With the series at 3-1 in favor of Ottawa, the Devils find themselves in a bleak position, but not out just yet.
If any team can come back in the round and wind three games in a row, the Devils can. They’ve done it in the past and they can do it now.
Now, taking off the rose-colored glasses, this is going to be a tough sell. The team needs to show off every skill at 100% in order to discourage the Senators enough that they won’t rebound in the next game.
It starts with one, though, so let’s focus on winning tonight.
First, penetration in to the Ottawa zone: the Devils need puck possession in the Ottawa Senators zone in order to make scoring chances. They need to crash the net, they need to make crisp short passes, and they need to get the puck on Ottawa net minder Ray Emery.
Second, defense: as a whole, all teammates must play defense at certain times of the game. They need to keep their sticks down and not expose any holes that will allow the Senators to get a good scoring opportunity. They need to keep the box in tight and push Ottawa to the extremities of the Devils zone. Furthermore, make sure to watch the short side from the corners and keep Ottawa out of there.
Third, goaltending: there’s no question – Brodeur has not played up to his potential so far in the postseason. We’ve seen a few games in which he’s played well, but he needs to be at the top of his game, remain focused, and follow his gut instinct. Ottawa has scored over and around Brodeur’s glove hand one too many times. Expect them to continue to shoot up there.
Last but not least, the fans: yes, that’s right, you! For those of you attending the game, don’t let up in chanting “Let’s go Devils” and keep the noise level high. Cheer on the Devils and try not to boo them when something doesn’t go as planned. Feel free to boo Ottawa when appropriate. The excitement of having the fans in the arena helps to keep the team motivated; silence is deadly to the home team.
As always, let’s go Devils!