Game 2, Updated
Open Thread; updated 4/24 11:00 pm.Rangers vs. Devils: This all comes down to playing with simplicity. The Rangers coaching staff has to go back on the drawing board and get the message across to the players to play the game simple. This is how the Rangers won throughout the whole season, playing simple hockey and paying attention to small details. The Devils have not been very impressive, except for Martin Brodeur who saved what could have been two goals (one goal disallowed because the ref blew the whistle too quickly). Rangers have an injury plagued team, they are young and inexperienced, but they put up a tough battle 5 on 5 against the Devils. Keep the play simple. Get the puck down, work the boards, play behind the net. No stupid penalties, not careless passing in the neutral zone. The Devils have had it really easy, and if the Rangers can get things right, well….the Devils will be running around.
The Devils have to take advantage of the Rangers low confidence and inexperience. Pressure and frustrate. Don’t put Jensen on the ice too much, the guy doesn’t really play hockey. But, check the Rangers defensemen….keep the traffic in front of the net, and don’t get lazy! The moment the Devils start to get lazy, the Rangers will catch up and all it takes is one Rangers win to regain confidence. The Devils MUST NOT allow the Rangers to build their confidence.
Flyers vs. Sabres:Wow, an 8-2 finish. Some people on here mentioned the Flyers defensemen being too slow, and I agree. The Sabres are the speediest team in the NHL and they are not beating the Flyers with talent and skill. They are doing the right things that Coach Ruff tought them. They are skating, moving their legs, checking…keeping a constant beat. The Flyers? They got no rythm to their game. They are not playing their game. Sloppy, skating in circles and chasing the Sabres. Just like the Rangers, go back to the drawing board! Simplicity brings “easiness”. Flyers can’t match Buffalo’s speed and it does not mean that they have to play the trap. You don’t play the trap when you have more talent and skill than the opponent. Flyers should play a slow pace game, and be very patient. They have the skills to bring the puck up, the skills to make great passes. Patience with puck possession should be the Flyers’ gameplan. The Sabres on the other hand, keep it up! Get on their nerves….check them hard, frustrate them! Force Hitch to put Brashear on the ice to take away time from another skilled player and most likely to draw a penalty.
Hurricanes vs. Canadiens: The Canadiens came away with a well deseved win, but nothing is over! Big mistake by Montreal to let the Canes make a comeback. Yes, Carolina lost a game and are now down 2-0 in the series, but they mnaged to score 5 goals and started to draw penalties. I’d expect the Canes to come out strong in Montreal and most likely win. They got their game going, and Montreal must slow it down from the first to the 60th minute of the game.
Stars vs. Avalanche: The Stars received a lot of lucky bounces, which allowed them to take control of the game and get their game rolling. Still, they let the Avalanche start a game with a 3-0 lead on Dallas ice. Not acceptable. The Stars are a Stanley Cup built team, they should be taking advantage of the Avs being an inferior team. They can’t rely on lucky bounces, they won’t always come. Colorado is going to play the same way, and Stars have to be ready for it in the 3rd period.