In a move that is utterly brilliant and makes me feel incredibly old, Stefan Matteau is lockering next to Martin Brodeur in training camp this year. Tom Gulitti of The Record spoke to Matteau (yes, he is the son of the infamous Stephane Matteau) about sitting next to Brodeur and what he can learn from him. READ
Here is a great article that really compares the two goaltenders. Both are great in their own right but in the article it really favors the 40 year old goaltender Martin Brodeur with great evidence. Definitely check it out here.
As the Devils finished off the Philadelphia Flyers I had thought about the beginning of this series and I thought that the Devils were going to be steam rolled by a very physical Flyers team. Since the Flyers had run over the Pittsburgh Penguins with some what of ease, I thought worse for the Devils since they barely could get passed the Florida Panthers. Five games later I was proved wrong and boy was I glad to be wrong.
The personality of coach Pete DeBoer really came through against the Flyers that really has not been seen in New Jersey in quite some time. He is a tough coach to read. The Devils were a tough team to read for the Flyers as they would try to break into the Devils’ zone but would be caught in the neutral zone making it impossible to generate any offense. DeBoer always has a calm look on his face. The Flyers would try to pull the Devils into their game of getting the Devils to play agitated hockey but they had nothing of it. They played whistle to whistle and level headed which didn’t get them into penalty trouble. DeBoer wanted to bring a more offensive style of hockey to a defensive driven team. The Devils had the right mix of offense (scoring at least 3 goals a game in the series) and defense (allowing 11 goals over the 5 games). But what really separates this Devils team from prior playoff teams is the fact the Devils were able to establish a forecheck that I had never seen before. Their forecheck was relentless against a physical Flyers team which ultimately lead to the demise of the Flyers.
You really have to give a ton of credit to coach Pete DeBoer but the job isn’t done yet. They will have to either play the Rangers or the Capitals in the EAstern Conference Finals. Either team won’t be an easy task but if the Devils can continue their great mix of offense and constraining defense they could be making their 5th trip to the Stanley Cup Finals.
ESPN has posted their weekly power rankings. The Devils have moved up 5 spots from last week to the 8th spot. The Devils have been playing better from last week including winning their last 3 games over the Blackhawks, Lightning and Hurricanes. They are hitting stride at a good time right before the playoffs.
ESPN has posted their power rankings for the week. After how well the Devils have been since the All Star break it should not surprise anyone that they have cracked the top 5 in the power rankings and 4th place in the East. The Devils offense has been phenomenal, scoring almost at will. ESPN points out at the Devils have not given up 3 goals in almost a month. The Devils can thank the strong play of their defense and Martin Brodeur returning to a form we have come to know from the future Hall of Famer.
ESPN has posted their weekly power rankings. In a week where the Devils looked like one of the hottest teams in the NHL they fell in the power rankings all thanks to their last two losses to the St. Louis Blues and Florida Panthers. They had a lead in both losses and came up short. Just days before the Devils were playing extremely well against the Rangers and Flyers and Penguins. Last week they were ranked 8th now they are 10th. Give this a read.
The Bleacher Report has posted an article on 4 moves the Devils should make. Definitely give this a read. But here is my opinion of each move.
1. Keep Zach Parise- Well yes this is a 100% must for the Devils. If the Devils want to remain a competitive team in the future they are going to need Zach Parise. I believe at this point its a 50/50 shot for Parise. The only thing that bothers me is that the Devils have not started contract talks with Parise but maybe they are waiting until the end of the season to avoid distraction. But Parise makes everyone around him play better and he is a great leader. He should get paid what he wants and I think in a short time he will get a chance for his ring.
2. Cut Ties With Martin Brodeur- I think that cutting ties with Martin Brodeur will not really benefit the team in any way. His contract expires at the end of this season and has a cap hit of $5.2 million. I think that if the Devils can resign him to a $2-$2.5 million a year contract he will be a great asset to helping a younger goaltender come up from Albany along with getting some playing time. Brodeur won’t get that much more money if he tries to go anywhere else. I’d be shocked if he got a big contract someplace else.
3. Make A Push For Tuuka Rask- Yeah it would nice to see Tuuka Rask in net for the Devils but we aren’t playing NHL 12 here. Lets look at it from Boston’s perspective for a second and then we’ll see how feasible this is. Right now Boston has Tim Thomas who is 37 years old, whose contract expires at the end of next season. Thomas doesn’t have much more time, much like Brodeur. Also Tuuka Rask is one of the best goaltenders in the league, if you were Peter Chiarelli would you really trade your future goaltender? I think not.
4.Make An Offer For Alexander Semin- Now they say if Parise walks away, the Devils should make an offer to Semin but I don’t think Semin is anywhere near the player Parise is. Parise is very tough player to replace. Even though Semin has phenomenal skills and the stats to prove it, he is not the complete player Parise is. Semin is a good role guy but he isn’t THE guy.