If game one is any indication, we are in for a real treat in this years edition of the Stanley Cup finals.
The New Jersey Devils and the Los Angeles Kings finally got there best of seven series underway, and it was filled with drama. There was early rust. There were two goaltenders that stood on their heads. There was overtime. This game seemingly had it all.
In the early going, both teams looked like they were attempting to shake off the dust, and it became evident in the shot totals with both teams only registering one shot through the first half of the first period.
Once both teams got their legs under them, it was time for the goalies to shine, and shine they did in a very big way. Jonathon Quick, who is putting together what could be a Conn Smythe run, was outstanding, keeping the Kings in the game with multiple point blank saves. On the other end of the ice, Martin Brodeur was just as good, keeping the Devils in the game. One of the big story lines going into this series was the goaltending, and as we get deeper into this series, this is the match up that will go a long way in determining who will be hoisting the cup.
Another match up that got plenty of play prior to the series was the forecheck. It was the Kings who took advantage in the first period, forcing a turnover and cashing in on a goal on said turnover. The Kings have been extremely good applying pressure and forcing teams into mistakes in this postseason, and it is continuing in the early going in this series. As the series starts to unfold, it will be interesting to see how the New Jersey Devils adjust to whatever pressure the Los Angeles Kings pressure moving forward.
Looking ahead to game two, the biggest adjustment the Devils have to make is taking advantage of some of the opportunities they have. There were multiple instances in that game where New Jersey had wide open nets staring at them, and failed to convert those opportunities into goals.
For the Kings looking ahead to game two, they really need to repeat a lot of the things they did in game one in terms of putting on the pressure they applied with the forecheck. That, and Jonathon Quick have been the two brightest spots for the Kings, and if they can continue to play the way they did in game one,Los Angeles will be tough to beat.