Monday, April 14, 2008

Why There's Hope

Here's why there is hope for the Devils. From the Newark Star-Ledger:

Why did the Rangers dominate the Devils during the regular season and in the first two games of this series?

According to Sutter, there wasn't enough hate from the Devils.

"I never really saw the rivalry with these two teams until Game 2 (of the playoffs)," Sutter said. "It's been a concern of mine. Let's just put it this way: Rivalries are supposed to be heated battles. They're like wars. We hadn't had a game like that until Game 2.

"Maybe some people disagree. That's the reason why we only won one game this year. It's not that they're so much better than we are."

Sutter said the change occurred because the Devils shifted into desperation mode.

"We always disliked the Rangers but we decided we were giving them a lot of respect. Too much. We have to start hating them more," Devils winger Zach Parise said.

"We know it's a rivalry. We weren't going out and dropping gloves every shift, by any means. But I think it really took a turn in the last game. It went to a new level, I thought. There was a sense of disliking your opponent."

A cross-check to the teeth from Rangers defenseman Christian Backman certainly helped raise the hate level for Parise.

"It makes you a little more ticked off. I wasn't happy about it," Parise said. "Whether or not you lose teeth, it was a cross-check in the face. It's going to be your nose or your teeth. Unfortunately it was my teeth."

Backman's Stick to Parise's Mouth

Last night, Mike Rupp showed some of that hate.

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