Devils coach Pete DeBoer doesn't know exactly what to expect Tuesday night when his team opens the Stanley Cup Finals at home against the Los Angeles Kings. You can watch all the tape you'd like when preparing to face an opponent , but when it comes down to it, it's tough to know what a team will bring until they actually get on the ice.
"I don't believe you get a real appreciation for what we're dealing with watching them on tape" DeBoer said Wednesday morning. "Their speed and their size. I won't know that until tonight.
"I can tell you, you look at Philadelphia's forwards, that was a pretty good group. 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. Are these teams in a different league? I don't know. We'll know at 8 tonight."
These teams haven't played since a pair of games in October, when DeBoer was the fresh-faced new coach in New Jersey and the Kings were a completely different hockey team. We'd expect a bit of a feeling out period to start Game 1.
Stick with SBNation's dedicated NHL hub for full Stanley Cup Finals coverage. For more on the New Jersey Devils, check out Devils blog In Lou We Trust. For more on the Los Angeles Kings, check out Jewels From The Crown and SB Nation Los Angeles.