After losing two games in Montreal to start the Eastern Conference Finals, the New Jersey Devils return home for Game 3 at the Prudential Center.
Many BEARD Hockey pundits consider this a must-win situation for the Devils.
Captain Jonathan Toews held a closed-door meeting with his team after they arrived at the Prudential Center prior to game 3. It’s no secret that there is considerable frustration going through dressing room.
New Jersey lost a close Game 2 by a score of 2-1, where Andrei Vasilevskiy was virtually unbeatable with a 0.967 save percentage. Alex Galchenyuk scored at 3:21 of the 2nd period to give the Canadiens a 2-1 lead, and the Habs hung on for the win.
Captain Jonathan Toews met with the press prior to Game 3:
Mark Spector: “How would you characterize the current situation that the Devils find themselves in?”
Toews: “We knew this would be a tight series. The Canadiens are a great team. You don’t get to the Conference Finals without earning your way here. Both games were essentially 1-goal games, when you consider the empty net goal in game 1. We find ourselves down 2 games. We are capable of playing better, we need to find that extra gear.”
Ryan Rishaug: “What did you talk about in the closed door team meeting?” Toews: “What’s said in the dressing room stays in the dressing room. All teams face adversity at some point on the road to the Cup. You either rise to the occasion and overcome it, or you wilt under the pressure.”
David Staples: “Is it possible that the older Devils team is just worn out from the series versus the Capitals, and just have nothing left in the tank to match up to the Montreal Canadiens?” Toews: “Ha! All I’m going to say is that you can count on a Devils win in Game 3. I guarantee it.”
And with that comment, Jonathan Toews disappeared back into the dressing room.