A lot has been written of 1994 over the course of these playoffs and especially over the last 5 games. Here we are, in an Eastern Conference Final between NJ and NY with the series heading to NJ with the Devils leading 3-2 and looking for a chance to close it out. How can you NOT mention 1994 when talking about this series? Let’s hope it ends tonight. Truth… there will be nothing more agenizing this summer if we let this series get away from us again. The way I see it, if the Devils play like they did in Game 4, there is no way this series doesn’t end tonight.
Game 5 was a crazy game where we shot out to a quick 3-0 lead, let the Rangers come ALL THE WAY back and then we stabbed them in the heart with a huge dagger. I’m begging NJ not to play a game like that again because you can only play with fire so many times before you get burned.
Despite the lead we gave up the other night, I thought NJ played well and I thought there were things we did well. Yes, they got away from their fore-check for a bit and allowed NY to get a fore-check of their own going but we eventually got back to it and it proved to be a factor in winning the game. As a side note, has Kovalchuk not become a complete player? I think the best thing to happen to his career was having Lemaire come in mid-season last year because he bought into playing defense and was responsible for a big part of that goal. He took out Del Zoto which allowed Gionta to whip the puck in front of the net, which Carter buried. Even with Kovalchuk laboring through these games with his injury, I am so impressed at his game.
Keys To Tonight:
- As always, STAY OUT OF THE BOX!!! Cut down on the opportunities that you give the Rangers to find the back of the net. They have the best PP left in the playoffs, don’t let them use it.
- Stick to the game plan and try hard to not get away from it. It happened in Game 5 and it allowed NY to fight their way back into the game. Lundqvist has given up 4 goals in each of the last two games and he’s not going to give up 4 more tonight very easily.
- Marty, be on!!! I know 1994 is a distant memory and we’ve accomplished so much since then but wouldn’t it feel good to knock these guys out of the playoffs at home in Game 6 like you should have back in 1994? I never thought I would say this but I cringe every time you go play the puck now. Sit tight unless there is a lot of open space. That Gaborik goal was just awful. It was like we were at a party in college, had a little too much to drink and knew we had to puke and then had to make a decision of whether to puke in the bushes or in the garbage can but then didn’t make either in time.
- And above all else …. WIN!!!!!
All that needs to be said is…