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Hurricanes vs. Devils, 3:40 ET
I really should be thanking Outkick for this little experiment, so thank you Outkick. It started out as kind of a conversation like “Hey, see if you can handicap hockey.” I was very transparent that this could be a chance that I fall flat on my face among the readers, but so far – and especially in the playoffs – the bankroll has been building.
The series between the Carolina Hurricanes and the New Jersey Devils has been largely one-sided. In the first game, the Hurricanes absolutely destroyed the Devils. It was something that wasn’t really surprising as the expectation was that the Devils would come in fairly tired after having to deal with the Rangers in the first round. I expected a much better effort from them in Game 2. That effort never showed up and they once again lost by a large margin, 6-1. The game started out fine for the Devils as they were able to keep it scoreless for the first period. Then they allowed four goals to the Hurricanes in the second period and it was over from there.
How can they make this a series or even try to compete with the Hurricanes? With the way they are currently playing they can’t. They need to focus in on solid possessions. If they can slow their game down, and protect in front of the net, the Devils should be able to win the game. I actually think that Carolina has the better defense, but the Devils have to try harder on that end and can’t get into another shootout. At their best against the Rangers, they focused on defense and that led to their offense being more effective. Someone on the team will need to step up, and they need their goalie to regain some confidence.
It seems a bit odd given that they have provided no indication that they can win this game, but I’m taking the Devils. Returning home might be all they need in order to take this game away from the Hurricanes. If they don’t win this one, the series might as well be over. Desperation leads to interesting things in games.
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