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RESCH: Devils need to box up Sens

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Well, the certainly have their work cut out for them in the Eastern Conference finals against Ottawa. They have to take away some of that good feeling the have built up this year and through the playoffs. With Tampa Bay, the were just the better team. Psychologically, they didn¿t get complacent, overconfident or bored. They didn¿t come in thinking that they could cut corners and win this thing. They basically played hard and took care of all the areas they needed to, especially defensively. They don¿t let you move. They don¿t let you breathe out there. The one thing with Ottawa, the Senators and Detroit are the most talented teams in the NHL. When you just talk about the raw talent of speed, passing, and the ability to offensively pressure teams and then to finish it off with goals, those two were the best. Of course, the won the President's Trophy and it was no fluke. They're very skilled in a couple of really important positions. They are more of an initiator. They know that they have the ability to take it to the other team offensively. They like to bring offensively. The have to be careful with short handed. They can¿t let that power play gain confidence. The don¿t want to bring it as much. They want to sort of have this controlled game going on where it doesn¿t get away from them. If your team is built like the , they don¿t want to be flying to get the tempo up to a pace that actually goes ahead of where they are really at as a team. They¿re a little older on defense, while Ottawa¿s defense can move up and down the ice three or four times in a forty five second shift. The , including , Kenny Daneyko, , and even , want their defense to move up at their speed.

Lining the clubs up

Marty Brodeur¿s got to have the edge in net. If you give Marty an A+, you can give an A. On defense, they would both be 'A'. coach Ken Hitchcock said that the Senators don¿t give you time or space. They are like a grizzly bear. You look at them and think you can outrun them. They¿re on you so quickly because of their ability to skate. So they have the slight edge when breaking down those two areas, in the offensive side of it. If you're looking at the forwards, the would be an 'A' and the would be a 'B'. and together, if they¿re cooking, can match and . Ottawa's got three guys individually on wing in Hossa, and , who, one-on-one, are maybe better than anyone the have as far as beating someone. Gomez can beat people one-on-one, but he¿s not going to finish off with a goal. The aforementioned three guys can beat players one-on-one, take it in, and finish it off with a goal. And you¿re not even talking about the speed of forwards or . Ottawa beat the three games to one this year in the season series. And when the Senators have beaten New Jersey in the past, it has been generally their speed. Their ability to move the game along at just a little faster pace than the would like. Then it gets more wide open. They have more weapons there that most teams don¿t have. Philadelphia couldn¿t match their offensive weaponry in Round 2. The need to keep this game in a box where they have their hands on the lid. They¿re deciding how much it is going to open. If it gets wide open, then the genie¿s out of the bottle. That¿s the real question mark. Who¿s going to have their foot on the gas pedal?

Beware The Rhinocerous

has been through every challenge imaginable. I played against him when he was a rookie, and he was so ferocious, so explosive and had so little impulse control that if the game went sixty minutes and you just kept trying to get him going, somewhere along the line he was either going to explode with a penalty or an over aggressive play where he wanted to rip someone¿s head off. I think now, years later with tremendous maturity under his belt, it¿s just that there isn¿t really anything you can do to rattle Scott — including a slap shot to the head. That¿s reassuring to people who play with him. The other thing about Scott that other people don¿t talk about is his raw hockey ability. He makes just as good outlet passes as anybody. As we¿ve seen, he¿s got an underrated shot that he doesn't use as much because of his defensive role. He can still slap the puck. He¿s really talented and still hasn¿t won the Norris Trophy. People just talk about his ability to hit and pound people. You can see those eyes and the fire. He¿s got the Maurice "Rocket" Richard fury without it raging out of control, whereas before, it would consume him. If there¿s one guy that¿s more changed in the defensive attitude of the it would be Scott. still doesn¿t let it loose and fly around like he could and can say he too is affected by a more defensive philosophy, but he¿ll still jump up and do that. But Stevens really hasn¿t in a few years. Maybe that¿s why he¿s been so healthy and has so much energy at the end of the year. I could see him scoring two key goals and a couple of assists in the Ottawa series. He¿s built like Ray Bourque and has those qualities. I think he¿s way underestimated. He scored 20 goals and 82 points one year. But Stevens' aura has been built up now. If you¿re fighting some other guys and you have the rhino in front of you charging, you¿re going to feel pretty confident.

Hearts of

As far as the epicenter of New Jersey's team, or heart if you will, Marty Brodeur¿s the unspoken stabilizer of the whole operation. They just look to him as being their heart. If he isn¿t real sharp in this series, their chances decrease. Marty can¿t be average. It¿s not going to be like some games in Boston and Tampa Bay where Marty had to make two or three key saves and maybe that was it. There were some pressure but not that great. He¿s going to be called upon to be really dazzling. It also revolves around the defensive core (Scott Stevens). You also need a leader up front. If you have an army and have a leader for the paratroopers, but you still have to have a leader for your tank division. And really and brought a leadership combination together. I¿d say more like stabilizers or pulse makers. They just dictate the mood of the team. They¿re going to keep the focus and bring it around. They have that ability to bring the players to the point where, ¿Hey, this situation is not bad. This is what we have to do. If we¿re too high, we need to pull this down a little bit.¿ A former National Hockey League goaltender who spent fourteen years playing and an additional six seasons as a coach and scout, Glenn ¿Chico¿ Resch brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the broadcast booth. Since 1996, he has served as analyst for New Jersey telecasts on Fox Sports Net. Chico's column appears regularly on MSGNetwork.com.
Tagged: Devils, Senators, Flyers, Jamie Langenbrunner, Joe Nieuwendyk, Patrik Elias, Radek Bonk, Daniel Alfredsson, Patrick Lalime, Martin Havlat, Peter Schaefer, Mike Fisher, Colin White

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