The New Jersey Devils made a statement in their 4-0 shutout win against the New York Rangers.
That statement was that they are a force to be reckoned with. Last night’s win was a team win, with everyone in a Devils jersey playing a part in the victory. A lot of changes must be made in New York, as they have lost three straight and are on the brink of elimination.
The New Jersey Devils are one win away from round two.
The Devils are a complete team
The Devils showed last night that they can be a dangerous team. The forwards were creating chances, the defense was smothering, and the goaltending was excellent.
In the last three games, the Devils have played their best hockey and are doing it at the right time. The Devils are clicking on all cylinders and are playing like a top-seeded team again.
The New Jersey Devils, the way the roster sits now, are exactly how a playoff team should be constructed to win a Stanley Cup. They are offensively talented, solid defensively from top to bottom, and have elite goaltending.
The New York Rangers need changes now
The Rangers won the first two games of this series and looked great in doing so. However, they have not looked the same since their Game 2 win.
In the past three games, they have been outscored 9-2, including the 4-0 shutout last game. The Rangers have a top-tier top-six who have not been scoring as of late, and that has caused them to fall behind in the series.
The Rangers do not seem to have an answer for a Devils team that is cruising. The Rangers lack offense, the defense has been okay, and goaltender Igor Shesterkin has been average at best.
The New York Rangers need to address the issues they have in quick fashion or they will not have issues to worry about. The Rangers have a franchise record of 38-55-2 when facing elimination.
New Jersey Devils coach Lindy Ruff deserves credit
New Jersey Devils head coach Lindy Ruff had a tough start to the 2022-23 NHL season. So much so that, in fact, the fans were calling for his job a month into the season. Not only has he turned this team around, but he has done it the subtle, right way.
In the playoffs, when the Devils were down two games to none, he made a move he thought was right and replaced veteran Vitek Vanecek with 22-year-old Akira Schmid. The Devils are 3-0 since that move and are playing their best hockey.
The moves he has made are not ground-breaking, but small, necessary moves that turned this team around and in the right direction. Devils head coach Ruff knows what he is doing and has this team focused and ready to go for Saturday night’s Game 6 in New York.