Stevens a factor again in playoffs
|Stevens captained the Devils to Cups in 1995, 2000, and 2003.|
With credentials like those, Stevens, the first-year assistant coach, could prove an invaluable asset in the Devils’ 2010 quest for the Stanley Cup. They were set to host the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal on Wednesday.
Stevens was on the ice for Wednesday’s morning skate, as he typically is for team practices. Considering his impact over 13 seasons in New Jersey, it’s safe to say, even now, that Scott Stevens and Devils playoff hockey just go together.
“Scotty’s been the defenseman I’ve won all my Cups with,” Martin Brodeur said Wednesday morning. “He defended in front of me, he’s a Hall of Famer, so I put a lot of stock in what he says to me."
Stevens could be seen talking to Brodeur as the players got out onto the ice to start the skate. As intense as ever, the former on-ice leader has turned instructor.
“He talks to me about situations in our own zone, things like that,” Brodeur said. “He’s a passionate guy when it comes to the game, so it’s interesting to hear what he has to say.”
Even Devils forwards can learn from Stevens, who patrolled NHL blue lines for 22 seasons with Washington, St. Louis and the Devils.
“You can tell he still loves the game,” Travis Zajac said. “He’s still intense. He was a great defensive player and knows the game so well. To take any information you can from him and learn from him. Just the little things he’s telling me about Philly’s tendencies and stuff like that helps out.”
At 6-2, 215 lbs., Stevens was always physically intimidating. Brodeur thinks Stevens’ presence might still put some fear into Devils opponents.
Said Brodeur: “Even for the opposition knowing that he’s around, teaching guys and telling them what to do, I’m sure it goes a long way.”