This Thursday marks the beginning of yet another battle of 100+ point regular season teams. New Jersey finished with 107 and Ottawa with 105, with the season series going the way of the Devils 3-1. Despite holding a 3-1 edge is the regular season series, there’s no doubting who the stronger of the two teams down the stretch was, it’s the Senators. That being said, this series pits the ultimate playoff goalie in Martin Brodeur against the Senators own proclaimed stud, Ray Emery.
As always, Martin Brodeur will be the key to New Jersey winning this series. Brodeur will need to steal at least one, if not two games in this series for the Devils to come out victorious. The Senators on the other hand, can play the shut down game almost as effectively, but will have to solve the trap of the Devils to be successful. Up front the Senators are far superior to the Devils, as they are able to roll four lines effectively. This may just be the difference in this series. If the likes of Dean McCammond, Mike Comrie and Antoine Vermette can find the back of the cage, they could run away with this series. Albeit a tall feat against these New Jersey Devils, a team who has won Stanley Cups on the back of their future Hall of Fame goalie. There is no such thing as an easy series against the Devils.
The thing is this New Jersey Devil team is still very defensive and rely on this for success, but the defence core they have today is nothing close to the stability they had in years prior. The Ottawa Senators on the other hand have six capable defensemen, who are all playing rather solid. Despite Wade Redden and Andrei Meszaroz being under a barrage of criticism for their play, they have still been solid enough to have the defensive core ranked as one of the best in the league. It should be interesting to see how this one unfolds. I suspect the Senators to make another statement within this series, although it won’t be done easily…Senators in 6.