NEWARK, N.J. --
There's never too much rest for the weary.
After going the distance against the Florida Panthers
in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, New Jersey Devils
coach Peter DeBoer
said he wouldn't trade places with anybody to be playing another Game 7.
"For me, the longer the better," DeBoer said.
After needing just five games to dispose of the Philadelphia Flyers
in the Conference Semifinals, DeBoer's team is now four days into a five-day break before kicking off Game 1 of the conference finals on Monday. The Devils will play the winner of a Game 7 on Saturday between the Washington Capitals
and New York Rangers
Is the five-day break too much?
"Like I've said all along, I don't think there's such a thing as too much rest this time of year," DeBoer said. "We have to stay sharp. That's our job to manage the schedule and the days off, so that we're ready to go Game 1. That's on the coaching staff to manage it properly, but I wouldn't want to trade spots with somebody playing Game 7 right now."
DeBoer has been on a regular routine during the playoffs this spring. He has provided the club with the necessary time off and has had them skate hard as well. It has certainly worked wonders. DeBoer worked his team through two practice sessions on Saturday at AmeriHealth Pavilion.
"The guys are excited and we got through a good practice [on Saturday] and we worked on a lot of stuff," DeBoer said. "Again it's managing the five days off and making sure we build and are ready for Monday.
"I think all year we've tried to make sure we've had a good ration of rest and practice," he continued. "My feeling is if we practice, we practice hard. If we don't need to practice, you should be resting both mentally and physically away from the rink. I think the guys have enjoyed that part of it and we came back [Saturday] in a good frame of mind after having [Friday] off."
The second session was dedicated primarily to specialty teams. The Devils first power-play unit had Zach Parise
, Travis Zajac
and Patrik Elias
up front and Ilya Kovalchuk
and Marek Zidlicky
on the points. The second unit had forwards Petr Sykora
, Adam Henrique
and David Clarkson
with defensemen Andy Greene
and Mark Fayne
DeBoer said that whichever team he faces next, the challenge will be a little different than against the Panthers and Flyers.
"Both the Rangers and Capitals play a different style than the first two teams we faced in the playoffs," DeBoer said. "I don't think it's any tougher and I don't think easier. I just think it's a different style of play you're dealing with, but we've made the appropriate adjustments for that."
DeBoer said the minute he learns of his next opponent on Saturday, he'll reach out to his video coaches "as soon as the game ends."
DeBoer was asked if his wife would offer any advice regarding his next opponent on Mother's Day?
"No. She will steer clear," he said, laughing.
Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale