Today at media day in Newark, Kings captain Dustin Brown was asked what his team needs to do to beat the New Jersey Devils in the Stanley Cup finals.
The answer he provided was no real surprise.
“Our forecheck is probably the key to our game,” said Brown. “To follow that up is getting through the neutral zone successfully against them is probably a key. If we can get through there, we can get on the forecheck.
“Again, our forecheck has probably been the reason we’ve been so successful.”
New Jersey forward Patrik Elias knows what the Kings are about.
“You look at their forecheck,” he said. “They’re very aggressive on the forecheck. They got some big bodies, big guys that play strong, physical hockey.”
For the Devils, it means the toughest test of the playoffs for an unheralded back end that relies on Bryce Salvador, Marek Zidlicky, Andy Greene and Mark Fayne to play the big minutes.
So far they’ve held up – actually, more than held up – but if the Kings are able to consistently dump it in to places Martin Brodeur can’t get to, throw the body around, take control of the puck, and start the cycle, New Jersey’s defense could really start to wear down.
Of course, the Devils can forecheck pretty well themselves, and they’ll need to be effective against Los Angeles. After all, the more time New Jersey can spend in the attacking zone, the more time its defensemen aren’t absorbing punishment in their own end.