Patricia over at 2manadvantage.com had some choice words to summarize her live-blogging of game 3.
Okay, game is over. Devils lose. Series is only 2-1 Lightning, but it might as well be 3-1 in my eyes. Who should we point the finger at for tonight’s loss? Ah, our wonderful MVP Marty Brodeur. I just love how he claims he needs to be the difference in the game and step it up…well, congrats Marty, you were the difference. It’s not often said, but it needs to be put on the table tonight:
YOU LET YOUR TEAM DOWN.
Step it up for Game 4, prove you’re a damn fine goalie and get the job done. I don’t have anything else to say, because the boys really didn’t look all that bad tonight. All I can do is scratch at my head and shrug my shoulders. Marty hasn’t merely looked human this series, he’s looked downright bad.
What can be said to this? Goaltending has made a difference in this series on both sides of the fray. Martin Brodeur, who has been heralded all season long as the inevitable Hart Trophy winner, has proved mortal indeed. Meanwhile, the guy I think is his chief rival for the Hart has had 133 shots against him and given up 7 goals. 1.60 GAA and a .947 save percentage.
Brodeur? 3.03 with an .871...
Heck, Johan Holmqvist sports a 3.02 GAA with a .902 save percentage.
To summarize the Devils -- for what they do right and how well they play their system, their backstop has not been the final frustrating nail in the Lightning's coffin. Instead, he's helped give Martin St. Louis and Vincent Lecavalier the post-season points lead, Lecavalier the post season goals lead (tied with J.P. Dumont and Zach Parise).
To summarize, Brodeur's mortality so far, while New Jersey's loss, has been our gain.
Last but not least, Patricia put up a little graphic in her post that makes me all warm and fuzzy inside... :)
At any rate, one of the big changes last night that had me enthused from the get-go was the play of Brad Richards with Jason Ward. Ward is not Freddie Modin. He's not going to give you a booming slap shot that you will dive out of the way of. He's not going to muscle his way around you and put in a wrap around shot. What he is is the two-way forward that Richards can click with. It doesn't have to be flashy, it doesn't have to be neat. Steady and intense however, is a must.