Jeff Carter’s goal 13:42 into overtime in Game 2 of the 2012 Stanley Cup Finals was the second overtime win of the series for the Kings, and third straight overtime win overall, dating back to the Western Conference Finals. That puts the Devils in a 2-0 series hole, with the series shifting to Los Angeles for Games 3 and 4. It’s a deep hole to be in, but it isn’t over yet.
This is the first post of potentially 4 depicting what I had seen and heard from my seats at the 2012 Stanley Cup Final. Hope you all enjoy it.
I’m lucky enough where this is my 2nd Stanley Cup Final I’m able to be a part of as a season ticket holder. Talking it over with my friend Steve, we both said how this time around we are able to enjoy and appreciate it a lot more. We were STH rookies in 2003 so we just enjoyed the ride. Also being a part of the 3 finals in 4 years teams, it was almost expected. We knew nothing different. We were also 20 at the time. Now 9 years later and 9 years of heartache in April, we were able to soak it all in Wednesday night.
Stanley Cup Playoffs: Round 3
New Jersey Devils (8-4) vs. New York Rangers (8-6)
8:00 PM E.T.
TV: NBCSN, CBC
Radio: Bloomberg 1130 AM
Tonight is the first game of the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals. A familiar foe stands in the way of a Stanley Cup berth for the Devils this spring: the rival Rangers. The Devils and Rangers will re-new their bitter rivalry once again. The regular season series was pretty even, as all six games featured a score within one goal at some point in the third period, and each team won three of the six matchups. Winning this series is more than bragging rights, though. The winner of this series wins the Eastern Conference and will be four wins away from a championship.
Stanley Cup Playoffs
New Jersey Devils vs. Florida Panthers
8:30 PM E.T.
TV: MSG Plus (HD), NHLN-US, NBCSN (JIP), TSN, RDSI, FS-F
Radio: WFAN 660 or SiriusXM 212
Well, here we are again folks. Another elimination game, but this time in a Game 7 and this time, for BOTH teams. It is all on the line tonight, which means that everything will have to be brought to the table. There will be no more excuses and no more chances after tonight as one team WILL be going home. So let’s hope that the Devils can build off the momentum from Tuesday’s thrilling overtime victory in Game 6.
Three stars of the game:
3rd star: Patrik Elias (2 assists)
2nd star: Petr Sykora (Goal, assist)
1st star: Ilya Kovalchuk (Goal, 2 assists)
Let’s rewind two days. Entering Thursday night, the Devils were deprived of goal scoring. They had won just three of eight games, and scored two goals in the three wins. But after the shootout win over the Blackhawks on Tuesday, the Devils finally exploded against Tampa Bay. In the second period, they scored 4 times, added two more in the third period, and the Devils had themselves a 6-4 win over the Lightning. In that game, the Devils felt good about their game offensively, but Martin Brodeur did surrender four goals, and the Devils didn’t really play a strong defensive game. Perhaps Pete DeBoer just let them play wide open to boost their confidence. So they went down to Carolina and cleaned up the other part of their game. They played one of their better games all season, blasting the Hurricanes, 5-0, and the Devils clinch a playoff spot in style.
New Jersey Devils (43-28-6, 92 points) vs. Tampa Bay Lightning (35-34-7, 77 points)
7:00 PM E.T.
Radio: WFAN 660 AM
This is the fourth and final meeting between the Devils and Lightning. As was the case with Toronto, the road team has won every game between these two teams this season, so the Devils will look to break that trend tonight. The Devils have had the Lightning’s number over the years, but a loss tonight would mean they did not win the season series against Tampa Bay. The Lightning won the most recent meeting, 4-3 on February 26th at Prudential Center, as Martin St. Louis scored a hat trick in the game. The Devils’ late comeback fell short that day.
New Jersey Devils (23-16-2, 48 points) vs Calgary Flames (19-19-5, 43 points)
9:30 PM EST
TV: MSG+ 2
Radio: WFAN 660 AM
Tonight mark’s the one and only time that the New Jersey Devils and the Calgary Flames will battle this season. The two teams last met in November of 2010 which saw the game end in a 2-1 shootout win for the Devils.
What a Difference a Year Makes:
Saturday marked the one year mark since the Devils traded their Captain, Jamie Langenbrunner, to the Dallas Stars. It seemed ever since that move, the Devils horrific season seemed to turn around despite missing the playoffs for the first time since the 95-96 season.
The Devils win on Saturday over Pittsburgh, which saw Ilya Kovalchuk score his 15th goal of the season which puts him in a tie for the team-lead with David Clarkson, put them at 48 points so far this season. This is impressively better as the Devils had only 22 points at the halfway point of last season.
This season so far, the Devils have seven players with double digit goal totals. Some of the skaters are surprises including David Clarkson, who has already surpassed his scoring from last season. Other surprises include Petr Sykora, who made the team out of training camp, and rookie Adam Henrique.
The Devils currently find themselves sixth in the Eastern Conference standings. They are two points out of fifth, four out of fourth (currently held by the Flyers), and eight behind the Rangers for first in the division and the East.
Projected Devils Lineup:
Parise (C) – Henrique – Kovalchuk (A)
Sykora – Elias (A) – Zubrus
Palmieri – Zalewski – Clarkson
Boulton – Carter – Tedenby
Salvador – Larsson
Taormina – Foster
Tallinder – Fayne
Scratches: Zajac, Josefson, Janssen
The Latest on the Calgary Flames:
The Flames are coming off a bounce-back win against the Minnesota Wild on Saturday after they were embarrassed by the Boston Bruins on Thursday night, 9-0.
The game against the Wild saw important career milestones get reached. Going into the third period the Flames and Wild were scoreless until Lance Bouma was able to beat Niklas Backstrom for his first National Hockey League Goal. This goal started a rally which saw Jarome Iginla score, the eventual game winner, as well as Curtis Glencross. Iginla’s goal was his 500th career NHL goal. What makes this mighty impressive is all the goals were scored with the same team, the Calgary Flames.
Iginla has shown no signs of stopping either, as he is currently on pace to score 30+ goals again in what would be his 11th consecutive season.
Flames Stats Leaders:
Points – Jarome Iginla, 33
Goals – Curtis Glencross, 17
Assists – Olli Jokinen, 21
Projected Flames Lineup:
Stempniak – Backlund – Bouma
Byron – Jones – Comeau
Brostopolous – Horak – Jackman
Bouwmeester – Butler
Brodie – Sarich
Wilson – Babstache
Patrik Sundstrom was acquired by the New Jersey Devils in 1988 from the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for Greg Adams and Kirk McLean.
Sundstrom had a solid first season with the Devils, but it was his postseason that was unbelievable. In game three of the Patrick Division finals against the Capitals, he set a NHL record for points in a playoff game with 8 points. He finished that postseason with 20 points (7 goals, 13 assists). The record still stands today.
Sundstrom’s offensive numbers started to slump due to numerous injuries and he eventually signed with a hockey club in his homeland of Sweden and finished his hockey career there.
|Career Stats with the New Jersey Devils|
John MacLean was drafted sixth overall in the 1983 NHL Entry Draft by the New Jersey Devils.
MacLean’s claim to fame for the New Jersey Devils, isn’t so much all the offensive records he set. No. MacLean is remembered for scoring an overtime goal against the Chicago Blackhawks on April 3, 1988. This goal would send the Devils into the playoffs for the first time.
MacLean was one of the Devils’ alternate captains when the team won the Stanley Cup in 1995.
He remained with the team until he was traded in 1997 so the San Jose Sharks.
He would go on to play with the New York Rangers and the Dallas Stars before retiring during the 2002 offseason.
MacLean would join the Devils coaching staff in September 2002 as an assistant coach, and was part of the coaching staff of the Stanley Cup winning team that year.
After being named head coach for the Lowell Devils of the AHL in 2009, MacLean was finally named head coach of the New Jersey Devils in 2010, but that didn’t go very well. MacLean was fired on December 23, 2010 while the Devils sat last in the Eastern Conference with a 9-22-2 record.
|Career Stats with the New Jersey Devils|