2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs
Game 5: Philadelphia Flyers vs. New Jersey Devils @ Prudential Center
3-0 Final; Series 4-1 for the Philadelphia Flyers
If you read that as well as I hope you could, you have just learned that Martin Brodeur and his New Jersey Devils have been booted out of the first round by the Philadelphia Flyers. What a tale the Flyers have made, but this time it's about the Devils.
Flyers out-stepped them for a good period. In the second, New Jersey were given countless of opportunities to score, but were held out by the defence of Philadelphia and Brian Boucher.
The second period, they were the team that were trying everything and anything possible to get a legal goal. But even those were snatched away from them. Enough were stolen from them to make their heads look up to the rafters.
I would've loved to see New Jersey advance, but they weren't enough. Others were proven correct in the declining of Brodeur and the hybrid goaltending style going out of style. Brodeur was stuck at 99 playoff wins and I promise, next year he will be looking for that one more. And possibly that one more Cup.
But other than Brodeur, who or what else helped bring the earlier than expected exit out of the playoffs for the Devils?
The whole team is an answer that sounds about right. The hunger in their stomachs faded away as Philadelphia continued their winning, but that hunger would come right back - for about 20 - 40 minutes. But isn't hockey a 60+ minute game? Why, yes, but sometimes skaters put the breaks on too early or don't keep their foot on the gas for so long.
Ilya Kovalchuk I would like to discuss now. Kovalchuk was acquired through a trade between New Jersey and the Atlanta Thrashers. A glimmer of excitement and shininess came in with him, but like all shining metals, it faded into rust and became over oxidized. He faded on their PP and didn't do what he was supposed to - get some more goal scoring for the Devils. And when he left Atlanta, they came so very close to getting into the playoffs. Maybe he's what's not getting the Cup; not his team.
But it sucks to see the Devils go so early. But it's quite interesting to see the Flyers go on.
1) Claude Giroux
2) Brian Boucher
3) Daniel Brière