Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Be-Deviled Once Again

The Devils may one day fall to the depths of the NHL like the Flyers did last year. Their power play could fall to last in the whole NHL. Martin Brodeur could suddenly get old and have a weaker 5-hole than Lindsay Lohan.

But the second the Devils face-off against the Flyers, the Devils turn into the 1978 Montreal Canadiens.

The Devils went 5 for 8 on the power play and that proved the difference at they went on to beat the Flyers 7 - 3. I suppose you could complain about the penalties (15 power plays between the two teams), but why bother? The Devils have one of the worst power plays in the league. The Devils came into the game 0 for their last 15 power play opportunities. Yet, they still found a way to get it done against a Flyers penalty killing unit that usually isn't too bad.

Maybe it had to do with this game being the third game in four nights. Maybe. Maybe when you "have two number 1 goalies", it really means you don't have a number 1 goalie. Even as bad as the Flyers' effort was in front of Niitymaki and Biron, neither of them looked very good in this game and I wonder if either are really the answer. I just don't know.

I do know that Johnny Oduya (1G, 3A) of the Devils is not Paul Coffey or Bobby Orr. I do know that of Dainius Zubrus' 8 goals this year, 4 of them are against the Flyers. I also know the Devils' talent on defense just isn't that great (Johnny Oduya, Mike Mottau, and Vitali Vishnevski would not even make the Flyers' roster) to warrant the sort of domination over the Flyers that the Devils have shown. I know all of these things.

But you know what I want to know? Does John Stevens have what it takes to devise a game plan against this team? Can either goalie step up and take the job?
Most importantly, can the Flyers ever beat the Devils?

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