(Title is "Born and Raised" by Alexisonfire.)
First round matchup: Philadelphia Flyers
Will the New Jersey Devils be God-like in their playoff run? Or will the Devil hold fast to their dreams and crush them in an instant?
The Devils have many things going for them, but all of those could easily turn on them and be their downfall.
I think I can safely say that the first thought that comes to your head (90% of the time) when the New Jersey Devils are mentioned is Martin Brodeur. And usually Brodeur is associated with greatness.
But lately Marty B haven't been looking so good. Though he has been good in the net (with the most wins, I think so), there have been questionable goals let in. With the 13th best save percentage (.916%) amongst active goalies, chances of winning the cup ain't looking so brilliant.
Maybe it's time to retire the hybrid goaltending style? Not just yet, I say. Sure, stand-up isn't the best style, but sometimes being a hybrid is good (and good for the new goalies out there to know there are two styles (or three) styles out there).
All and all aside, there is new emergence of great scoring talent. For special teams they are in the middle of the pack (11th and 13th), but even-strength they can score some great goals.
But that has to be excellent, since they are up against the Philadelphia Flyers in the first round. And with the Flyers comes Brian Boucher V.2! In the last few games, Boucher has been stellar! Especially since he came into Philly at sucha difficult stage.
Is Ilya Kovalchuk ready for the playoffs? Was that trade to New Jersey really worth leaving the city that basically housed his family for so many years? What really makes me question the Devils' playoff lives is, is Ilya Kovalchuk willing to risk and push everything to the line during the playoffs? Maybe he's like a Marian Hossa; he wants to win a cup, but the effort he puts is ultimately what makes him lose the Cup.
A team is not made by one player though, and there are 27 other skaters to help bring the Cup to the Prudential Center. People like Zach Parise! A very good emerging forward with great skill and much more talent to exploit over his career.
Can this guy seal the deal for the Devils?
Or will this guy bring them down?