Hello everyone and welcome to the next and FINAL addition Masala Monday. While the main goal of this segment wasn’t necessarily accomplished, I hope you guys have at least enjoyed reading it. The last time I talked to you guys, our New Jersey Devils were about to begin their Stanley Cup Final matchup with the Los Angeles Kings. It’s been days since then and currently the Kings lead the series 3-2, but they were leading 3-0. Let’s take a look at a few key players that helped the Devils make this a series worth watching.
The Devils 4th line – Yup they are at it again! While this line hasn’t been responsible for the majority of the scoring, it can prove clutch. I’m sure by now, LA is well aware of the threat that Stephen Gionta, Ryan Carter, and Steve Bernier pose on the Kings. In game 2, Carter scored the 3rd period equalizer at a pivotal moment even though New Jersey ended up losing to Los Angeles in overtime due to Jeff Carter’s winner.
Adam Henrique – The maturity he shows on the ice for a rookie is incredible! He has shown the critics that he is a reliable go-to player in desperate times. Need proof? Here you go; 2OT Game 7 vs. Florida, OT Game 6 vs. New York, and now the game winning goal with 4:31 to go in an elimination Game 4 in Los Angeles. Seems like he does it all and if the Devils come back to make history, Devils fans ought to thank him…a lot!
Henrik Tallinder – As Coach Pete DeBoer mentioned in a press conference, Tallinder truly does have the “freshest legs” on the ice. Simply put, when a guy misses 50 games, he will come back strong and play effectively. Tallinder has done nothing but that and while he hasn’t produced any numbers, his defensive presence has shut down their stars such as Kopitar, Richards, Brown, etc.
Zach Parise – This is a bit controversial. Parise was quiet for the entire series until he found the back of the net in Game 5. So, why put him here? My reasoning is that he knows his role on this team and if the captain can get it going, so can his team. The goal he scored on the power play gave him his first point of the series and allowed the Devils to finally capitalize on their power play, which has been nothing but misfortunate. Perhaps Parise can carry this momentum with more goals to help New Jersey win the Cup.
Marty Brodeur – Marty hasn’t been terrible at all in the Finals! His first two losses came in overtime. You could make the argument that he was awful in Game 3, where LA won 4-0. True but, the entire team was awful on that game. In fact, I don’t think anyone but the 4th line and Marty showed up because the score most likely would have ended like Game 3 of last year’s Stanley Cup Finals (8-1 Bruins over Canucks).
Marek Zidlicky – Bum really has been on the decline. Yes, I have seen some nice defensive plays that saved a breakaway chance. On the other hand, some plays that Bum makes truly frustrates the living parasite out of me…if there ever was one. To this day I still don’t know why Kovalchuk and Bum don’t trade spots on the power play. Maybe if Kovy guards the middle point, his rocket would be more effective than to shoot a one timer from an angle.
Mark Fayne – Nothing has been going right for Fayne in this series. You barely hear his name! Whenever you have though, I’m sure it’s gone somewhere along the lines of “How did Fayne miss the open net?!” or “Fayne takes an ill-advised penalty when the Devils had a rhythm going”. Sadly, this is the truth and I would suggest putting Adam Larsson in. It can’t hurt can’t it? NJ is already down in the series so it’s pretty much “do anything” to get back even.
As a team I would say the Devils are spicy! If they were mild or stale, they would be golfing right now. I’m impressed with their comeback when at one point I was a realist and told myself “this is impossible”… my apologies of course as now I’m a firm believer. Whoever isn’t ought to wake up because this is it! If you don’t believe so, do share your views. You all can send me your views/criticisms via commenting or via tweeting.
A short note from me: This is tentative but supposing New Jersey’s dream season comes to an unfortunate end tonight, then this will probably be my last piece for the season. I will have the Game 7 recap for you all if there is one. However, should there be none, then I am honored to have an opportunity to write for all of our readers on Running with the Devils! I thank you all for your support, even though I hopped on board a bit late into the season! I’ll definitely be looking forward to next season as well (again this is only IF the Devils can’t force a Game 7 but I’m sure they will)!
For all the latest Devils news, follow us on twitter: @RWTDblog, @Rvaidya33, @RealScottRobb, and @DEVIN88MATTERA and you can like us on our Facebook page! So long for now – I’m Raj Vaidya, and hopefully this spice wasn’t too hot to handle!