Game 7: Doesn’t Get Much Bigger Than A Game 7

Game 7!! Two words filled with anticipation and drama. A game in which all things are equal and the past is meaningless. 82 regular season games and 6 playoff games of sweat, pain and sacrifice comes down to 1 game,  60 minutes of hockey. For one of these teams, tomorrow means preparing for the next stage of battle on the road to hockey’s ultimate prize while the other cleans out their lockers and prepares for a summer of what ifs. There is nothing like a game 7.

Hopefully for the players, they don’t look at it that way because that is A LOT of pressure but the question of the day is, who has more pressure on them? Florida or New Jersey?

This series has followed the script of what a playoff series should be, except maybe it was missing the bad blood that you sometimes see. Each game has had its proverbial ebbs and flows, so I am not surprised we’ve ended up in a Game 7, winner take all death match. I do think overall that NJ has been the better team and hopefully will be the better team tonight, which is all that matters.

The biggest frustration so far this postseason has been a guy like Clarkson who had a huge year but has been very quiet in these playoffs. It’s not usually the super stars, the snipers that win you games this time of year. It’s those grinders, those guys that live in front of the net. The Devils 4th line, which didn’t really exist for much of the season, has been huge in this series. I need Clarkson to be huge tonight.

Keys To The Game:

  • Tighten up defensively. The Devils did a decent job for most of game 5 but allowing 2 goals on only 4 shots in the 2nd the other night is not tight defense. Fix that!!
  • Speaking of the 2nd period – SURVIVE!!! Florida has owned that period which has given them a couple of wins. It’s been a recurring theme all year that the Devils miss a period. DON’T let it happen tonight.
  • Try and take the crowd out early. It’s game 7, they’ll be pumped and loud but if you can get them out of the game early, it will make it easier.
  • The only safe lead is the one that we have when the clock read 3rd period :00. Don’t sit back on anything.
  • Throw pucks at the net because you never know. Look at Bernier’s goal the other night, he chased it to the boards, turned around and just threw it at the net. Florida should have stopped it but it snuck in. You can’t get those bounces if you don’t throw it at the net.
  • Simplify the game, don’t over think it. Too many times we try to get cute with the puck.
  • Play hard for however many minutes the game last tonight, hopefully only 60. Don’t let up,keep the foot on the gas. If you get the chance to squeeze the life out of them, then by all means…

A Plea To Marty Brodeur

PLEASE…no soft goals. Fight like you haven’t fought in a long time. Channel that Marty from 10 years ago that used to put this team on his back and steal games. You did it just a couple of games ago, we are looking for one more tonight. Live to play another series, we the fans aren’t ready for this to end and you as the goalie are our last line of defense. If they can’t get it by you, then they can’t win.

And finally….

There was a conversation on twitter yesterday about “Miracle” which led to my feeling old because that game is actually my first hockey memory I have and the people I was talking to told me that they weren’t even thoughts in their parents minds at the time. That just means they are like 29 or 30 right??. ANYWAY, when it comes to inspirational hockey speeches, I think the Herb Brookes speech that was shown in Miracle ranks up there as the best.


About Darren

Darren is a long time fan of the New Jersey Devils and had been covering the New Jersey Devils for various websites before starting up Running With The Devils in the fall of 2009.