By Mike Luciano (@MikeLuci)
Despite coming up short in the Stanley Cup Finals last season, New Jersey Devils head coach Pete DeBoer said one of the big pluses of the Devils remarkable playoff run were the playoff demons they exorcised along the way. Their first round triumph over the Florida Panthers snapped a postseason advancement drought that’s stretched back to 2008. Their series victory against the Philadelphia Flyers established the Devils as serious contenders. Beating Philadelphia also snapped a playoff series winless streak against the Flyers that originated in 2004 and resumed in 2010.
The icing on the cake came when they defeated the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference Finals, which conjured up constant references to the memorable 1994 Eastern Conference Finals matchup between these two teams, an outcome that is known and remembered around the league. Having lost to the Rangers four years earlier in the conference quarter-finals and facing a Rangers te...