Tag:Martin Brodeur
Posted on: February 27, 2012 11:55 pm
Edited on: February 28, 2012 12:31 am
 

Winners & Losers: Avs get big win, others miss

By Brian Stubits

There's always a winner and a loser in the NHL, and this is a new nightly look at some of the winners and losers in the biggest games and biggest situations across the league.

Playoff Race

This isn't the trade deadline winners & losers (those are right here!) but from the winners & losers from the actual games that were played.

Winners

1. Colorado Avalanche

They are the one and only team that gets to land on the winner's side tonight. They were the only team who really needed it that scored a big win, taking down the Ducks in Colorado. And just in case there were any hopes left, probably ending Anaheim's playoff hopes in the process.

That deal that the Avs swung for Steve Downie has paid some nice dividends early. In the now four games he's played with his new team, Downie has himself two goals and five assists after notching two helpers on Monday night. Not so bad for a guy not exactly known for his scoring prowess.

With the win the Avs are back on the streaking side as they moved into a tie with the Dallas Stars for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. They hold the ninth spot based on playing one more game than Dallas thus far, but with the rest of the West contenders for that last spot falling on Monday night, it's a very big two points.

[Related: Avalanche 4, Ducks 1]

Arnott's head dress. (Jeremy Rutherford)

2. Jason Arnott

The veteran Blues center had two goals to help the Blues take care of the the Flames in Calgary on Monday, arguably the top performer of the night.

With the win the Blues actually climbed back to .500 on the road this season. They've been very good at home and not near as much on the road, but they just rattled off their third road win in a row, perhaps taking care of one of the remaining questions about their ability to win in the postseason.

Perhaps more importantly is the fact that Arnott donned the Weenie Hat for his postgame interview with the media.

Like a lot of teams, the Blues have a postgame award that they hand out to the player of the game. The Rangers have the Broadway Hat, the Blackhawks have the championship belt, etc. The Blues did have a hard hat in exchange for the Weenie Hat.

NHL locker rooms really are fun places after wins.

3. Matt Duchene

The Avs already made the list on the winner side, but I had to include Duchene here.

Duchene gets the award for goal of the night by swatting in the bouncing puck saucered his way by Paul Stastny to give the Avs the insurance goal.

I'm going to take a guess and say Duchene played some baseball growing up. Great hand-eye coordination to finish that one off.

Losers

1. Viewers of Rangers and Devils

Oh sure, Henrik Lundqvist had another shutout and Martin Brodeur only gave up one goal. We could be lauding them for their fine performances. We would, if either had broken a sweat.

Lundqvist pitched a shutout, but the Devils only managed a measly 13 shots. In the entire game. The Rangers meanwhile only had 15. And one of those came on Ryan Callahan's empty-net goal.

Not even the hatred between the two teams could really make up for the general lack of excitement with the game itself being played. Things were just a little clogged up. Not that I blame either team for the way they play, it's just when their two styles come together it doesn't make for incredibly exciting hockey. This game had twice as many goals as their previous meeting.

[Related: Rangers 2, Devils 0 | Video: Clarkson's charge on Dubinsky]

2. Winnipeg Jets

The Jets are in the middle of a long homestand that has allowed them to get back in the Southeast Division race. They've been great on home ice all season in front of their rabid fan base.

That's why it hurts so much to lose to the Edmonton Oilers at home. Having played more games than anybody in the NHL, that's a perfect example of the game they have to win if they want to make the playoffs. Instead, they gave up four consecutive goals to Edmonton in the third period, the second worst team in the NHL record wise.

As a result, they remain two points back of Florida in the Southeast despite having played four more games than the Panthers. They do hold on to the eighth spot in the East but that too is very tenuous.

[Related: Oilers 5, Jets 3]

3. Los Angeles Kings and Calgary Flames

Each team is on the outside looking in for the last playoff spot in the West and both came up empty on Monday night.

Granted, each was playing one of the monsters of the Central Division, but the end result is the failure to get points out of the games.

It's particularly painful for Calgary, which lost another game at home, falling to the Blues. General manager Jay Feaster guaranteed to TSN earlier this week that his team will make the playoffs. Well if they're going to do that they need to win these games at home, of which they have a lot down the stretch run.

The Kings meanwhile were only able to muster one goal, and it came in the closing minutes. It's been the story for them all season, one which the acquisition of Jeff Carter is supposed to take care of, or at least help. But again, we'll grant them the stiff competition in the Predators and particularly Pekka Rinne. He's been pretty good lately.

[Related: Predators 2, Kings 1 | Blues 3, Flames 1]

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: February 7, 2012 10:36 pm
Edited on: February 7, 2012 10:40 pm
 

Controversial no-goal call at end of NJ-NYR game

By: Adam Gretz

The New Jersey Devils extended their winning streak to five games on Tuesday night by picking up a 1-0 win at Madison Square Garden against the New York Rangers.

In the end, David Clarkson's 21st goal of the season was all the offense the Devils needed, while Martin Brodeur stopped all 30 shots he faced to add yet another shutout to his Hall of Fame resume. But it almost wasn't enough as the Rangers appeared, for a brief moment, to break through and tie the game with just under four seconds remaining in regulation.

The potential game-tying goal, however, was called back when it was determined that Rangers forward Marian Gaborik interferred with Brodeur.



Gaborik argued that he was pushed into Broduer by defenseman Anton Volchenkov, while Volchenkov countered by saying he did no such thing, which is about what you should expect to come from both sides.

There is clearly contact with the goaltender, and anytime that happens you can be sure there is going to be some sort of a call made, whether it be goaltender interference or waved off goal. Surely we've all seen goals called back for far less than that (heck, it happens to Tomas Holmstrom seemingly once a month). The fact that it happened with time running down in a 1-0 game simply magnifies it.

But you make the call: Right decision by the on-ice officials to take away the goal, or should that have been a game that went to overtime?

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: January 26, 2012 11:38 am
Edited on: January 26, 2012 5:08 pm
 

What would all-Quebec team look like for Habs?

By Brian Stubits

Go back a few weeks when Randy Cunneyworth's "hiring" in Montreal was all the rage. Literally, rage. It led to organized protests against the Canadiens organization, not just Cunneyworth (although that was the impetus).

Those who didn't support Cunneyworth's hiring because he doesn't speak French were upset not only with the Cunneyworth promotion, but what they called the entire Anglicization of the Montreal Canadiens, Quebec's only team since the Nordiques became the Avalanche.

The list of complaints went beyond the coach not speaking French, however. Here is what the Canadian Press reported about the protests.

Protesters also complained the music played at the Bell Centre is in English, that announcements are in both languages and that the team has few francophone players.

I laughed when I first saw that. Would the people of Quebec rather have a team of Francophones that stink than a team of Anglophones that wins (of course they have neither right now)?

So that got me to thinking: What would an all French-speaking, Quebec-born team look like? I wanted to take a look and see how good of a team I could put together, keeping salary cap restraints in mind. (Hey folks, it's the All-Star break, just having some fun here.) Consider this my own All-Star fantasy draft.

Let's just get right to it, shall we?

Head coach

Alain Vigneault is the guy. The Quebec City native has actually tried coaching the Canadiens before, making the playoffs only once from 1997-2001. He was fired midseason in the 2000-01 campaign. But he's found success since moving on to Vancouver, winning the Jack Adams once and coming in as a finalist in 2011 (he was also a finalist in 2000 with the Habs). A return trip to Montreal will hopefully go better this time.

Goaltenders

Marc-Andre Fleury, Jean-Sebastien Giguere get the nod here. Now this is a position where I have a lot of choices. Fleury I think is a pretty clear starter based partly on his age, but for the second spot there are a lot of veterans: Giguere, Martin Brodeur, Jose Theodore, Martin Biron, Mathieu Garon and Jonathan Bernier. They can stop pucks in Quebec, that's pretty clear.

In terms of salary, Fleury takes up $5 million, Giguere only $1.25. So $6.25 million in goal is a decent price to pay, but not bad.

Robidas has spent time in Montreal already. (Getty Images)

Defensemen

I'm going with (in no particular pairing order) Kris Letang, Marc-Andre Bergeron, Francois Beauchemin, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Stephane Robidas and Marc-Andre Gragnani. Letang leads the scoring punch while Bergeron, Beauchemin and to an extent Vlasic adding some more points. Defensively, Vlasic and Beauchemin highlight a pretty good two-way corps. But if anybody goes down, it gets thin after that.

As a whole, the defensemen don't cost that much. Beauchemin ($3.8 million), Letang ($3.5 million), Robidas ($3.3 million), Vlasic ($3.1 million), Bergeron ($1 million) and Gragnani (550,000) come in at a total of $15.25 million.

Center

Now this is a group of guys I like: Patrice Bergeron, Danny Briere, David Desharnais and Maxime Talbot. You'll notice one pretty big omission here and that's Vincent Lecavalier, but that $10 million per year is too big of a burden, I don't know how the Lightning do it. But I still have two guys who can score, arguably the best defensive center in the game, a young and promising player in Desharnais and a solid worker in Talbot.

Naturally this is costing me some cash here. Briere ($6.5 million) is costly, then add Bergeron ($5 million) before getting a little reprieve with Talbot ($1.75 million) and Desharnais ($850,000). In total, they take up $14.1 million.

Right wing

OK, I take it back about center. This is where my team is really loaded. Check out this lineup of Martin St. Louis, Jason Pominville, P.A. Parenteau and Alex Burrows. That's some serious scoring ability on the wing. I didn't have room for Maxim Lapierre or Pascal Dupuis at this position, but more on them later.

As you'd expect, this is the most expensive per-player corps on the team. St. Louis commands a cool $5.625 million, Pominville takes $5.3 million, Burrows costs $2 million and Parenteau a very reasonable $1.25 million. Total bill: $14.175 million.

Left wing

Here we have an Achilles' heel. The lineup we could toss out is Pierre-Marc Bouchard, Alex Tanguay, David Perron and Guillaume Latendresse, but that's an awfully risky group of players. Each of Bouchard, Perron and Latendresse have dealt with concussions while Tanguay has been suffering with a neck strain. So to add a little stability, I'm going to convert Dupuis to the left side and leave out Bouchard -- more expensive than Latendresse.

The good news is this group doesn't cost a whole lot. Tanguay ($3.5 million), Latendresse ($2.5 million), Perron ($2.15 million) and Dupuis ($1.5 million) run up a bill of $9.65 million.

Scratches

Since he didn't make the list at right wing, Lapierre is going to serve as our daily scratch. But really he's likely going to be playing a lot at left wing with the injury potential. What he also gives is a physical presence. He's at least not averse to dropping the gloves, having five fights this season for Vancouver. Maybe we could try and talk Georges Laraque to coming back and serving the enforcer role, but undoubtedly sitting in press row most nights.

Lapierre comes in at an even $1 million.

Overall

The total salary for this team checks in at $60.425 million, giving our GM (we'll just keep Pierre Gauthier) a little room to maneuver or sign maybe another defenseman that would likely sit in the press box most nights.

Moreover, the top prospect in the system would have to be Jonathan Huberdeau, the player who went third overall to Florida in the last NHL Draft. He's likely to be in the NHL next season and right now projects to be a center but he can also play on the wing, so he could help out with the weaker left side.

In the end, it's actually a much better team than I thought it could be. It might be a little lacking in the physical department, but the team has a lot of ingredients: It has some big-time scorers (seriously, a top two lines of Tanguay-Bergeron-St. Louis and Perron-Briere-Pominville isn't bad at all), it has some agitators (I'm looking at you, Burrows and Lapierre), is good defensively and I think it's solid in net.

And don't forget, everybody speaks French!

More from Eye on Hockey

Yes there were protesters in Montreal
Quebec group unhappy with Cunneyworth hire
Owner: Bilingual coach is important

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: January 17, 2012 12:32 pm
 

Brodeur 'leaning toward coming back next year'

By Brian Stubits

Did you think this season was your last chance to see Martin Brodeur manning the crease for the New Jersey Devils? Not so fast.

The Devils longtime goaltender and owner of a handful of NHL records including wins and shutouts isn't having the best season of his storied career. His goals against average (2.90) and save percentage (.894) are both the worst of his career outside of his rookie season when he only played in four games.

But he is having fun. So at this point, he isn't ruling out a return for next season one bit, according to the New York Post.

“I feel differently about it now than I did last summer, or at the start of the season,” Brodeur said. “It’s not 100 percent, but I’m definitely leaning toward coming back next year.”

The possibility of a lockout next season could muddle his plans, but Brodeur previously insisted he was undecided about playing after his contract ($5.2 million) ends this season.

"There’s a bigger chance now than before,” said Brodeur, 13-10-1 in this, his 18th NHL season. “A few people I’ve spoken to have told me that if you think you still have that little flame, keep it going, because once it’s out, it’s out.”

For nostalgic purposes, that's great. Who wouldn't love the chance to see Brodeur play into his 40s, all with the same franchise -- assuming he'd get his wish and return to New Jersey. But if his numbers are slipping this season, wouldn't the Devils be a little concerned what they'll do with another season?

However it's not like they have any heir-apparents waiting in the wings. Backup Johan Hedberg is only a year younger than Brodeur.

It's great that Brodeur is still having so much fun, it really is. And I would not dare to begrudge him the ability to play another season. But it could put the Devils in an awkward, Brett Favre-like position. The only difference is they don't have Aaron Rodgers waiting for his turn.

H/t to Pro Hockey Talk

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: December 3, 2011 10:43 am
Edited on: December 3, 2011 11:01 am
 

Is it time for more Johan Hedberg in New Jersey?

hedberg1By: Adam Gretz

The New Jersey Devils have a goaltending problem.

Martin Brodeur had one of the shortest outings of his career on Friday night, receiving the hook just eight minutes into the first period of the Devils 4-2 loss in Minnesota, after allowing three goals on just four shots. Devils coach Pete DeBoer defended his future Hall of Fame goalie after the game, saying that he re-watched each of the goals and concluded that he didn't think Brodeur "could have done much on them," pointing out that at least one of them went in due to a deflection off of a skate.

Even if that is true, Friday's game was hardly the first time this season Brodeur has struggled. Over his past three starts he's stopped just 43 of the 55 shots he's faced for a terrible .781 save percentage. In his previous start, a 6-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday, Brodeur allowed six goals on just 25 shots, including three on the first eight shots he faced in the opening period.

Said Brodeur after the game, via Rich Cere of the Star-Ledger, “You can’t say you played well when you allow three goals in eight minutes or so. But when you look at the quality of the goals scored, it’s not like I was weak or anything. The puck doesn’t hit me. That’s a couple of games. I’ll try to work harder, I guess, and figure it out. You have to go back and work harder and hopefully the pucks will hit me.”

Unfortunately, the puck hasn't been hitting him all that often going back to the start of last season, and it's getting to the point where you have to ask, once again, when backup Johan Hedberg begins to get the majority of the starts. The two veterans have already split the starts this season, due in large part to Brodeur's injury earlier in the year, with Brodeur getting the call in 13 games while Hedberg has started 11. But since Brodeur returned from his injury in early November, he's received bulk of the playing time and it's hard to ignore the results.

Of the 39 goaltenders that qualify for the NHL's save percentage lead, Brodeur is currently 38th with a .879 mark. The only goalie that's been worse is Columbus' Steve Mason at .875, and he's recently lost playing time to his backup, Curtis Sanford. Brodeur finished last season 35th out of 47 goalies. His .872 save percentage during even-strength situations this season is currently the worst in the NHL.

He is one of the all-time greats, but right now he's not even the best goalie on his own team, as Hedberg has outplayed him going back to the start of last season (Hedberg's save percentage over that stretch is .914 compared to an even .900 for Brodeur).

The bigger problem for the Devils, from a long-term outlook, is that neither one is going to be much of an option in future seasons as Hedberg, set to turn 39 in May, is the youngest of the two, while both are set to become unrestricted free agents after this season. And this summer's group of potential free agent netminders leaves plenty to be desired once you get past Minnesota's Josh Harding.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: November 2, 2011 10:02 pm
 

Martin Brodeur robs Phil Kessel (Video)

By: Adam Gretz

Martin Brodeur returned to the New Jersey Devils lineup on Wednesday night after missing the past six games due to injury, and it was not one of the best nights of his Hall of Fame career. Through two periods Brodeur had surrendered five goals on just 11 shots to the Toronto Maple Leafs, including a hat trick for Joffrey Lupul. Obviously, there was some rust to shake off.

For as much as he struggled over the first 40 minutes, the Devils stuck with Brodeur to open the third and he ended up making an outstanding stick save on Phil Kessel, robbing him of what would have been his league-leading 11th goal of the season.



That's probably one of the first breaks that didn't go Kessel's way this season. And while he was held off the scoresheet on that particular play, he did add to his league-leading point total with an assist on two of Lupul's goals. 

For Brodeur, it was the highlight of an otherwise forgettable game. It's hard not to be a prisoner of the moment and make a kneejerk reaction based on the first game back from an injury, but given his struggles last season, as well as the strong play of Johan Hedberg in his absence, you have to wonder if Hedberg shouldn't continue to get more starts even with the return of Brodeur.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: October 19, 2011 4:27 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2011 4:35 pm
 

Martin Brodeur to miss 7-10 days

Mb2By: Adam Gretz

The New Jersey Devils are off to a 3-1 start this season and they've done it, for the most part, without the presence of their future Hall of Fame goaltender, Martin Brodeur, who has been bothered by a shoulder injury in the early going. That injury is going to keep him on the shelf for at least another seven to 10 days, according to the team on Wednesday afternoon.

Said first-year coach Pete Deboer, "Obviously when you’ve got a guy like Marty you want to take a cautious approach and a long-term approach, anyway, that he’s with you for the entire year. But it definitely makes it easier when you’ve got a guy that’s capable of coming in and playing like Heddy has.”

"Heddy," of course, is a reference to Devils backup goaltender Johan Hedberg, who will continue to make starts in the absence of Brodeur. And given the Devils' upcoming schedule, including five games over the next week, four of which come on a road trip through the Western Conference, he'll have plenty of opportunities. Fortunately for New Jersey Hedberg has proven himself to be more than capable of filling in.

Is he a player that you want starting 60 games for you over the course of a season? Not at all. But as a backup and fill-in he's a solid option, and has played well in his three appearances this season, stopping 69 of the 73 shots he's faced. Over the prevous two full seasons, one of which was spent with the Atlanta Thrashers and the other (last year) with the Devils, he's recorded save percentages of .915 and .912. So things could certainly be worse in the short-term.

Still, the Devils have a rough stretch of games coming up starting with a home game against San Jose on Friday, before heading on the road for games at Pittsburgh (the following night), Los Angeles, Phoenix and Dallas.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: October 5, 2011 2:19 pm
 

Devils name young star Parise new captain

By Brian Stubits

The Devils took their time, but they finally named their captains for this season. Getting the big C on the sweater is young star Zach Parise with the alternate designations going to Ilya Kovalchuk and Patrik Elias.

Parise was the odds-on favorite to wear the C despite both Kovalchuk and Elias having prior experience as captains at the NHL level, Elias with the Devils from in 2006-07.. For Parise, an assisant the past couple seasos, it has been a long time since he was captain. A really long time.

"The last time I was captain was in Squirts when I was eight," Parise said on Wednesday. "I think I was in high school, too. A little bit of experience in high school but I guess this is a little different than that."

One of the intriguing parts of this selection is the fact that Parise is set to become a free agent next summer unless things change. The Devils deny his contract status had any effect at all in the decision -- which isn't something I doubt, Parise has plenty of merit for the job -- but it could be a nice side effect. The pressure to stay as well as the franchise's commitment to him is a nice little safety blanket of the situation.

"He's got to stay here. That's the bottom line," Martin Brodeur said of Parise. "That's how we'll know how good he is as a captain."

Parise just signed a one-year contract with the Devils this summer worth $6 million, a strong commitment to a player coming off a meniscus tear that limited him to just 13 games last season. But remember that was the first time since his rookie campaign he didn't score at least 30. Not too much of a risk.

It was one of the first big decisions Peter DeBoer has made since taking over as Devils coach. Although he did have a little help.

"It wasn't a solo decision. This was something as a group we talked about from Lou [Lamoriello] to the coaching staff," DeBoer said. "I got an opportunity to spend the last 2-3 weeks around the group and we had the luxury here of a lot of leadership candidates. The group is much bigger than just the guys who are going to be wearing letters, starting with our goaltenders. There were a lot of good options."

Parise steps into the skates held by Jamie Langenbrunner, now a member of the St. Louis Blues. He becomes just tne ninth captain in Devils franchise history.

Photo: Getty Images

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com