Work in Sports
Reactions: Devils due
Users say N.J. deserves to win Stanley Cup
Posted: Tuesday June 06, 2000 07:09 PM
CNNSI.com asked users what they thought about the defeat of the Dallas Stars by the New Jersey Devils in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup finals. A sample of the responses follows:
Every playoff series has a defining moment and right now it looks like Madden's short-handed goal very well could be it. That goal totally killed off any confidence that Dallas had started to gain. The Devils have to be careful though because Dallas definitely has the talent and experience to win three in a row. However if New Jersey can score early in game five and continue to frustrate Dallas, then the Stars will be golfing by the weekend.
The Devils are better. That is what happened to the Stars. I am so tired of hearing the Stars complain about been underrated and disrespected. I am sick of reading all of Ed Belfour's whining proclamations that he is "better" than Patrick Roy. The Stars may have beat the Avalanche for the privilege of playing New Jersey, but Belfour is still not and never will be better than St. Patty. And he is not better than Martin either. Perhaps all the Stars whine so much not to convince the rest of us that they are "better" but to try to convince themselves.
The New Jersey Devils deserve the Cup. The Stars do not. Jersey is a better team than Dallas. No question. No doubt. Jersey in 5.
Throughout the playoffs we were bombarded with the stat that Dallas never lost a game after a loss in the playoffs; well had they not been lucky in Game Two the series would be over by now.
Dallas is so much the superior team that they have to be awarded NHL champions right after beating Colorado. That was real battlefield! I watched all games closely. There is no way Belfour could lose six pucks in the first game against Devils, beating Patrick Roy in previous playoffs!! Come on, it is not even interesting to watch!!
Not only is it over in 5, but the difference in these two teams is illustrated by the contrast in their respective captains. When the Devils were down against Philly, Stevens responded with a clean mean hit on Lindros. Scott has determination, grit and the class to actually feel bad that Lindros was injured again. In contrast, when the Stars went down how did their captain respond? With a deliberate attempt to injure one of the Devils' stars -- a total cheap shot for which he should be suspended. Either way Dallas' season is over in 60 minutes. N.J. is the class of the NHL and they're showing it in every way.
I'm just glad some parity is finally developing in media coverage. Just how did the Dallas Stars become this year's media darlings, anyway? ESPN and ABC commentators have been taking the Stars' perspective of the series so consistently I thought I was watching a Dallas local network. Even after a 7-point pasting all anyone could talk about was Belfour's cold medicine.
The Stars are getting manhandled by a faster, stronger, hungrier and all around better and more exciting team in the Devils. And it's not just good for the Eastern Conference -- its better for hockey. I'm going to love watching the "pundits" backpedal for the next week.
And by the way, Hatcher is a thug (ask any number of players victimized by his cheap, cowardly hits). Why won't anyone print or say that?
Dallas seems to have gotten away from what got them here in the first place: defense. They have been hanging out in the neutral zone trying very hard to force shots, instead of playing solid defense and allowing the offensive chances to present themselves. Dallas is notorious for winning games with very few shots (patience).
If Belfour is having a mediocre series (which he is), then floor checking, good puckhandling and solid defense is a must and will allow Dallas to take control. The offensive chances will happen. If Hitchcock gets control of this, look for Dallas to make History in this series. Go Dallas. There will be a game 7.
You know, this series isn't over, but I'm pretty much laughing at all the so-called experts who, at the beginning of this series, gave every advantage to the Stars. Better offense (for a Stars team that scored fewer goals in the regular season than the Devils; that's quite a stretch), better defense, a better goalie, blah, blah, blah. And all through the season, time and again, I hear from the experts (save a wise few) who constantly called the Devils a slow team with a slow, old defense. Who's looking slow now? Who is the coach saying that he hasn't seen a team this quick? It was a tough series to predict the winner for, but perhaps all of the experts should actually do some thinking and observing instead of using tired phrases to describe the Devils. Now that I'm thinking about tired phrases: Please stop calling Vladimir Malakhov "enigmatic" or "an enigma." Use some imagination already!
Maybe now the pundits, so-called "experts," and especially the Dallas Stars will start giving the Devils their due (no pun intended). There's a reason why the Devils have home-ice advantage -- they were the better team in the regular season and they're proving to be the best team in the playoffs!
Despite the scoring difference, it's a fine line between victory and defeat in this series. In this case, that line was three straight Dallas defensive miscues. Until those (for the first time in the series), I felt that the Stars outplayed the Devils in Game 4.
If the Stars can regroup from this and steal Game 5, I think that you'll see this thing come down to a thrilling end in Game 7. The series is a lot closer than the scores and statistics make it appear. Dallas & New Jersey are probably two of the only teams capable of coming back out of a 3-1 hole. Don't count the Stars out yet!