Devils played the roller coaster type of game that they didn’t want. The team was consistently trying to catch up rather than staying ahead. Tallinder was interviewed after being down 1-0 at the end of 1 and stated that they needed to return to their style of hockey. Tallinder was also able to tally a goal to help even the game up in the second at 3.
New Jersey spent a lot of time in the penalty box. Justified or not, the Devils have already given up 29 power play opportunities to opposing teams this season. That is the biggest reason they lost, as the Islanders were able to score 3 power play goals; 1 of those goals being the game winner in OT. 5 on 5 play, the Devils jumped out on the Islanders early getting the first 8 of 9 shots on goal. New Jersey just wasn’t able to put one past Nabokov early. Their momentum shifted and the game turned into the run and gun style after they surrendered the first PP goal to the Islanders. It happened to be Tavares 1st goal of the season, which ended his 15 game scoreless streak.
Across the league, players were unsure how their fans would respond to NHL finally commencing. When fans filled arenas for scrimmages it was assured that hockey was back. The Devils didn’t have any open practices. However, New Jersey fans still returned with as much energy as game 5 of the 2012 SCF. The fans returned strong, 17,625 strong to be exact. The arena was filled with energetic fans, many of whom were outside hours before the drop of the puck.
As a fan, I want articles about the Devils to have enthusiasm and passion. Lately, that doesn’t seem to be the case. I’ve read many “preview” articles about this season that have already written the Devils off. They read something like this…”I wouldn’t be surprised if the Devils didn’t make the playoffs.” This pessimism, as well as excuses for the disaster they predict is shameful. Perhaps it’s a case of setting the bar low so no one will be disappointed, but I believe that we should be expecting more from this Devils team. With good reason.
Many questions are looming for this season, however today’s win can hopefully ease the worry. With a shortened season New Jersey has to come out of the gate strong and today was a solid start. Brodeur’s age didn’t seem to matter as he looked sharp stopping 18 of 19 shots. He was quick and looked focused. As usual, Marty was positioning himself well and challenging the Islanders shooters.
Stanley Cup Playoffs: Round 4
Los Angeles Kings at New Jersey Devils
8:00 P.M. ET
Radio: Bloomberg 1130 AM
Kings lead series 1-0.
New Jersey didn’t come out and play the way they wanted on Wednesday night. Despite being outplayed and having trouble maintaining a forecheck, the Devils still had a chance to squeak out a win. In Game 1 the Devils missed some open net opportunities. Look for the Devils to capitalize tonight on any opportunities they get, by taking more shots on net. Keep your eye out, as well, for the adjustment on the forecheck. The Kings quickly transitioned the puck out of their zone by using the middle of the ice.
The big story, that all main stream media has been building up, will hopefully be laid to rest. The Kings are 10-0 on the road this post season. When a stat or streak has been mentioned endlessly, it is just meant to be broken.
It’s Stanley Cup Playoff time! While we are all excited for the playoffs, let’s take a look back at the season and hand out some fan-voted Player Awards. At the Devils Team Awards ceremony the team voted Zach Parise as their MVP, Johan Hedberg was named the Player’s Player and shared the Unsung Hero award with Bryce Salvador. What we want to know is what you think! We picked a few players and want you to cast your vote for each of the categories below.