Saturday, April 28, 2007


Rd. 2, Game 2: Ottawa @ Devils

The New Jersey Devils will attempt to strike back and tie up the series against the Ottawa Senators in Game 2 tonight in New Jersey.

Local TV: Fox Sports NY
National TV: Versus (HD)
Local Radio: 92.3 FM, FREE FM
The Ottawa Senators Lead the Series 1-0 Preview

The preview tells the story and Bridget Wentworth at the Star Ledger confirms it, as does the Bergen Record's Tom Gulitti at his new blog, Fire & Ice.

Captain and top left-winger Patrik Elias will return to the Devils line up tonight and I couldn't be happier. While the Devils fought valiantly to salvage what was once a blowout seemed to be a foregone conclusion, they still gave up 4 unanswered goals in the first period. You can be sure captain Elias (or any of the coaching staff) won't allow that to happen again.

What do the Devils need tonight? They need to win the first period. Not do well and get behind early due to a fluke. Not do well but end the period at 0-0. Not rely on Martin Brodeur to bail out the entire team via standing on his head from minute 1. I want the Devils to score first and send the message to Ottawa that what happened in Game 1 will not be repeated. The Devils need be calmer with the puck, be smarter in their clearance attempts (e.g. not blindly firing the puck away in your own zone, Rafalski), more direct and simple with their passes (e.g. cut down on the number of no-look passes), and take it to Ray Emery right from the start. The return of Elias should definitely bolster the offense just by virtue of the EGG unit being re-united.

If the Devils can do that and maintain a strong level of effort from such a first period, I believe they got a good chance to win this one. Obviously, I hope they do. GO DEVILS!

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