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The Experience Factor

Tuesday, 04.10.2007 / 12:00 AM ET / News
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The Experience Factor

Sergei Brylin has been a part of all three of the Devils' Stanley Cup Championships.

newjerseydevils.com – In the Stanley Cup Playoffs, experience matters.

It’s an ingredient that, come the trade deadline, NHL general managers invariably try to add as their teams gear up for the regular-season stretch runs that can yield postseason momentum.

The road to the Stanley Cup is a long one, and it has been said that no player knows the sacrifices required to win it better than one that already has.

If there’s any truth to that credo, then the Devils’ Eastern Conference Quarterfinal match-up against the Tampa Bay Lightning certainly will be worth watching. The series opens this Thursday at 7:30 p.m. (FSN NY, WABC 770 AM), and tickets can be purchased at the Continental Airlines Arena box office, or by visiting ticketmaster.com.

New Jersey’s three Stanley Cup Championships have been the stuff of legend in East Rutherford. A team that was brought to the Garden State in 1982 by the late Dr. John J. McMullen, would go on to have the second-best record in the 1990s under the guidance of CEO/President/General Manager Lou Lamoriello.

The Devils’ first Championship in 1995 was followed by titles in 2000 and 2003.

But soon after the Devils had put the wraps on that third title, these Lightning came of age.

Just a season after the Devils’ 2003 title run had penned a sour ending to Anaheim’s Cinderella story, it was the dynamic trio of Vincent Lecavalier, Brad Richards and Martin St. Louis that hoisted the Stanley Cup – the oldest trophy in North American professional sports – after taking a seven-game Finals series against Calgary in 2004.

So call this opening round match-up of the 2007 Stanley Cup Playoffs one that pits experience against experience. Between them, the Devils and Lightning have won two of the last three Cups, and both teams remain well-stocked with championship pedigree.

New Jersey’s current roster gleams with 25 Stanley Cup rings among 14 players, 11 of whom were with the club in 2003. Eight current players – Martin Brodeur, Sergei Brylin, Patrik Elias, Scott Gomez, John Madden, Jay Pandolfo, Brian Rafalski, Colin White – were on board for both the 2000 and 2003 title runs, and the duo of Brodeur and Brylin have worn red and black for all three, beginning in 1995.

But after the Devils, the Tampa Bay roster’s 11-ring total is second among the eight Eastern Conference playoff teams, and the Lightning has proven to be a worthy opponent for the Devils this season, finishing with a 3-1-0 record in head-to-head play.

When it comes down to trying to predict the outcome of a playoff match-up, one line of thought suggests taking the team with the core that has won before. In the case of this best-of-seven series between the Devils and the Lightning, however, that becomes a difficult distinction to make.

Experience against experience: it’s why all the prognostications will go out the window when the puck drops this Thursday night.

It’s why this opening-round series shouldn’t be missed.

 

2007 Eastern Conference Quarterfinal Schedule
New Jersey Devils vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
 
Day
Location
TV
Radio
Time
Game 1
Thu., 4/12
Tampa Bay at DEVILS
FSN NY
WABC 770 AM
7:30 p.m.
Game 2
Sat., 4/14
Tampa Bay at DEVILS
FSN NY
WFAN 660 AM
7:00 p.m.
Game 3
Mon., 4/16
DEVILS at Tampa Bay
FSN NY2
WABC 770 AM
7:00 p.m.
Game 4
Wed., 4/18
DEVILS at Tampa Bay
FSN NY2
TBD
7:00 p.m.
Game 5*
Fri., 4/20
Tampa Bay at DEVILS
FSN NY
92.3 Free FM
7:00 p.m.
Game 6*
Sun., 4/22
DEVILS at Tampa Bay
FSN NY
WABC 770 AM
TBD
Game 7*
Tue., 4/24
Tampa Bay at DEVILS
FSN NY
WABC 770 AM
TBD

 


 

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
A. Henrique 75 16 27 -6 43
M. Cammalleri 68 27 15 2 42
P. Elias 69 13 21 -20 34
S. Gomez 58 7 27 -10 34
S. Bernier 67 16 16 2 32
T. Zajac 74 11 14 -3 25
A. Larsson 64 3 21 2 24
A. Greene 82 3 19 1 22
E. Gelinas 61 6 13 -2 19
M. Ryder 47 6 13 -1 19
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 26 31 9 .925 2.26
K. Kinkaid 6 5 4 .915 2.59