Despite being down 3-1 to the Los Angeles Kings in the Stanley Cup Final, the Devils remained in good spirits for their Friday June 8th practice. They spoke candidly to the press regarding the situation they are in. Head Coach Pete DeBoer said it best: “You know it’s going to happen again, so why not us?”
He was referring, of course, to the odds of a team coming back from a 3-1 series deficit. It hasn’t been done since the Maple Leafs did it in 1942. The odds are stacked against the Devils, but the belief is there.
Inside: Devils’ practice lines, injuries, and commentary; the power of the Devilish mustache; big brothers, sons, and all about them.
The lines in practice today were unchanged from Game 4.
Apparently, ‘double s’s’ in your last name are probable to land you on the fifth line.
When going back through my own Game 4 tweets, I came across this idle thought: “Seriously, I would’ve left Josefson in and had Sykora replace Kovalchuk.”
Tom Gulitti of Fire and Ice responded with, “He looks good,” when asked about Kovalchuk’s condition during today’s practice. But Kovalchuk didn’t look too hot in Game 4, where he was unable to contain passes, stop rushes up the boards, or flubbed on possible shots. The reason is clear. Ilya Kovalchuk is injured, and whatever measures they’ve been taking to help him get through these games without discomfort don’t seem to be working anymore. Kovalchuk did net an empty-netter in Game 4, a pretty finish in a 3-1 victory.
But to me, he’s still more of a liability right now than not. He’s receiving big ice time but has not been able to capitalize on it. He’s also likely worsening his injury, which is the last thing we need for an exceptional player that’s on contract to be a Devil for the rest of his career. So, yes. I would still leave Josefson in and have Sykora replace Kovalchuk. If the Devils could win Game 5 without him, a few days off would be excellent for his health and would also likely raise the level of his motivation. It would be better for the team, and better for the man himself.
A scary moment in Game 4 saw captain Zach Parise going hard into the boards. Parise admitted that he had twisted his ankle, but contends that he will be fine for Game 5.
Important to note: there have been no further changes in facial hair.
After a shocking Game 3 loss that saw the Devils blanked, Adam Henrique decided to switch it up a bit. He shaved half of his carefully sculpted goatee into a mustache. And the Devils won.
Teammate Ryan Carter, who has been mocked by his teammates since beginning to grow his own mustache, can only approve of this development.
The media is also getting in on Mustache Appreciation, 2012.
A happy birthday to Anthony Brodeur, turning the big 17!
Martin Brodeur’s oldest son, currently attending Shattuck-St. Mary’s and playing as goaltender for the U18 team, was born during the 1995 Eastern Conference Finals against Philadelphia. The Devils went on to win their first Cup that year.
Stephen Gionta, little brother of Devils legend Brian Gionta and currently raising hell on the Devils’ infamous 4th line, recently lifted a playoff ban on his older sibling. The last time Brian attended a game this post-season, the Devils lost.