The New Jersey Devils refused to lose towards the end of their 2011-2012 season, so what does this mean to the fans and the rest of the team going into the playoffs?
It means added momentum that they’ll need playing against their Eastern Conference rivals at any level of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The win last night at home against The Ottawa Senators is quite that testament.
Though Ottawa’s loss to the Devils caused the team a drop to the 8th spot in the playoffs, there are a couple of undermined factors about how they have played against the New York Rangers; their now-finalized match for this year’s playoffs.
Ottawa has defeated the first-place Rangers three out of four times this season. Added to this crushing bit of information is the fact that they have also beaten them five-straight times on their home ice in Madison Square Garden.
It makes it hard for one to believe it will be easy for The Rangers playing on ice not of their own, in Ottawa, any time during the first round. This conflicts with any consideration that Ottawa is an easy opponent end your season with while continuing a winning streak that could, and did, send a statement to the rest of the league.
Either team, The Rangers or The Senators, could be a future opponent as the tables turn in this year’s postseason. Nonetheless, it is good to have your cavalry looking sharp with Ilya Kovulchuk’s two goals in the first and third to go with Petr Sykora’s 21st of the year. Both Kovulchuk and Sykora have scored goals in consecutive games. Stephen Gionta scored his first NHL goal giving the Devils the lead in the third on a rebound from Alexei Ponikarovsky’s drive to the net.
The “whomever it may be” has become definite now as The Devils begin their bid for The Stanley Cup Friday in Florida. The Devils split their wins and losses in four games played against Florida’s squad during the regular season. Despite this, The Devils did out-score The Panthers in regular season points, 102-94, and finished just seven behind the conference-leading Rangers.
If The Devils can carry the same energy level they brought to the end of their regular season, they have the ability to beat this Panthers team, anyone in their conference, and perhaps, anyone in the NHL.