A few days ago, the New Jersey Devils looked like dead ducks. The Los Angeles Kings were up 3-0 in the seven game series. The Kings were undefeated on the road and looking unstoppable.
There is a reason why playoff series last seven games and the old adage “the fourth one is the toughest one to win” is true. Just ask the Kings how tough.
The Devils had a must win game four. The Kings appeared to sit back a little in front of a home crowd who paid serious money to (hopefully) watch their team finally win the Stanley Cup. Instead, the Devils made the Cup keeper pack the big silver thingy back in its case. They took the lead for the first time in the series, and more importantly, figured out how to get a puck past Jonathan Quick. The 3-1 defeat forced a game five in New Jersey.
Considering the Kings road record in the postseason, 10-0, the best EVER of any sport or team, it did not seem like the Devils would extend things much further.
Well, records are meant to be broken. The Devils took the confidence from game 4 and built on it in game 5.
For the second game in a row, the Devils scored first. More importantly, they never yielded that lead and sent the series back to Los Angeles for a game 6.
Now the Kings have lost two in a row. They haven’t lost two in a row since the end of the season. If the Kings don’t change their game plan and performance, it will be three in a row (something that hasn’t happened since February).
It seemed impossible that the series would not go beyond four or five games. Instead, there is a good chance of having a game 7 in New Jersey. You have to believe there is a seed of doubt in the minds of the Los Angeles Kings, a chink in their armor, the discovery of an achilles heel.
Game 6 is Monday in LA. Fans entering the building will be less assured of the results as they were last Wednesday.
Devils have more hope than they did on Wednesday and will certainly be doing all they can do to go back to New Jersey to push the series to the ultimate limits.
Their odds are not great, looking at history. Teams down 3-0 might recover for a game or two. But come back to win four in a row and take a series? Just doesn’t happen.
Except in hockey, where anything is possible, no matter how impossible.
It sure is fun to watch now that it really is a battle!