The Eastern Conference Finals changes venues this afternoon for a 1pm start, which absolutely sucks when there isn’t a WCF game scheduled for Prime Time. I can’t guarantee anything other than the game will be played in a building where the ice isn’t as poor as it was in game 1 & 2 and every door in the building works properly.
Wednesday night was stressful to say the least but I knew going into this series that it was going to be stressful. The Devils wore down the Rangers the other night with a ferocious fore-check and a hunger to win every battle and get to every puck. They did let up in the second but got it back for the third. I have a hard time believing that the Rangers are going to let that happen again. With 2 days off instead of the normal 1 day in between games, I would imagine that the Rangers will have a little more energy and pep to their game than they did in Game 2.
DeBoer said after Game 1 that shot blocking wasn’t the big story of the series and in Game 2, the Devils proved it wasn’t but they are going to have to keep proving it every game.
The task at hand is a rather large task but if the New Jersey Devils can just take care of their home ice, then we can put this series to bed. However, it is important not to get too far ahead of ourselves. The Devils did a great job taking the Philly series 1 game at a time and not looking ahead to what winning the series meant. Let’s hope Deboer is keeping the Devils grounded and focusing on the 60 minutes that lie ahead of them this afternoon.
How to Win Game 3:
- Stay out of the box which given the horrible calls made by the referees this post-season in every series, that isn’t very easy to do. Don’t give the refs anything easy to call. The Devils made 4 trips to the box the other night and the Rangers got 2 goals from it. Yes, 1 was a wacky MSG bounce off the boards and the other was a perfect screen in front.
- Speaking of screens, try to help Marty out and clear out the path in front of him. If Kreider isn’t there the other night, the Rangers never score that second PP goal.
- The Devils were superior in the face-off circle winning 32 out of 59. More of the same please…
- The book is out on Lundqvist that his weakness is the high glove. We shouldn’t always shoot there but we should do it more than I think we do. Look at Kovy’s PP goal the other night..high glove, NO CHANCE WHAT-SO-EVER.
- Keep trying to get traffic in front. Two great deflections became the difference maker in Game 2.
- Fore-check, Fore-check and Fore-check some more.
I would love nothing more than to run the Rangers out of the building but I am also realistic in seeing that it probably won’t happen. NY has played A LOT of close games in these playoffs and we should get used to the stressful, nail biters that Game 2 was.
A lot has been made of John Tortorella and his approach to the post-game interview (or even the in-game interview that they do). He’s not going to answer questions and we should just get used to that. Yes, I think it’s a jerky thing to do because the media guys are just trying to do a job and get answers for their fans and all they are met with is a guy who likes to give them absolutely nothing. If you watched the other night, you knew immediately by the snarky look on his face that he wasn’t going to answer squat. I give DeBoer a lot of credit in his post-game interviews. He may not answer the questions very thoroughly at times but he answers them while not giving away the game plan. Of course, when the Rangers lose, all of Tortorella’s tactics have people talking about his post-game interviews instead of talking about how poorly the Rangers played so maybe that is the purpose. The point is, the media should stop focusing on his press conferences all together and focus on the team. It’s like Torts has put bounties on player’s heads. Oh well, whatever, he still comes off like a d-bag.
Let’s send this D-Bag home without a cup!!!!