Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Dan Rosen at NHL.com,
In one corner is the mainstay, the ol’ reliable in New Jersey Devils’ dynamo Martin Brodeur. Last season, Brodeur captured his third Vezina Trophy in the last four seasons after setting an NHL record with 48 victories. This season he won 44 games.
In another corner, we have the element of surprise, the unlikely candidate in San Jose Sharks veteran Evgeni Nabokov. He has never been a Vezina finalist and had previously never played in more than 67 games in one season. Nabokov played in 77 this time around.
And finally, we have the rising star, the current and future “King” of New York in Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist. This is Lundqvist’s third-straight season as a Vezina finalist, meaning he’s been in the final three in each of his three NHL seasons.
from Mark Everson of the NY Post,
If Lamoriello remains in charge of the Nicky Newarkers, and he told The Post this month that he’s “Too young,” to retire, he must change his stripes, put some pizzazz in his black suits.
In other words, he must stop doing things on the cheap, the way he learned when John McMullen was footing the bills and those millions they lost were real money.
He will have to scrap what’s left of the old Devils salary structure, the one that has required loyalty that cost his players money they will never recover, one that sometimes drove a wedge between players and comrades, when it was management’s strategy getting between them. Some players stayed, for less, like Martin Brodeur Martin Brodeur and Patrik Elias, others left.
from Stan Fischler at Game On,
There have been few more bitter pills for the Devils to swallow now that their year has been suffocated by the Rangers. The five-game playoff defeat will stick in the Sutter-ites craw for a long, long time, but more than anything, it will result in significant changes on many levels and just about everyone connected with the team is aware of that.
“The club needs a playmaking center,” says MSG analyst Glenn (Chico) Resch who has followed the Devs as closely as anyone. “That is, if such a center is available in the off-season.”
from Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,
Martin Brodeur was a focal point in this series from beginning to end. He was bumped and badgered verbally by Sean Avery throughout the season and series. Avery didn’t even stop after the series was over, calling Brodeur “fatso” on a postgame interview on MSG.
Normally, I would not defend Brodeur not shaking Sean Avery’s hand. It’s wrong 99.9 percent of the time.
It was wrong when Scott Stevens and Bobby Holik skipped the handshake line following the 1997 series between the Devils and Rangers and claimed afterward that they forgot about it.
But this is the .1 percent of the time when it wasn’t wrong.
If Sean Avery wants to say things about Brodeur’s family and his personal life and stare him down face-to-face he can’t reasonably expect the guy to shake his hand afterward.
added 9:06am, from Empty Netters,
The above is a video of the postgame handshake lines between the Rangers and Devils following New York’s 5-3 series-clinching win in New Jersey last night. Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur didn’t shake the hand of Rangers forward Sean Avery.
Was Brodeur wrong to do this? The handshake line is one of the more revered traditions in the NHL playoffs.
continued and as mentioned, with video…
from the CP via TSN,
When this one was over, Rangers agitator Sean Avery and Devils goalie Martin Brodeur had one more confrontation, this time in the handshake line. Avery, who crashed into Brodeur several times in the series and tried to distract him by waving his stick in the goalie’s face in Game 3, was the only player Brodeur didn’t extend his hand to.
“I shook everybody’s hand but one,” Brodeur said.
Avery said he was fully prepared to reach out to Brodeur, but didn’t get the chance.
“Everyone talks about how much class I don’t have, well it’s the end of the series and men go to war against each other,” Avery said. “I guess he forgot to shake my hand. I don’t know if anyone saw that. Of course I was going to shake his hand.”
from Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,
When Devils coach Brent Sutter walked into the room for the media availability this morning at the team hotel, I asked him how he was doing and he replied, “Everything is tickety-boo”.
I was pretty sure that meant, “Everything is good”, but just to be sure I did an internet search (I wasn’t sure how to spell it either) and it turns out I was correct.
The definition on Dictionary.com reads: “adjective Chiefly British Informal. fine; OK [Origin: 1935–40; perh. expressive alter. of the phrase that’s the ticket] “
With that settled, it’s on to Game 5 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals tonight at Prudential Center with the Rangers leading three games to one and looking to wrap up the series with one more victory.
from Lynn Zinser of the New York Times,
Devils Coach Brent Sutter took special interest in the matter after the game, saying that if the Rangers were allowed to run into Brodeur, then his team would make it a point to crash into Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist.
It seems to have become a rallying cry for the Devils, who are trying to become only the 19th team in N.H.L. history to rebound from a 3-1 deficit to win a series.
“They are getting away with it; we should be able to get away with it, too,” Devils forward Jay Pandolfo said. “That’s the only thing you can do. It’s out of your hands after that. Sure enough, they are going to hit Marty, and if we retaliate we’ll probably get a penalty. It’s tough, but it’s been going on all series.”
Update 1:25pm ET: A cartoon comment on the subject from Charlie Teljeur.
from John Dellapina of the NY Daily News (Friday edition),
The prospect of seeing Martin Brodeur have to shake Sean Avery’s hand sometime after 10 o’clock Friday might prove too tantalizing for most Rangers fans to concentrate on their day jobs Friday.
The Rangers themselves insist they won’t have the same problem.
Tonight, the Rangers get their first of three chances to eliminate the Devils and advance to the second round of the Stanley Cup tournament when they take their 3-1 series lead into Game 5 at the Rock in Newark. The trick is to make that handshake line happen by not focusing on it until a series-ending buzzer sounds.
from Stan Fischler at Game On,
So, how can New Jersey prolong the series on Friday at The Rock?
“We’ve got to take it slow,” Brodeur suggested. “Just play the game and pay attention to detail. We can’t shoot ourselves in the foot anymore. We (Martin and Madden) had a chance to take the lead, but we didn’t bury it. Then, there’s the mistake in our zone and that’s the game.”
Don’t be surprised if Sutter makes a major change on defense. Vitaly Vishnevski should be benched and replaced by Karel Rachunek who will at least give the Devs some offense with his D. Perhaps Sheldon Brookbank, who is fresh, will get an opportunity.
But when all is said and done, for the fourth straight game, Brodeur has been out-goaled by Lundqvist.
“They went to the net,” Brodeur said. “The Jagr one, he’s going to the net trying to score and I’m trying to make a save and he goes right through my crease. We had contact. That’s just part of the game. We’ve just got to make sure these areas, guys can’t go there freely and right now, for some reason, they’re able to get to the front of the net with a lot of speed or for rebounds. They’re around the net a lot. They’re hungry to score goals.”
via Fire & Ice...
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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