Start your puck-engines folks; the showcase of hockey’s elite (otherwise known as the NHL Playoffs) is inching closer with every Boston Bruins‘ thrashing. With the last of Beantown’s regular season docket taking place in Newark combined with already clinching the league’s Presidents’ Trophy, the New Jersey Devils surely had thoughts of stealing a win — and perhaps gaining some respect while they were at it.
It was a tale of two complete opposites: On the Devils’ side, we might have just seen Martin Brodeur‘s last ride around the NHL (at least for the black and red). In the Bruins’ crease, a day off was given to young superstar Tuukka Rask, who is just getting started in the hopes of reaching the storied-status of his fellow goaltender.
Brodeur’s story deserves a documentary series all its own, however, let’s take a look at the season of Rask for a second. He has a resume that suggests he might just be the chosen one to fill those shoes.
Shutouts: 7 (NHL-Rank: 1st), Save Percentage: .930 (NHL-Rank: 2nd)
Goals Against Average: 2.04 (NHL-Rank: 4th)
Being traded for Andrew Raycroft, NHL-Rank: Legendary
Naysayers will point to the team in front of him allowing the Finnish-phenom to reach such heights; I implore those of you to retreat back into the film room. Take a look at the crease-coverage while getting back on his feet instantly to negate a team’s rebound success-rate.
If any squad is built for the playoff grind, it is the almighty Bruins. The city of Boston and its filthy riches of franchises is about to cash in once again on a quest for the cup. An obliterating defense led by the obvious behemoth himself, Zdeno Chara (along with unsung heroes Torey Krug and Johnny Boychuk), an offense steered by the poised-under-pressure point producer David Krejci (holder of the postseason scoring title twice in the last three years) and goal-scoring banger upfront who fears no man in Milan Lucic.
Did I mention the Bruins reside in second-place in the world of fighting majors? It speaks volumes considering that they place 19th in minor penalties at the same time — controlled aggression at its finest.
It was only fitting that Brodeur would steal the show in this one, and he earned it. The New Jersey faithful’s salute as the clock wound down was the stuff chills are made of. Respect was at the forefront for both Marty and the Devils.
The fact remains, however, that an historic day for Brodeur will never be forgotten but persists to be a blip on the Boston playoff-radar. They’re the Stanley Cup favorite indeed, and it shall be a “wicked good” success.