By: John Carroll Jr.
The New Jersey Devils are legit. Everyone who follows this team thinks it. The players know it. But guess what? Their confidence paid off in the form of a playoff victory Monday night.
When all else fails for an 8 seed the NHL playoffs, just winning a playoff game is enough sometimes. Well, the New Jersey Devils have now done that. However, the confidence they have had all year helps them think they can do even more now.
Down 0-2 in the series, the Devils needed to win. I don’t care if it is a best of seven, coming down from 3 games to none is almost a lock to lose the series. Well, in classic Devils fashion, they avoided that with a huge win at home in game 3.
The game was fantastic. The home team has been awesome in every game this series thus far. Perhaps it is literally the home ice that help win. But, in Game 3 it was the Devils and their confidence.
It’s not a coincidence that the Devils used the motto “NJD vs Everybody” all season. They were motivated by it all year long. Another thing that motivated them is the fact that most people thought they would be far from the playoffs let alone win a playoff game.
They know they belong in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
So, what does that show? It shows confidence. The Devils play smart. They rarely play really poor. But sometimes, at the end of the day, it is their confidence that keeps them in games and helps them win them.
There were zero things about the Devils play that made them look like an 8 seed. They always stood up for themselves when given a cheap shot. The Devs don’t get too rattled when behind. They play with grit and know how to find wins.
Yes, they are down in the series. But they are only down 2-1 and are way worse than Tampa “on paper”. Tampa has the players who have been to the Cup final before and the track record in the regular season.
The Devils are here for the first time in 6 years. They have no reason for anyone to believe they can win this thing.
Tampa Bay is a great team. However, the Devils believe they are just as good.
The New Jersey Devils are not proven. They have not been here before. However, they did not play like that in Game 3.
Their confidence might not take them all the way put paid off Monday night in a big way.
They looked like veterans. So watch out for that the rest of this run, however long it may go.