Just a year after being one of the most embarrassing teams in the league, the New Jersey Devils are right on the verge of going to the Stanley Cup Finals. They have to beat the NHL betting lines one more time in this series against the New York Rangers though, and their best chance of doing that comes this Friday night at the Prudential Center for Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
Has the mojo on the Rangers just worn off? The truth of the matter is that the defense is finally showing some cracks at this point after such a remarkable postseason. Over the course of the first 17 games of the postseason, New York didn’t allow any team to score more than three goals in a game, and Henrik Lundqvist really looked like he was a pillar in the pipes. He had two shutouts in this series already before Game 4, but since that point, he has looked like a bit of a sieve. The offense is getting its goals, but if Lundqvist has fallen apart, the team really has no chance whatsoever to figure out how to come back in this series and win. The good news for the Rangers though, is that they are 3-0 in potential elimination games in these playoffs, and that includes a road game at the Ottawa Senators in Game 6 of the first round.
It truly is amazing to look at the transformation that the Devils have had here in the playoffs. They were truly one of the biggest disappointments in the league last year when they just couldn’t get anything going offensively, and they had the same problem for the mass majority of the regular season as well. A 40-year old goalie has managed to put the team on his back and get it this far into the playoffs in Martin Brodeur, and he hopes to be able to find one more inspirational effort in his Hall of Fame career to get this team into the Stanley Cup Finals. The offensive transformation from Games 1, 2, and 3 to now is just outstanding. The Devils scored just three goals in the three games, all of which came in Game 2’s triumph, but there were three goals that found the back of the net in succession in the first period of Game 5 on the road. Could the Devils really be on the verge of the Cup? Don’t count them out for sure.
We think that the spirit of the Rangers has been crushed. Could New York end up getting one of these season-saving performances out of Lundqvist and advance back to Game 7 at the Garden? Absolutely. Do we think that it is going to happen, though? Not really. New Jersey looks like a bit of a team of destiny right now, and we think that it gets to the Stanley Cup Finals on Friday night.
New York Rangers @ New Jersey Devils Game 6 Pick: New Jersey Devils -120