Sunday, April 29, 2012

Devils drop Game One in extras..

The New Jersey Devils looked like the superior team to the rested Philadelphia Flyers.
For the first period anyway.
After that,the Devils were generally overwhelmed by the stronger offensive team and somehow tied the game twice to force overtime in Philly.
Sooner or later,when you make enough mistakes in your own zone,they will make you pay and finally the errors did just that as Daniel Briere scored the game winner for the Flyers as the Devils dropped the first game of the series 4-3.
Devils goals to Zach Parise,Travis Zajac (Powerplay) and Petr Sykora.
Game two is Tuesday night in Philadelphia...

Hell Raisers

1) The Devils were outplayed for most of the game.
Frankly,they should consider themselves lucky that they were in a position to possibly win the game.
The defense needs to step up,play more physically and better in their own zone.
None of the defenders covered themselves in glory today....

2) Peter Harrold was awful and now might be the time to bring Adam Larsson off the scratch list.
Maybe I would think about waiting until the series returns to Newark for game three,but it needs to be done.
Larsson was struggling prior to the playoffs and might not improve after the downtime,but Harrold was really bad today....

3) Ilya Kovalchuk is nowhere near full strength and it shows.
Never a strong backchecker,Kovalchuk is struggling with his strength-skating.
It is very visible and the Flyers have to know it.
Give him credit for playing through whatever the injury is,but he is a borderline liability right now.

4) Zach Parise played well and his line with Patrik Elias and Dainius Zubrus was the Devils best line.
I look for the Devils to use Parise in the series in a similar fashion to how they use a healthy Kovalchuk-double shifting in order to keep their best scorer on the ice as much as possible...

5) Martin Brodeur was dazzling at times and ordinary at others,for the most part his play was strong enough to not deserve blame for the loss.
His defense gave him next to no help and the final two periods/overtime,Brodeur faced far more shots than the Flyers allowed the Devils...

6) All told,I do not feel that bad.
A loss is a loss,but considering the final two periods and overtime and that the game was a road game,they had a chance to win-that is all that I could ask for going into the game....
Game two will be a huge one.I would not go as far to say a must-win,but a win would go a long way towards winning the series....

(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

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