Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the NY Post,
The Devils sought him in 2001, stifled him in 2003, and sweat him now. Shutting down Vincent Lecavalier is their first task in the first round.
“He’s got everything,” Martin Brodeur said. “He has the size and he doesn’t shy away from anything. He has the green light to try anything he wants.
“We’re going to have to play him hard and get him off his game. We can’t give him space or let him skate. We have to make him start and stop all game long, get him as tired as we can. We can’t let them swing, because it plays into their game.”
from David Kolb of MSG Network,
Pitted against the #7 Tampa Bay Lightning, the #2 Devils appear to be the overwhelming favorites.
The Bolts have had serious goaltending issues all year. Season-long toggling between Johan Holmqvist and Marc Denis has yet to yield a true #1 net-minder.
Despite the lopsided edge the Devils own in net, the Lightning could be an extremely dangerous club, and a stiff challenge in the postseason’s first round.
from the St. Petersburg Times,
They gave Brodeur respect, called him “great” and talked about skills such as his stick-handling, which makes him almost a third defenseman. Still, some seemed as if they would rather be taking a puck off the head.
“We’re not going to sit here and talk about him every day,” center Brad Richards said. “We know he’s great. We know what he brings to the table. With all respect to him in the world, to sit here and wrack our brains over it is counterproductive.”
from Kevin Dupont at MSNBC,
Much of the talk the last couple of weeks of the NHL’s regular season centered around either Sidney Crosby or Roberto Luongo being named the 2006-‘07 MVP.
Great talents, yes. Certainly worthy of the discussion. In fact, I’ve got Crosby No. 2 and Luongo No. 3 on my ballot. But the winner of this season’s Hart Trophy, I believe, has to be New Jersey netminder Martin Brodeur.
The New York Islanders win in a shootout over New Jersey, landing the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference on the last day of the season. More later. (The Leafs Lunch show on AM640 radio should be quite entertaining Monday, wouldn’t you say?)
Update 6:57pm EDT:
The win triggered a wild on-ice celebration by the Islanders who were seemingly out of the Stanley Cup hunt one week ago. They regrouped in front of third-string goalie Wade Dubielewicz to edge out the Toronto Maple Leafs for the last playoff berth to be decided on the final day of the regular season.
Toronto finished its season Saturday night with a 6-5 win over the Montreal Canadiens. The Maple Leafs had 91 points, one more than the Islanders.
The Islanders mission was simple: win, and they were in the playoffs and would face the top-seeded Buffalo Sabres.
from Karen Crouse of the New York Times:
From his spot at the bar, Dr. Coyle Connolly, a dermatologist and rabid Flyers fan, had an open look at Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur. It was late summer 1995 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Connolly’s heart was on the mend after Brodeur and the Devils broke it with their defeat of Philadelphia in that year’s Eastern Conference finals.
Connolly, who had booed Brodeur from his season seat, swooped in like a skater to congratulate Brodeur for having gone on to win his first Stanley Cup. He half expected his introduction to end in rejection, but Brodeur did not turn him away.
Accepting Connolly’s offer of a beer, Brodeur ended up inviting him to join him and a friend for dinner so they could continue their hockey conversation. Nearly a dozen years later they are still talking about hockey and a whole lot more.
Via the Toronto Sun,
Mats Sundin has watched Martin Brodeur eliminate his Maple Leafs from the playoffs on two different occasions this decade. Now, he is hoping the all-star goaltender of the New Jersey Devils can actually help the Leafs squeeze into the post-season. Sundin's Leafs need a Devils victory over the New York Islanders this afternoon in order for Toronto to lock up a spot in the Stanley Cup.Continue reading And more from the New York Post,
The Devils have won the last six meetings with the Isles this season, but if the Islanders win today, they'll leapfrog the Leafs and capture the final berth. Lamoriello said he'd rest players if he deems that best for his team, whether or not the verdict mattered to other teams. "My responsibility is to do whatever is right to get our team ready for the playoffs," Lamoriello said. "Anything else should not even enter into what we're doing."
Coach Lamoriello faced with a tough decision tomorrow- Play Brodeur or not?
If the Islanders beat the Devils, they are in the playoffs and the Toronto Maple Leafs join the Canadiens on the golf course.
I am with Don Cherry, Lou has to play his best lineup, it is the right thing to do.
from the NY Post,
Parent was on hand when Brodeur broke the 33-year-old single-season record of 47 victories with last night’s 3-2 triumph over the Flyers here. The victory, the Devils’ fourth straight and fifth of six, clinched their seventh Atlantic Division title, second in a row.
The difference is Brodeur’s 48-23-7 record is fattened by 10 shootout victories that arguably would have been ties in Parent’s era. Parent went 47-13-12 for the Flyers in that 1973-74 season when he shared the Vezina Trophy as top goalie with Chicago’s Tony Esposito, and won the first of two straight Conn Smythe trophies as playoff MVP. Parent may have had at least six more victories, if there’d been shootouts then.
“You can’t argue with the fact that it’s easier,” Brodeur said.
“Everybody has a right to see a record in a certain way. But it’s tough enough.
“It doesn’t take anything away from what I did. Maybe in five years they’ll decide the game is boring again and put something else in.”
from Stan Fischler at his blog, The Maven,
I’m driving down to Philadelphia tonight (Wednesday) in the hopes of seeing Martin Brodeur break Bernie Parent’s record for wins in a season.
More important - to me and Marty - is the fact that I’m looking forward to a Devils’ victory. That would put them over the top in terms of clinching first place and the home ice advantage that goes with it.
Even more important than that, I’m hoping that the news on Brian Gionta is more encouraging than it appeared on Tuesday night when he was spirited away from Continental Airlines Arena in an ambulance.
The Patrik Elias shot which Gionta took on the foot could devastate the Devils’ postseason, assuming the wound is as serious as it first appeared.
continued,,,and a bit about the NYI…
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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