It is now officially over. What exactly am I talking about? I’m talking about the opportunity for the Los Angeles Kings to sweep the New Jersey Devils in the Stanley Cup Finals. Before the game began, everyone knew that something was going to be finished for good tonight? Now, there could have been many different things that could’ve possibly come to an end tonight. Number one, the 2011-2012 NHL season, number two, the chance for the Kings to sweep the Devils, number three, possibly Martin Brodeur’s career. However, only one of those three things happened tonight and that was the possibility of a sweep to close out the NHL season.
Last night the Devils and Kings took the ice for what could have been the final game of the NHL season. With both teams knowing what was at stake last night, they came out ready to get what they wanted. For the Kings it was simple, win the game and they will be crowned champions. For the Devils, lose the game and end what was a terrific run at the championship. With both of these teams eager to see what the result of the game was going to be tonight, the Devils were able to come out on top after defeating Los Angeles 3-1.
The Devils saw a legendary performance from long time goalie and future Hall-of-Famer, Martin Brodeur. Brodeur was able to stop 21 of 22 shots. This type of play from the goalie gave the Devils offense a fantastic opportunity to mount together shots which would eventually propel them past the Kings for tonight. The key last night from the Devils victory was this, shooting. New Jersey shot the puck 24 times in last night’s game. Now that isn’t a ton of shots, but It was an improvement from previous games. The only other game in this series the Devils shot more than last night was in game two in which the team shot the puck 32 times, however, they were unable to score a goal.
After getting their first win of the series, the Devils are looking to come back and make things interesting again. Although it is unlikely, it is not impossible. The past performance from the team was definitely, inspiring and should give the team a lot of confidence. In order for the Devils to make a remarkable comeback and win the series they need to do a few things. For one, they need to keep shooting the puck at opposing goalie, Jonathan Quick. It is no secret that Quick has accounted for a large part of the success for the Kings in this year’s postseason. You aren’t going to be able to beat the Kings if as a team if you get off less than 20 shots a night, and honestly, you might not even beat them if you get off 30, but you must continue to throw the puck at and out in front of the net, as you have the opportunity to get a good bounce or rebound and then a chance to make something happen. Number two, the Devils must continue to get performances from Brodeur like he did tonight. The Kings have an above average offense and the Devils certainly don’t want to find themselves playing catch up with the Kings young defense and star goalie Jonathan Quick.
But let’s be realistic now, the chances of the Devils coming back are slim to none and with the next game being in their own arena in New Jersey, they might not even be the favorites. Yes they did indeed come off of a victory on the road and yes they will be bringing the confidence back cross country, but remarkably, the Kings have yet to lose a road playoff game in this year’s postseason. Despite the fact they would love to win the cup at home, the Kings might not even be able to do that. In fact, it would only be fitting for the Kings to win the championship on the road.
With the Devils surviving and extending the NHL season, the Stanley Cup Finals just got a little bit more interesting. However, despite a win last night, I just don’t see the Devils being able to win at home in game five against the Kings. Crazy right? Normally the home team would be favorites, however that isn’t the case in this series as the Devils are probably wishing that the rest of the games in the series could be played in L.A!
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