Game one was all kinds of awesome for the first 20 minutes but as the period was ending with the Devils leading 3-0, my biggest fear was that NJ would back off and allow Florida to get back into the game. It’s not that NJ completely backed off but Florida certainly picked up there game. I don’t expect NJ to play an entire 60 minutes like they did the first 20 the other night. In fact, I don’t want to even suggest that they try to because that is unreasonable. I want a more balanced game from start to finish where the Devils keep the opposition from even thinking they have a chance. The Devils did a lot of things right the other night but there are things to improve upon for tonight.
Things I will be watching For:
- The Panthers seemed to have an endless parade to the box the other night and while we did score on one opportunity, we could have put them away early with a couple more PP goals. At times, we looked so disorganized on gaining the zone while a man up.
- Versteeg has been killing us all year..CONTAIN HIM!!
- Keep shooting. If Florida wants to go with Theordore then keep shooting because his “Jose Three-Or-More” nickname exists for a reason
- Stay physical. Florida started to amp it up in the 2nd half of the game and it seemed to give them energy. Bang them around, don’t let them be more physical.
- Kovalchuk and Parise need to show up. Didn’t think they had a great game 1.
You might disagree with me but I think the refs have been horrible overall in these playoffs. Lots of calls I don’t agree with getting called. For instance, the 4 minute man advantage we got the other night in the first, still not sure why. Last night I saw a terrible call on Toews for interference that was initiated by Mike Smith that led to a PP and PP goal for Pheonix. There are many more examples, those are just a quick few. Cmon Refs, let’s get it together!!