3. Florida Panthers vs. 6. New Jersey Devils
New Jersey has a great advantage over Florida in goaltending, experience and with better top-tier players like Kovalchuk and Parise. These two players are also at the point where they must thrive in the postseason to establish themselves as truly elite players. Experienced players like Elias, Sykora and of course Brodeur see a great opportunity to have one more run. “Tryout” Petr Sykora deserves special mention as he has had a great year and he has been to five Stanley Cup Finals.
One of the greatest playoff battles is internally, and as hard as it is to control emotions, coach Pete DeBoer will be returning to the place where he was first hired in the NHL (and fired too). I have full confidence he will handle this series as well as anybody, as he’s been a great coach all season long in New Jersey. He also has 9-time Stanley Cup winner Larry Robinson standing next to him on the bench.
Florida is finally back in the playoffs since we beat them 12 years ago en route to our second Stanley Cup. The question here is whether we will see the team from first half of the season or a team who could have possibly missed the playoffs if the season was 5-10 games longer. I was part of the Thrashers team in the same situation in 2007 and we were swept by the Rangers, deservingly so. Their biggest positive is playing with nothing to lose and tremendous enthusiasm after long playoff drought.
Also I know it is kinda early to ask but if there is an MSG+ stream found could it maybe be posted in the OP? I remember during the season there was some guy named JF I think on a site called like wigwag or something like that and he had high quality streams that I believe were always MSG+