Posted by kirsch17 on 5th June 2012
On Monday night, the New Jersey Devils realized winning the Stanley Cup is going to be a lot harder than they thought. The Los Angeles Kings defeated the Devils 4-0 at The Staples Center in Los Angeles in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals. That victory gave the Kings a 3-0 advantage over the Eastern Conference Champions, one game away from winning it all, something they have never done. New Jersey is not on the brink of being swept out of the Stanley Cup Finals, something that has not happened since the 1998 Cup Finals. To make things worse for the Devils, only three NHL teams have ever come back from a 3-0 deficit in a playoff series and won, and the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs are the only team to do it in the finals. Wednesday night, the Devils will either make history, or be history.
The Los Angeles Kings came into the finals having beaten the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place teams in the Western Conference. They not only had a spectacular road record on their side, one in which they went undefeated, but they also had rest. The Kings only played 14 games to get to the final round of the 2012 Stanley Cup Finals, including sweeping the St. Louis Blues. The Devils on the other hand played 18 total games before reaching the final round. It should come as no surprise that the Kings are where they are, one win away from winning their first ever Stanley Cup. With the play of their All-Star goaltender Jonathan Quick, their almost perfect penalty kill, leading the NHL in the regular season with 89.6% and leading the NHL in the playoffs with 92.8% success rate, Kings fans should not have to wait too long before their team hoists the cup. The only piece of the puzzle left is another strong 60 minutes by the Kings on Wednesday night to cap off a playoff run that would see the Kings only lose two games if they sweep New Jersey.
The Devils are going to try and do everything they can to make sure this does not happen, by stretching this series out to at least one more game. But they are going to have to pick up their offense a lot in order to score against Jonathon Quick. It does not seem possible with the Devils only scoring twice over the first three games and going 0-12 on the power-play, including a 59 second five-on-three man advantage Monday night. The Devils do not have the offense to out work the solid Kings defense and they cannot seem to find any answers for solving Quick. Martin Brodeur, the future hall-of-fame goaltender is usually a core player for the Devils, but over the course of the entire playoffs he has let up more sloppy goals than anyone could have imagined. Is it time for Marty to hang up the skates and retire after a tremendous 21-year career with New Jersey, including three Stanley Cups? Only time will tell, and the Devils are certainly running out of time.
Tags: Devils hockey, Hockey, Los Angeles Kings, New Jersey Devils, NHL, NHL Playoffs, Stanley Cup, Stanley Cup Finals, Stanley Cup Playoffs
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