One more win and the New Jersey Devils are in. Their surprise playoff run has them tantalizingly close to playing for the best trophy in sports.
If the Devils beat the New York Rangers in Game 6 on Friday and advance to face the Los Angeles Kings in the Stanley Cup finals, the list of reasons will be long. Martin Brodeur has been a stabilizing veteran presence in goal. The Devils' health and depth are paying off with contributions coming up and down the lineup. Even though he's clearly fighting through an injury, Ilya Kovalchuk continues to gut out contributions, and Zach Parise's leadership has been impeccable.
But if New Jersey can finish off the Rangers at home or in Game 7 on Sunday in New York, a large share of the credit goes to one person: coach Peter DeBoer.
As it stands, he has the edge over Rangers coach John Tortorella in the battle behind the bench.
"I don't think there's any question," said one NHL scout. "I would say that very honestly. Pete is outcoaching him ... it may cost [the Rangers] the series."
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