs LA Kings

Stanley Cup Playoffs: Round 4
Los Angeles Kings at New Jersey Devils
8:00 P.M. ET
TV: NBC
Radio: Bloomberg 1130 AM

Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals begins tonight at 8pm and it’s our New Jersey Devils vs. the Los Angeles Kings…yes, let that sink in, re-read it again if you need to.  After defeating the Florida Panthers in 7 games, the Philadelphia Flyers in 5 games and the New York Rangers in 6 games, our New Jersey Devils are playing in the Stanley Cup Finals!!

The Devils have slowly built momentum from the beginning of the playoffs. From knocking off a harder than expected Florida team, to their surprising domination of the Flyers and finally getting over the hump by beating the hated Rangers, this was an unexpected run for New Jersey, although it was certainly one that the team was capable of.

In the first series against the Panthers, the Devils faced adversity having to come back after being down 3-2 in the series.  Travis Zajac and Adam Henrique were the overtime heroes in each of those games and they haven’t looked back since.  Zajac has scored 7 goals, including two game winners and assisted on 5 others.  Henrique has scored two game winning goals, including the dramatic overtime winner in Game 6 against the Rangers to propel the Devils into the Finals.

The Devils run to the Finals has been a total team effort. In addition to Zajac and Henrique, Ilya Kovalchuk has raised his game and been a money player, as has the Captain, Zach Parise. They have combined for 14 goals and 18 assists. The CBGB line of Ryan Carter, Steve Bernier, and Gionta’s brother (Stephen) was basically the difference in the series against the Rangers with a combined 4 goals and 5 assists. It will be interesting to see how this line is used in the Finals against the Los Angeles Kings.

Finally, in net Martin Brodeur has turned back the clock with 12 wins and a 2.05 GAA in the playoffs. In the series against the Rangers, Marty out-dueled the man many consider to be the best goalie in the NHL in Henrik Lundqvist.  There is obvious still some magic left in the 40 year old veteran.

Now, the Los Angeles Kings are not to be taken lightly. They are 12-2 going into the Cup Finals for a reason. They beat the Vancouver Canucks in five games, swept the St. Louis Blues and then took care of the Phoenix Coyotes in five games.  They are undefeated in road games, so if the Devils need to do anything, it’s win a home game!

While the Devils start from their forwards and end in the crease, the Kings start in the crease with Jonathan Quick and end with their forwards. Quick has posted a 1.54 GAA and a .946 save percentage to lead the NHL in the playoffs. In order to defeat the Kings, the Devils need to storm the net and score some goals on Quick. They also need to find a way to contain Dustin Brown, who leads the Kings in playoff scoring, with 7 goals and 9 assists. Anze Kopitar is just one goal behind him, and has the same amount of assists. Finding a way to shut them down is key.

We may not have expected this deep run from Jersey’s team, but here we are! No matter what happens in this series, the season has been a resounding success for the Devils. But there’s more work to be done.  And that work begins at 8 pm tonight.

ONE SHIFT AT A TIME, ONE PERIOD AT TIME, and ONE GAME AT TIME… LET’S DO THIS DEVILS!!

Devils projected lineup:

Parise – Zajac – Zubrus

Elias –  Henrique – Kovalchuk

Ponikarovsky – Josefson – Clarkson

Carter – Gionta – Bernier

Greene – Fayne

Salvador – Zidlicky

Volchenkov – Harrold

Brodeur

Hedberg

Kings projected lineup:

Brown – Kopitar – Williams

Penner – Richards – Carter

King – Stoll – Lewis

Richardson – Fraser – Nolan

Scuderi – Doughty

Mitchell – Voynov

Martinez – Greene

Quick

Bernier

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Posted on May 30, 2012, in Devils Army, Devils Army Generals, Game Preview, New Jersey Devils, New Jersey Devils Fans, NHL, NHL Playoffs, Prudential Center, Social Media, The Rock and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Not gonna be easy, LA has been pretty much dominant in the West playoffs. Always hating facing Carter and richards in Philly, and now here they are again! With experience. Ive said it before, keep playng our game, forecheck the hell out of them! Lets Go Devils!!!

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