(3) Florida Panthers (6) New Jersey Devils
38-26-18 Record 48-28-6
21-9-11 Home 24-13-4
17-17-7 Away 24-15-2
2-3-5 Last 10 Gms 7-2-1
197 Goals For 239
216 Goals Against 200
-19 Differential +39
7th PP Rank 14th
25th PK Rank 1st
7th PP Time 14th
2nd PK Time 14th
25th Even-Strength Rank 19th
FLA (2-1-1) NJ (2-2-0)
11 Goals 11
9.1% PP % 0%
100% PK% 90.9%
Prediction: Devils in 4
It’s pretty simple, the only advantage that Florida possesses in their Power Play. The fact that New Jersey owns the best PK in the league makes the Special Teams a complete non-factor in this series, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Henrique an Parise combine for more shorties in this series than Florida nets in PPGs. How Florida even made the playoffs is beyond all rational comprehension. Bottom line is that this series will come down to goaltending and 5-on-5 five play. Unless Jose Theodore gets a Hart Trophy nomination and tries to steal a round to justify it, the future Hall of Famer Brodeur should have the edge. As far as 5-on-5 play goes, the Devils are not great, but the Panthers are awful, and sans-Kovalchuk which should be the dagger.
Fantasy Studs, Duds & Sleepers
If anyone is going to score on the PP, its soupy. The functionality of the Cats’ man-advantage begins and ends with him.
Going into the playoffs hot, and with a Stanley Cup to his name, the Cats will look to him to lead the way offensively
5 points in 22 career playoff games … sheesh.
The 30-year old playoff virgin is ready for the dance finally, and will be ready to make a name for himself outside of the first 82 games.
New Jersey Devils
There is no one with more to prove than Kovie, and he bounced back nicely this season after a mediocre 2010-2011 campaign.
Coming off of the quietest 78 point season in the history of the NHL, Elias can still play (apparently). Also, back when the Devils used to win Cups, he was known to find the net in the post-season: 117 career playoff points in 139 games.
25 points in his last 28 playoff games, the upcoming UFA will be playing for more than just a Cup this post-season
10 points in 38 playoff games … if ol’ glass-clavicle doesn’t get hurt, he’ll pull a convenient spring Houdini
The Calder candidate will have lots of experience surrounding him to take the weight off of his young shoulders. Look for Henrique to be a forgotten scorer in the Florida defensive strategy.