Friday, April 13, 2007
Rd. 1, Game 2: Tampa Bay @ Devils
GAMETIME: 7:00 PM EST
Local TV: Fox Sports NY
Local Radio: 660 AM, WFAN
Devils Lead The Series, 1-0
- Score early and shoot often. The Devils scored first and set the tempo of the game early and in their favor. Clearly, this turned out well for the Devils. Johan Holmqvist succumbed to strong shots on net by giving up 4 (and the fifth he gift-wrapped for the EGG line). The NHL.com preview pretty much states that Holmqvist will start again; hopefully the Devils pick him apart like they did on Thursday.
- Take fewer penalties. The fact that Tampa Bay only scored on one of the six power plays they had speaks well of the defense, Martin Brodeur, and the penalty killers. However, the Devils should obviously not hand an offensively powered team that many chances with the man advantage. The refs said they'd call these playoff games tightly; ergo, stop grabbing people with your free hand (Oduya), tripping players right in front of the ref (Zajac), and slashing players on the wrist (Parise).
- Send out some other checkers against Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis. John Madden and Jay Pandolfo are excellent defensive forwards. However, they do not regularly play as many minutes as Lecavalier and St. Louis, who averaged 22:36 and 24:09 of ice time respectively. Considerably less than the 18:52 and 18:36 of ice time Madden and Pandolfo respectively average. Lecavalier and St. Louis both played over 26 minutes in Game 1 and Madden and Pandolfo saw them for at least 21 of those minutes. The two Lightning players can handle big minutes, but I'm worried that big minutes will tire Madden and Pandolfo out and have them be less effective late in the game. Ergo, I think coach/GM/President/CEO/Man of the Hour/Tower of Power/Too Sweet to Be Sour Lou Lamoriello try matching a different line against Lecavalier and St. Louis at times and give the third line some rest.
That said, someone on one of the forums (I forget which) floatedthe idea of seven defensemen in lieu of the 4th line not seeing any action. That I'd love, especially since it appears Lecavalier and St. Louis are going to play until they drop.