I'd like to start off my blog and extend a handshake to all the Caniacs on their well deserved over-achieving victory of this best of seven series. Roger and I both agreed that Matt Karash did an excellent job blogging for the Carolina Hurricanes and I wish him the best the rest of the way.
Here are my thoughts:
For whatever odd reason, the last five minutes of the game, I saw it coming. The Canes were applying the pressure and the Devils were playing "not to lose". The Devils, since the retirement of Scott Stevens, Ken Daneyko, and the departure of Scott Niedermayer, are just unable to close games out and the blueline is in a dire need of a core nucleus that can shutdown any team in key moments. The Devils do not have a true "stopper" on defense and have been paying the price for the last few seasons.
What I like about the Canes? They play hard every second and when opportunities present themselves, they execute and they finish. The Canes have that "killer" instinct that good playoff teams need to compete for the Stanley Cup. The Devils do not. No matter how much talent, like New Jersey has, if you do not have that one element, your team is going to end up like the Devils and go home early.
Eight straight games with Carolina. It was a long series and of course, this one will be a tough pill to swallow for the Devils' players and fans. I expect that there will be a shakeup on next season's roster and it maybe time to let the young talent come up. The Devils need some fresh faces and some new blood. It should be an interesting offseason.
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