Usually I would sit back and be happy about where the Devils are and believe me I am happy and shocked and a million more emotions because I honestly didn’t think they’d get this far this season. Especially not after missing the playoffs just one year ago but that’s what is great about the parody in the NHL, year to year is different. Just ask Tampa Bay.
However, with that said, I am sick of the media and its constant looking down on the New Jersey Devils. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard something along the lines of “what’s wrong with the Flyers that they lost to NJ?”
Yes, the Flyers beat the Penguins who most, including myself, picked to win the cup but the Penguins put up no defense and played stupid hockey in round one. When the Flyers came up against a team that played defense, they didn’t have any answers to solving the defense. The fact is, the Devils were just the better team in this series. THAT’S WHY THEY WON not because the Flyers didn’t show up.
DeBoer has taken his fair share of criticism since he took the head coaching job last summer. I didn’t know much about him at the time but if you believed what the media was selling, he was a bum coach who couldn’t do anything in Florida. Guess what, they were wrong. The guy is a hell of a coach and with the right tools he is proving that he can win. I guess the issues in Florida may have been more about the roster than the coach.
People have really short memories because it would appear that everyone has forgotten that the Devils came into the playoffs as the league’s hottest team by winning its final 6 games. The Devils ended the season with 102 points which makes for an incredible season. They aren’t the Rangers, Flyers or Penguins so I don’t think people noticed how good this team actually was in the regular season. Yes, the Panthers took them to 7 and to double OT in the 7th game but the Devils took a lot of bad penalties in that series and the Panthers were just killers on the power play. Had the Devils stayed out of the box, that series isn’t close.
And then there was this tweet that came out this morning..
REALLY?? I’ll admit to the Devils playing boring hockey in the mid 90’s because the trap, while effective, wasn’t the most exciting thing to watch. But how can you call a team that forechecks so effectively and has guys like Parise, Elias and Kovalchuk firing pucks into the net “boring to watch?” You might want to go get a checkup Don because that dementia might be setting in.
So now on to the Eastern Conference Finals and I have to ask, who are you rooting for as an opponent. Having a Rangers and Devils conference finals would be an amazing series and great for the NY/NJ area hockey fans but wow can you say stressful? The Caps have put together a nice run and it would be a sad thing to see that end but if wouldn’t getting to the Stanley Cup Finals at the Rangers expense just be an amazing run? Either team will be hard to beat but if the Devils stick to their game, there is no reason we can’t get 4 more wins.