It’s playoff time and after a rare miss last season, the Devils are returning to the post-season. Since the lockout however, the Devils have only made it past the first round once and haven’t done so the entire time that Zach Parise has put on the Devils sweater. Can the Devils find a way to still be playing hockey once the first 8 playoff teams have been handed their tickets to the off-season?
When you think back to those excellent Devils teams that made deep playoff runs or the ones that ended up winning the cup, there is one thing you remember: defense. More than that, the Devils were a physical team with Scott Stevens and Ken Daneyko leading the way. The lack of physicality has me worried about the Devils chances this spring. I fear that these playoffs will be the most physical we’ve ever seen and I question if the Devils have the physicality to compete.
Volchenkov is our one booming D-man who is nicknamed the “A-Train” for good reason. When you look back at Scott Stevens, you knew that he was going to keep the opposing stars in check all game long. That’s the problem I have with Volchekov. He’s capable of trying to put you through the boards but he doesn’t always do it. On top of that, the Devils don’t have another defenseman who can really pound the opposition so he must step up, every time.
The Devils have one more meaningless game on Saturday before we start getting ready for the playoffs. If it’s the cup we seek than the entire team must be prepared to battle.
Let us know what you think. Are we physical enough to out battle the other Eastern Conference teams?