Saturday, April 19, 2008

Rangers take series right from the Devils lair

Home ice advantage wasn’t all that advantageous for the New Jersey Devils, as the Devils bowed out of their best of seven series on Friday night suffering a 5-3 loss to the skaters of Satan.

At one point in the game it appeared that the Rangers were ready to run away with the final game of the series, quickly building up a 4 -1 lead by the second period, only to watch the Devils regroup and launch their comeback in the last thirty minutes of the game. Thirty minutes that featured every conceivable scoring opportunity including a penalty shot, yet when the final whistle blew the Rangers had won 5-3 and were on their way to the next round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

The Devils who never seemed to be able to counter the Rangers game plan bow out with one win after a season that saw them climb the standings and almost break the 100 point mark on the year.

They were just too slow for the Rangers this year and Martin Brodeur who normally can win a series on his own, seemed very normal in this one, making uncharacteristic errors and not able to come up with that one save that can turn a series. While he didn’t have his best series ever in the nets, his team was leaving Brent Sutters game plan in the locker room. Too many giveaways on the ice and untimely penalties which allowed the Rangers far too much time on the power play proved to work against the Devils.

Whether they were scoring or simply controlling the play the effect for the Rangers was that the Devils were pre-occupied and certainly not concentrating on offense. More than most it was a disappointing series for Brodeur, who not only had to deal with an early exit from the playoffs but with the un-needed attention from the Sean Avery shenanigans.

Of course, of late we can’t have a Rangers story without some kind of Avery alert and tonight once again the HockeyNation will not be denied. During the post game handshakes, the Devils Martin Brodeur chose not to shake the Ranger forwards’ hand, most likely fed up with the Ranger's style of play and still a little peeved at Avery’s antics of two games ago.

In a post game interview, Avery made mention of the slight taking his own dig at Brodeur, a commentary that was featured prominently on TSN’s broadcast for the rest of the night. While he could have just dismissed the Brodeur slight as a moment of frustration, he once again dominated the story with the quote that will be replayed over and over again for the next few days, "Everyone talks about how unclassy I am and fatso there just forget to shake my hand, I guess"

Hopefully the next series features more of the exploits of Gomez, Lundqvist, Shanahan and Jagr rather than the Avery show, which is quickly becoming an annoyance which is starting to crowd the game itself off the highlight reels.

Globe and Mail-- Rangers take out Devils
New York Daily News-- Movin' on
New York Daily News-- Rangers just warming up
New York Post-- Avery shows class
. Stats Pack

No comments: