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McKenzie: Giving the Devils their due

Bob McKenzie
6/7/2012 12:37:32 AM
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Some quick thoughts from the NHL on TSN panel on Wednesday night.

You have to give the New Jersey Devils their due, and I don't think anybody has; certainly not the fans that came to the Staples Center in Los Angeles for what they expected to be a coronation in Game 4.

Everybody came to the Staples Center to party and everyone assumed the Kings were an unstoppable juggernaut but the Devils were the fly in the ointment.

If you go back and look at the first two games in New Jersey, they were not by any means lopsided games; both 2-1 overtime wins for the Kings.

In the last five minutes of regulation in Game 1, Devils defenceman Mark Fayne had an empty net and he could have iced that game. In the final 30 seconds of Game 2, Ilya Kovalchuk brought the puck up the ice on a Dustin Brown giveaway and hit the crossbar.

The Devils could easily have been up 2-0 coming to Los Angeles for Game 4 but because they were down 2-0 and they lost a lopsided score in Game 3, everybody assumed that this was going to be a washout.

It's been anything but.

Ace In The Hole

Both goaltenders were really good in Game 4 Wednesday night. The game was not wide open and it wasn't up and down but Martin Brodeur was rock-solid.

In all three periods, or very-much when the game was on the line, Brodeur was great. Whether a point shot by Kings defenceman Alec Martinez or a power play save in the first period, he was on his game.

And then there was winger Simon Gagne who was in Brodeur's grill all night long, while Dustin Penner had back-to-back chances in the third period.

Brodeur really looks like he's on top of his game. All the talk has been about Kings netminder Jonathan Quick, and rightfully so. Everybody had him winning the Conn Smythe Trophy before this series was even over but Brodeur was aces in Game 4.

Bob McKenzie

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