Series tied 2-2 going into tonight’s Game 5 at Madison Square Garden. It’s been a doozy of a series already with a lot of back and forth in the win column but truth be told, I think the Devils have really outplayed the Rangers for most of the series. I could probably count 3 periods and not a full 3 periods where the Rangers put something together that was better than what the Devils were putting together. Unfortunately for us, 2 of those 3 periods came in the 3rd period of a 0-0 game and got the win for NY. Frustration hasn’t gotten the best of NJ because being tied 2-2 in a series where you’ve dominated most of the time on ice is frustrating.
So what are the keys to tonight’s game for the Devils?
- Be Aggressive to start the game. NY hasn’t shown much aggression or hunger in terms of getting the puck (being aggressive and cheap when skating by Marty is a different story!!) so NJ has to expect the Rangers to come out with all they’ve got tonight. It’s important to get a good start when you are playing in a place like Madison Square Garden. It’s the Garden, you are not going to every take the crowd out of the game but getting off to a good start can go a long way when it comes to dealing with their crowd.
- Stay Cool, Calm and Composed. We didn’t fall into the trap of retaliation against the Flyers and didn’t fall into the other night in Game 4 when Rupp started being himself. (BTW, what happened to Rupp? He wasn’t a piece of shit when he played here but now he is a BIG piece of shit…must be that jersey!!) I would expect more of the same from NY, especially if NJ finds a lead. I do love how Torts calls us dirty and then throws Rupp, Eminger and Bickle on the ice together like he isn’t trying to start something!!
- Stay with the fore-check and do it often and do it hard. The Rangers don’t have a lot of answers other than Lundqvist making some brilliant saves when the Devils really get on their fore-check.
- Marty has been good and he has to keep being good.
Enough with this Zach Parise contract crap in all the papers. I’m fairly confident he has only one thing on his mind right now and that’s Game 5. Tomorrow it will be Game 6, not where he’s going to play next year.