Stanley Cup Finals Game 4: Go Big or Go Home
Added by Michael DiGiacomo on June 6, 2012.
It's do-or-die time for the New Jersey Devils tonight as they try to avoid elimination.
The most frustrating part of the season couldn’t have come at a worse time for New Jersey Devils fans. The New Jersey Devils are basically sitting at the base of Mt. Everest, hoping they can make the best of their climb to rewriting the history books.
While it seems pretty hopeless that the Devils aren’t going to play spoiler in this series regardless of how tonight goes, you have to grab on to the idea every player on that roster knows, we have one game & one chance to make a difference here.
“We’ve said all along we’ve had fun this year playing together, playing for each other. Now, we need to do it more than ever. Now, we need to know that the guy sitting next to us is going to do whatever he can do to help us win this game, just this one game. That’s our approach. We trust each other to play great and we have to,” Zach Parise told members of the media.
You saw plenty of emotions come out in Game 3 at the Staples Center. Martin Brodeur gave the refs a piece of his mind after the whistle wasn’t blown on the Kings first goal. You saw Parise’s face express disappointment after getting beat by Anze Kopitar for the Kings third goal, and you saw Marek Zidlicky lose his composure against Dustin Brown as any chance of coming back in this game was a Texas mile.
So what’s the game plan now? The positive to all this misery is that there is 60 minutes of hockey to play. Can the boys wrap their brains around the fact that they aren’t ready to go home? Or, will the Kings storm out of the opening faceoff, set the tone and complete deflate any hope that the Devils can take one game here? We’ll find out soon enough.
“Everything is meant to be broken. We’ll just go out there and work hard tomorrow and we’ll see what happens. Nobody’s giving up here. We’re going to go do some things that we’ve done so far in this series, but, hopefully, we can have lighter hands with our opportunities and break through and that will give us a little momentum and maybe get another shot at it at home,” Patrik Elias mentioned.
No one wants the season to end and two players on the roster both have direct and indirect ties to what it’s like coming back from a 0-3 series deficit. Zach Parise’s father, JP, was a part of that comeback on the 1975 Islanders team when they did it against Pittsburgh and Adam Henrique did it with the Windsor Spitfires down 0-3. “a little disheartened,” is how Peter DeBoer described the club.
“That’s natural. It’s human nature. Today is kind of a day you have to get that out of your system and tomorrow you come back ready to work. It’s our responsibility as coaches to look at the positives, look at the good thigns we’re doing, look at the chances we’re generating and show them that success is that close. We just have to stick with it,” continued DeBoer.
This club has accomplished quite a bit since the last season. A lot of players on both teams are getting cracks at their first cup and first taste of a Stanley Cup Finals. Sweet or sour, they have to understand that it’s not over. Rally around whatever you have to and give yourself the opportunity to extend your season. Maybe this is what this club needs right now – to wake up. Maybe down 3-0 in the most important game potentially of most of the player’s careers will be a war cry.
A few changes have been made that will, hopefully, give the Devils a little renaissance tonight. Petr Sykora is in along with Henrik Tallinder who wasn’t played since January 17th. Adam Henrique also has a change tonight going from full goatee to a mustache.
“I like the power of the mustache and he’s got it now,” Ryan Carter said of Adam Henrique’s new look.
While I’m tired of reading all the potential negatives questioning careers of players and who will and won’t be back in a Devils sweater, all of that is nonsense right now. The season isn’t over and hopefully our squad feels the same way.
We need everyone wearing the Devils crest to give 100% tonight and, most importantly, we need the belief from the fans around New Jersey and all over the country supporting the Devils to dig deep and believe that there is a way we can break down the Los Angeles Kings. See you for puck drop at 8pm tonight.