I couldn't have asked for anything more from the New Jersey Devils last night. Congratulations to Marty Brodeur for tying the legendary Terru Sawchuk for career shutouts but we will get to that. First, some thoughts about the game.
The Devils put on a clinic last night. You want to know how to win hockey games, look at last nights performance and that is how you win hockey games. They were able to sustain consistent pressure, rolled all for lines quickly and effectively. Shift after shift they just took it to the Sabres and from the word go, they put their foot on the gas and didn't stop until the final horn sounded.
From the Sabres perspective, I think they have to be thankful that they didn't get blown out of the building. Ryan Miller did a good job keeping the Sabres in the game as it could have easily got out of hand quickly in the second period.
It's a rare thing when I feel I can go through the stat sheet and feel that everyone had a good game. Parise had 7 shots and an assist, Zajac had 4 shots and a goal, Rolston scored his 10th of the season, Elias did a decent job on the faceoff and the list just goes on and on. When the team plays this well, you can overlook the few things the Devils did wrong, like the penalty Rolston took while the Devils were up a man. Overall, this might be the most satisfying feeling about the Devils I've had this season because I fel Buffalo is a very deep and talented team and the Devils just took it to them.
Marty didn't have to do anything special in net tonight. There were no huge, momentum swinging saves or highlight reel kind of saves but he did the little things perfectly. He controlled the rebounds to places where his teammates could clear or move the puck up ice and he was solid with his stick and his positioning all night. Early in the second when the Devils were taking it to the Sabres and Buffalo was having a hard time getting shots on net, I thought that maybe this was the night he would tie the record. After the game, I sat on my couch and wonder how people view Marty as anything but what he is, the greatest goalie of our lives. We may never see a player achieve the things that he is doing ever again. 4 Vezinas, 3 Cups, well over 552 wins, as of right now 103 shutouts, the most minutes every played by a goalie in the history of the league, I ask those Marty haters out there, what more do you expect? What more will it take to admit how great he is? I'll admit, I get down on Marty sometimes because he makes mistakes out there but I will also be the first to admit that we will see few players like him in our lives. Congratulations Marty on tying a record few people ever saw as a breakable record.
Now I am going to get on my soapbox for a minute (no the Marty rant wasn't a soapbox kind of moment). Directv, Comcast and the NHL need to work something out. I'm not a Directv subscriber but many people did not get the game last night because it was televised on Versus and as many of you know, Directv doesn't not carry Versus because of a disagreement with Comcast (who owns Versus) over cost. It's sad for me to think of Devils fans out there (or Hockey fans in general) who don't get to witness record tying or record breaking moments because there are companies out there who can find a solutions that offers their viewers the oppurtunities to see these moments. The NHL has done a terrible job handling this and I really hope that Betteman takes his head out of his ass soon and helps Directv and Comcast rectify this situation.