Goaltenders Martin Brodeur of the Devils and Jonathan Quick of the Kings are at opposite ends of the ice and their career arcs, and both have been playing superbly this spring. (Photos by Rich Kane/Icon SMI)
By Stu Hackel
So here’s a frustrated Martin Brodeur after the morning skate before Wednesday’s Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final, and he’s calling out his teammates. “I try to give these guys a chance to win and I’ve done that in the first three games,” the sure thing Hall of Famer tells reporters. “At the end of the day, it’s hard to win games when you don’t score many goals. I try to be perfect, but the other guy is a little more perfect than me.”
That’s quite something. Imagine if Marty had struggled this round and one of the Devils’ forwards had said to reporters, “We’re scoring enough goals but it’s hard to win games when your goalie can’t stop pucks.” But of course, Brodeur has been stopping them, and watching Game 4 was like watching video of the 40-year-old in his prime. When a guy plays that well and has amassed a body of work like Brodeur’s, his public irritation at his lack of offensive support — not to mention his team having no luck, not getting the bounces and the calls from the officials — somehow is forgiven in the dressing room. Maybe it was even welcomed.
Regardless of whether Brodeur’s words sparked them, the Devils finally scored an opening goal, took the lead for the first time in the series, and didn’t buckle when the Kings tied the game. The proceedings now shift back to Newark for Game 5 on Saturday, and, at least through his goaltending, Brodeur helped make it possible.