Devils chasing biggest Cup comeback in 70 years

Associated Press  |  Last updated June 11, 2012
The New Jersey Devils aren't just pursuing the Los Angeles Kings in the Stanley Cup finals. They're trying to chase down the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs in NHL history. The Devils achieved a feat only matched by two other teams in NHL history when they won two games in the Cup finals after losing the first three. Only those Leafs ever completed the comeback, but the Devils aren't allowing themselves to get distracted by comparisons to something that happened 70 years ago. ''I don't look at it that way. That's for (media) to decide the magnitude of it, how important it is and where it fits in the history of it,'' Devils coach Peter DeBoer said. ''You're giving me too much credit to think I'm thinking bigger than that, or beyond that. ''I don't look at it as what a great accomplishment it would be - to be in a 3-0 hole and claw your way back out,'' he added. ''If I had my way, we would have never got in that hole. But that was the hand we were dealt. We made a little bit of our own bed there, and now we're stuck with trying to get out of it. But we have had an ability to rise to the occasion, and I just think it's a testament to character, to gut check, to the leadership in the room - all those things. That's when the rubber hits the road, so to speak, for your season and for your team.'' The `42 Leafs, coached by Hap Day and led by brothers Don and Nick Metz and goalie Turk Broda, made their dramatic comeback under extenuating and bizarre circumstances. Detroit coach Jack Adams, the man for whom the NHL's coach of the year award is named, wasn't behind the bench for the final four games of that series after he was suspended by the league for jumping onto the ice during a free-for-all at the end of Game 3 and attacking referee Mel Harwood. That wouldn't happen to Kings coach Darryl Sutter, who on his worst day would only give the referees a sneer they'd never forget. ''I don't know if it's necessarily history,'' New Jersey defenseman Bryce Salvador said in reference to the Devils' plight. ''Right now there's pressure on both teams playing for the Cup. We just wanted to stick with it, hope that the tide would turn for us, not get down on ourselves, not point fingers at anybody and not put the blame on ourselves being down 3-0. There's two games left and we've got to win them both. That's our focus - not how we got there.'' If the Devils do run the table, the Kings would join the `42 Red Wings as the only clubs to lose the finals after being up 3-0. And to think Los Angeles began the playoffs with a 15-2 run that had other NHL players griping on Twitter about how little adversity the eighth-seeded Kings had faced. ''We never thought that it was going to be easy,'' Los Angeles defenseman Drew Doughty said. ''We never thought we were going to win four in a row. We expected to be a long series like this. We expected it to go to a Game 6 - maybe a Game 7. But we have no doubt in our minds. We've just got to make sure we put a full 60 minutes together, because we haven't done that yet. ''Even though we've closed out the past three series quicker, we're prepared to go the distance,'' Doughty said. ''It's the Stanley Cup finals, and this is the toughest team we've played throughout the playoffs. So we knew it would be a tough challenge. Now it's up to us individually to get ourselves going and play as a team.'' The Devils appeared remarkably loose during their spirited practice on Sunday. The Kings, trying to win the first Stanley Cup in the franchise's 45-year history, might be gripping their sticks a little tighter because of the task of getting that elusive fourth victory against three-time Cup-winning goalie Martin Brodeur. ''Desperate hockey, I think, maybe brings the best out of us,'' Brodeur said Sunday. ''We wanted to win four games and we've won only two, so we can't afford to lose. We dug ourselves a really big hole that's going to be tough to overcome, but it's getting a little more realistic every day. ''And even if we get to Game 7, it won't be a comfortable position because there's no tomorrow. They have another tomorrow and we don't. But we feel fortunate to be in this position. We've worked really hard for it, and we deserve to be in this position. But there's lots to do.''
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
One Gotta Go: NFL Legends (and Jose Canseco!) Have No Love For Captain America
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Raiders file trademark applications for ‘Las Vegas Raiders’

U.S. Soccer hands Solo six month suspension for Olympic comments

Report: Josh Gordon will be restricted free agent after 2016

Chargers release statement on Joey Bosa situation

Yoenis Cespedes says he will not opt out of Mets contract

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Zach Johnson unloads on Olympic golf

Drew Brees says players do not trust league office, Goodell

Lawsuit over Hall of Fame Game refiled after McAfee comments

Report: Griffin plans to re-sign with Clippers, won't be traded

Report: Wentz unlikely to see any playing time this season

Minnesota Wild names Prince’s ‘Let’s Go Crazy’ official goal song

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for our favorite football movies

Bruce Arians on sideline video use: 'It helps bad coaches'

Hard not to be cynical about LeBron's 'Cleveland Hustles'

Familiar faces that won't be seen in the NFL this year

Junk Diver: Yasiel Puig

Fan freaks out Yankees by falling into the dugout

24 quintessential moments of Kobe Bryant's career

Revisiting the 10 biggest mistakes of the NFL offseason

One Gotta Go: NFL legends (and Jose Canseco!) have no love for Captain America

Four WNBA teams to pay attention to post-Olympic break

Madden 17 shows how vital a fresh coat of paint can be

Why people just can't get behind the Washington Nationals

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for our favorite football movies

Hard not to be cynical about LeBron James' 'Cleveland Hustles'

Ranking the uniforms of the NFL from worst to best

Familiar faces that won't be seen in the NFL this year

24 quintessential moments of Kobe Bryant's career

One Gotta Go: NFL legends (and Jose Canseco!) have no love for Captain America

Four WNBA teams to pay attention to post-Olympic break

Madden 17 shows how vital a fresh coat of paint can be

Why people just can't get behind the Washington Nationals

QUIZ: Name every player to win a championship with Kobe Bryant

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker