Found May 24, 2012 on
One of the NHL's accepted truisms is that Ilya Kovalchuk is a preeminent sniper.
The fact he's scored 406 goals in 779 games, including nine consecutive seasons of 30 or more goals, is proof enough that Kovalchuk knows how to put the puck in the back of the net.
But the biggest play Kovalchuk made in the Devils' 5-3 win over the New York Rangers in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals on Wednesday at Madison Square Garden wasn't scoring a goal. Instead, it was Kovalchuk delivering a hit while skating with fourth-liners Stephen Gionta and Ryan Carter.
The superstar left wing leveled Rangers defenseman Michael Del Zotto with a thunderous check that set up Carter's winning goal with 4:24 left in regulation. It was a play that will not show up in the box score, but it was as important as any made on the Garden ice Wednesday.
Except it probably should not have happened.
"I believe it was a line-change situation. I believe that's what led to it, but I can't even be sure on that," Devils coach Peter DeBoer said during his media availability at the Prudential Center Thursday. "We (do) double him up sometimes with the fourth line. I think it was a line-change situation where two of the guys came, and he just hadn't come (to the bench) yet."
Kovalchuk finished Game 5 with two assists and a plus-two rating in 19:19 of ice time.
- Martin Brodeur is one win from exorcising an 18-year-old demon.
Brodeur and the Devils, you might have heard, lost in Game 7 of the 1994 Eastern Conference finals to the Rangers on Stephane Matteau's wraparound goal in the second overtime session. The Rangers went on win their first Stanley Cup since 1940, beating the Vancouver Canucks in seven games.
Almost two decades later, Brodeur is the only remaining active player from that series.
"I don't even think about '94. In '94, I still had hair. It was that long ago," DeBoer said. "That plays no part in what we're doing. Part of it is he's very impressive. He's an impressive guy. He's calm. He's been there before, and he's a calming influence on our team and in our dressing room. That's why he's the best of all time."
- John Tortorella has routinely spoken about the maturation process the Rangers have gone through as both individuals and as a collective whole during his tenure as the team's head coach.
The Rangers' first extended playoff run during Tortorella's term has the coach feeling positive about the franchise's present and future heading into its win-or-go-home-for-the-summer Game 6 at the Prudential Center on Friday.
"It's a good group. It's a group that stays with it. They showed that (Wednesday) night through a little adversity early on. So there's not a lot of panic there. They just go about their business and we're a pretty good hockey team," Tortorella said during his afternoon news conference at Madison Square Garden. "This is all really good stuff for our team as you go through (the growing process). This is how you gain experiences by going through (the adversity inherent in the Stanley Cup playoffs).
"We've played a number of games, a number of playoff games. Some guys have thrived in it, some guys haven't. These are all situations you look at as an organization as far as what guys are in these types of situations. So the more you're in it, the more situations that you go through, the better. That's how you gain experience."
You can follow Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman
BEST OF MAXIM
NEWARK, N.J. -- A year ago, the New Jersey Devils failed to make the NHL playoffs for the first time in 14 years. It was a down time for the proud and storied franchise, one that had captured three Stanley Cup championships since 1995. Now, with a new coach, a new system, some new players and some late-season confidence, the Devils are making their first trip to the Stanley Cup...
This was a commercial that I saw on the NHL Network tonight, it was the first time that I had seen it. Former Fighting Sioux forwards Zach Parise and Travis Zajac are one win away from putting three former Fighting Sioux players in the Stanley Cup Finals. Also, when the Stanley Cup is presented after the cup clinching game, an "American" Captain will accept the Stanley...
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) -- Adam Henrique scored off a wild scramble in front at 1:03 into overtime and the New Jersey Devils defeated the New York Rangers 3-2 to advance to their first Stanley Cup finals since 2003.
The Devils will face the Los Angeles Kings for the Cup in a series that will start on Wednesday.
It's a remarkable comeback for a team that missed the playoffs last season...
English: Zach Parise (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Duh! I wonder if Sid has even been to a hockey game lately? I always get a kick out of Sid Hartman's writings - although hockey has never been a strong subject for Sid. Of course Parise would look better along side Mikael Granlund and or Mikko Koivu for that matter. There are probably 25-29 teams that are interested in...
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail, The franchise may be set to crumble around them but the New Jersey Devils are one win away from their first Stanley Cup final since 2003 because the Lou Lamoriello Way prevailed.
Oh, there were some tough years for the Devils general manager since he guided them to three NHL championships and one Cup final in the years between 1995 and 2003...
The Devils are one win away from a date with the Los Angeles Kings in the Stanley Cup Finals. After coming out quick and early, scoring 3 goals within the first 10 minutes of the game, New York "rallied" back, scoring & knotting up the game after 3 un answered goals. Two of the goals, questionable, as well as MANY calls in general, throughout, for BOTH teams. A blatent...
The Los Angeles Kings await. But the New Jersey Devils still have some work to do. Sixth-seeded New Jersey is within one win of going back to the finals for the first time since the Devils won their third Stanley Cup in 2003. After blowing a 3-0 lead and then pulling out a 5-3 victory over the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden Wednesday night, the Devils can wrap it up...
Did anyone predict the Devils would be playing for the Stanley Cup?
Doug MacLean and Jeff Marek of Sportsnet with heap praise on the New Jersey Devils.
Last night the New Jersey Devils jumped out to a 3-0 lead, allowed the New York Rangers to come back and tie it, and then regrouped to come away with a 5-3 win to take a 3-2 series lead. Here are some notes on what turned out to be a very odd, yet eventful, game.
- Though the Devils have to be thrilled they went into Madison Square Garden with the series tied, and walked away...
Adam Henrique scored off a wild scramble in front at 1:03 into overtime and the New Jersey Devils defeated the New York Rangers 3-2 in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals to advance to their first Stanley Cup finals since 2003.
The Devils will face the Los Angeles Kings in a series that will start on Wednesday here.
It's a remarkable comeback for a proud team, with three...
Yeah... no one would have predicted this when the playoffs started. It's gonna be fun.
TONIGHT’S GAME: The Rangers will face-off against the New Jersey Devils tonight at Prudential Center (8:00 p.m.; TV: NBCSN; Radio: ESPN 98.7FM), in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final. The Blueshirts trail in the series, 3-2, following a 5-3 loss in Game 5 on Wednesday at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers enter tonight’s contest [...]
*stats based on playoffs.
Match-up - Devils (48 wins, 102 points) @ Rangers (51 wins, 109 points)
Road/Home records - 24-15-2 -------------- 27-12-2
TV - NBCSN (HD), CBC (HD), RDS (HD)
Puck drop - 8:00 PM ET
Series score - 2-2
Projected starting goalies - Martin Brodeur (NJ) vs. Henrik Lundqvist (NYR)
Battle of the stats
Goals for/against per game *
New York Rangers...
The Morning After:Yesterday’s results:Devils 5, Rangers 3RLD 3 stars of the night:1. Ryan Carter, NJ (1 goal)2. Stephen Gionta, NJ (1 goal, 1 assist)3. Ryan Callahan, NYR (1 goal)---Video of the day:*Follow us on Twitter – @RLDhockey