Friday, April 18, 2008


Game 5: Devils 3 - Rangers 5

The Devils lost Game 5 to the Rangers, 3-5. The Devils got the first goal, controlled the puck well for the first period, and left Brodeur high and dry for three goals. Then the Rangers put up another tally in the second period. The Devils finally - finally - woke up, thanks to the softest goal given up in the entire series. A prayer from Bryce Salvador from behind the blue line and a fortunate bounce off the post gave the Devils hope. Patrik Elias putting home a rebound on a power play made the Devils faithful believe. But despite the hard work in the third period, despite all the efforts to try and beat the Rangers' 1-4 zone, despite how they responded, despite being better on face offs, despite out-hitting the Rangers by a ratio of just under 2 to 1, despite all this. It ultimately was too little too late. The deficit was too big for the Devils to come back from and the Rangers defended the lead as anyone could.

I hate saying this, but the Rangers were the better team in the series. I have to admit this. Anyone watching the series has to admit this. They got the bounces, they worked hard to get those bounces, and they did well when they had the lead. I hate this. I hate the fact that the Devils didn't win at home. I hate the fact that the Devils need to be losing before they can play better. I hate seeing the first goal become a non-factor so quickly. I hate the fact that it's the offseason now. I hate the fact that I can't go to Newark until October. I hate the fact that I can't watch Devils hockey until the fall. I hate seeing the Devils losing to the Rangers. I especially hate that the Rangers won the series by playing the transitional, counter-attacking style and the 1-2-2 that the Devils were famous for back in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

I have nothing left to say for now. IPB may something to say. 2 Man Advantage basically sums up the 2008 Playoff Run. I'm sure Tom Gulitti will have plenty to report on. But me? Nothing else. I'm sorry, but what can I say?

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I hope this series acts as a wake-up call for Lou. He's obviously been exceptional for as long as I can remember, and he's managed to build a perennial powerhouse for the almost 15 years, but I think this was a bad year for him. This team has a lot of glaring holes: I think they need another intimidating defenseman to clear the crease, and some forwards to who know how to light the lamp. Too many of our forwards have value primarily only in their ability to play defense, but when our defense collapses we're left without anyone to score. What do you think Lou needs to go out and get this summer?
I hate the fact that I can't watch Devils hockey until the fall.

Isn't it amazing that we can all have our hearts broken and the first thought is, "When do I get to see them again?" Ah, the life of a sports fan.

Well, another season has come and gone. Thanks for doing such a great job blogging about this team, John! From statbits to tra-la-la-feelings-bits, ILWT makes the Devils season more fun and interesting to follow.
"I hate the fact that I can't watch Devils hockey until the fall"

It's funny. I feel just the opposite.

I think I missed tops 4 games on TV this season, by far the most I've ever watched in one year (thanks DVR!). This has easily been the most frustrating Devils team I've ever seen (since 1991 when I started following them). I'm a fan through and through, but I just couldn’t stand to watch them anymore and I'm kind of relieved this Devils team has been put out of its misery.

When they were on top of their game, they were great. But more often than not, they'd play sound hockey for only a fraction of a game. That just won't work, and it didn't in the end.

Anyway, your posts were great this season. There were a number of times that you put some real analytical thought into what you produced and I for one appreciate it. Enjoy the off-season.

thanks for writing a great blog and covering the Devils all season. Hopefully you can do some coverage in the off season as well. As for the Devils, they need to make some changes, no doubt about that. Hopefully sign a star center or defenseman, or both.

I'm going to say something unpopular here: I have no ill will against the Rangers and hope they go far in the playoffs. After all, if you lose, you may as well lose to the champs. Besides, I'd love to see Scotty Gomez succeed.

Thanks again, John.
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