Postgame: Devils @ Flyers 4/4/2008
The rare specimen cautiously emerges from his distant location, quietly taking up a position within the crease. Meanwhile, his counterpart dons a new camouflage, replacing his trademark mask with a baseball cap. It’s a truly unique phenomenon, something that hasn’t been seen in the Wachovia Center ever: Martin Brodeur was pulled from goal.
Brodeur actually played quite well for the Devils. But something was off in his game tonight – the Richards-Lupul-Thoresen line had two takeaways from Brodeur during the first period alone. You don’t see that very often. Martin Biron was simply the better Marty. One of the Flyers broadcasters even referred to Brodeur as “the other Marty.” I might actually feel somewhat sorry for him if I didn’t still have PTSD from all the occasions he’s murdered the Flyers in the playoffs.
The Flyers were unstoppable. They dictated the pace from the first second to the last, relaxing only for a few minutes to begin the third period. For me, there were no stand-out players tonight. Everyone pitched in, brought committed defensive coverage, shot blocking, and offensive pressure. That holds true from Riley Cote’s calm decisions with the puck to Marty Biron’s key stops at key times to Scottie Upshall’s terrific deflection from the slot.
So the playoffs are a guarantee (thanks to Florida’s fortuitous victory in Raleigh). Hopefully this team maintains its momentum into the final game of the season – Sunday at home versus Pittsburgh.