The New Jersey Devils have eleven wins and six loses in the post season. For those who can count, that is one win away from making the trip to the Stanley Cup Finals! The Devils defeated the Florida Panthers in seven games in a dramatic double OT game seven. They then went on to crush the Flyers in five games. Now the Devils need one win to eliminate the New York Rangers from the Eastern Conference Finals. How did this happen? Which players have contributed to this? Hint: It wasn't Johan Hedberg.
The game winning goals have been scored by one person for the Rangers: Dan Girardi. The Devils have had David Clarkson, Travis Zajac, and Ryan Carter score game winning goals! Just an observation, the Devils have had game winners from three separate lines!
I'll try and summarize what each player has contributed in the Conference Finals. I'll keep it to a sentence.
Johan Hedberg - Riding pine like a boss.
Martin Brodeur - Playing like... well.... Martin Brodeur. Doing everything we expect from the winningest goaltender in the world.
Mark Fayne - Continuing his regular season dominance in the playoffs.
Andy Greene - Can't think of any bad about Greene, he has been O.K.
Peter Harrold - Playing solid minutes and playing very well.
Adam Larsson - Benched, still a little naive, but he will have next season to improve.
Bryce Salvador - Becoming a top shutdown defenseman for the Devils. Even contributing a few goals!
Anton Volchenkov - Physical presence on the blue line, big improvements from the beginning of the playoffs!
Marek Zidlicky - Not playing well on the power play. Other than that, he's been splendid.
Steve Bernier - Paramount fourth liner, stats haven't shown it, but he is a huge part of the fourth lines emergence.
Ryan Carter - Bringing the energy (even without Sestito) bringing offence with the rest of the fourth line!
David Clarkson - Not playing to the level he set in the regular season this season.
Patrik Elias - Has been generating shots all series and finally converted in game five.
Stephen Gionta - Surpassing Henrique in rookie of the year in my book!
Adam Henrique - Performing well in the faceoff circle.
Jacob Josefson - Brought energy coming off his wrist injury.
Ilya Kovalchuk - Playing very well with a herniated disc. Earning his $6+ Million contract.
Zach Parise - Leading in points in the series, stepped up in game four and set an example. Perfect example of what a captain does for his team.
Alexei Ponikarovsky - digging hard, helping the lines cycle, and doing the gritty work that is not always praised.
Petr Sykora - Has been slow and a liability, benching by DeBoer was a good idea.
Travis Zajac - He has been playing out of his mind this postseason, definition of clutch.
Dainius Zubrus - Putting up points, skating hard every shift, and hitting like a freight train for most of the Rangers series.
Who has been the players in your mind who have stepped up? Who can show up to finish the Rangers off? Thanks for reading and let's hope Friday at 8p.m. comes fast!