For most of the playoffs, Peter DeBoer’s answered questions about the strength of New Jersey’s forecheck.
This week, the tables have been turned.
The Devils head coach is now being asked how his club will handle LA’s ballyhooed forecheck, one that’s predicated on aggression and size. The Kings have four forwards (Anze Kopitar, Dustin Penner, Dwight King and Jordan Nolan) over 6-foot-3, 225 pounds and have dominated these playoffs by keeping puck possession in the attacking zone.
That said, DeBoer sounded confident his squad could handle L.A.
“I can tell you, you look at Philadelphia’s forwards, that was a pretty good group,” DeBoer told reporters prior to Game 1. “Florida’s forwards maybe didn’t have the high-end skill, but they were four lines deep. We’ve dealt with some good forecheck this year.”
DeBoer said he’s watched the Kings’ forecheck on tape, but claimed tape doesn’t give a real sense of their speed and size — and size will be a factor this series.
New Jersey has a smallish defense with guys like Marek Zidlicky (5-foot-11, 188 pounds), Andy Greene (5-11, 190) and Peter Harrold (6-0, 190) — they’ll be hard-pressed to deal with the aforementioned quartet of burly forwards…and other physical presences like Jeff Carter (6-4, 200) and Dustin Brown, who leads all L.A. forwards in hits.