New Jersey Devils: Hard For Brodeur To Do It All

Leslie MonteiroSenior Analyst IApril 19, 2010

Goaltenders accept credit and blame for the team's performance.

That's what being Martin Brodeur is all about. He played great when the Devils, won Stanley Cups, and he stunk often when the team underachieved over the years.

Last year, it was easy to blame Brodeur for the team's collapse against the Hurricanes in Game 7 of the Division Round. He gave up two inexcusable goals, which was the tying goal and the game-winning goal.

So far, the Devils goaltender played well in this series. It's unfair to fault him for what's going on.

If anything, he and Dainius Zubrus are the only ones that played well overall against the Flyers.

It's hard to nitpick last night's performance by Brodeur. He was the reason why the Devils even had a chance in this game.

It was vintage Brodeur in the third period.

The Flyers peppered him with many shots at the third, and he kept the Flyers off-balance.

He made some kick saves, and dived to keep the puck.

The Wachovia Center audience tried to get the Devils goaltender off his game by derisively chanting "Marty! Marty! Marty!"

It didn't work. He made several more saves until the buzzer sounded.

The team went to overtime. Brodeur kept up the pace by making several saves off Daniel Briere, Jeff Carter, and James van Riemsdyk.

Based on that sequence, it felt like the Devils star would not let the Flyers score.

So much for that thinking. A goon scored the game-winner.

Daniel Carcillo's overtime goal woke the fans up from their slumber. It was the only passion those folks showed all game in what was otherwise a quiet atmosphere.

Anyone that blames Brodeur is missing the point. It should have never came down to him saving the day.

His defensemen played terrible. They should have done a better job of clearing the puck out of his zone.

Mike Mottau, Martin Skoula, and Rob Niedermayer looked outmatched against the Flyers forwards.

At one point, Jacques Lemaire called a timeout to settle his defensemen down and giving Brodeur a breather.

That can't be encouraging heading for the rest of the series. It's been an issue all year where a turnover happens or if the defensemen are overworked.

His offense put Brodeur down more than anything. The Devils did nothing with the puck.

They scored early in the game, but late in the game, they sat back and hoped for a mistake.

In other words, they were passive. They let the Flyers dictate the tempo.

It's hard to win playing that way, and it's hard for the goaltender to keep making saves.

The Devils failed to do anything that helped them win Game 2.

The way it looks right now, that game might be an abbreviation.

Ilya Kovalchuk continues to struggle, and Chris Pronger got into the rest of the Devils' stars in this game. Was it too much to ask about a Devil to go shoot the damn puck?

It's hard to think it's going to get better. The Flyers seem intent to goon it up and intimidate the Devils stars.

Plus, emotion fueled the Devils on Friday night. It's hard to sustain that for the rest of the series.

The Devils need to step it up or realize they're not good enough.

Brodeur can only do so much.