2012 Eastern Conference Finals: New York Rangers v. New Jersey Devils Open Thread

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 23: Patrik Elias #26 of the New Jersey Devils celebrates scoring a first period goal past Artem Anisimov #42 and Henrik Lundqvist #30 of the New York Rangers in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Final during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on May 23, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The New Jersey Devils have a chance to return to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 2003, where they would once again be facing an opponent from Southern California. The Devils hold a 3-2 lead in the series and have looked like the vastly superior team, even in losing efforts. They can close out the series with a win tonight in Newark. The puck drops at 5PM PST on NBC Sports Network. Some pre-game reading if you're so inclined:

  • Tyler Dellow looks at how ridiculously overblown the Rangers' shot-blocking prowess has been in the mainstream media and the fundamental flaws in the way blocked shots are perceived in the world of hockey. [mc79hockey]
  • In something of a response to Dellow's article, Ellen Etchingham argues that the Rangers' snooze-inducing style of play is just the inevitable result of the amount of parity in the NHL as well as the ideological compositions of most front offices. [Backhand Shelf]
  • Bruce McCurdy with a detailed analysis of Martin Brodeur's puck-handling over the course of this series and its impact on the Devils' fortunes. [The Cult of Hockey]
  • And from earlier in the week, Eric T. examines the risks inherent in doling out a contract to impending free agent and Devils forward Zach Parise. Sharks fans clamoring for Doug Wilson to acquire Rick Nash should take note. [NHL Numbers]
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