They needed miracle upon miracle to grind through some not so good Ottawa and Washington teams that year (remember the Richards goal in the waning seconds against Wash?) both were 7 game series. If the got past us, it would've been ANOTHER 7 game series. Then they would have to face a blistering hot, dominant Kings team and need four more wins for the cups.
Tell me, do you like the 2012 Rangers odds against LA after three consecutive seven game wars?
And the Devils were one shot away in games 6 and 7 from being eliminated by a mediocre Panthers team in round 1. Breaking down series and putting them under a microscope can be done with any team's playoff run. Who knows? Were the Devils an OT goal away from being Cup champions and changing that Kings series? The Devils were down 2-1 to the Rangers. They were a shot away from being down 3-2. They were an shot away from a game 7 at MSG. This was with the Devils carrying the territorial play in the last half of that series. The Devils were down 3-0 to LA and at worst the Rangers would have been in that hole, too.