NHL Playoffs: Brodeur ready for Hurricanes tonight
NEWARK, N.J. ó The hockey world and even his family got to see a rare side of New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur in Game 4 against the Carolina Hurricanes ó the livid Marty.
The NHL’s all-time winningest goaltender in the regular season had an outburst worthy of You Tube in the moments after the Devils dropped a 4-3 decision on a disputed goal by Jussi Jokinen with 0.2 of a second to play in regulation.
Jokinen and Brodeur bumped in front of the crease in the waning seconds and Carolina tied the best-of-7 series at 2 when defenseman Dennis Seidenberg’s point shot hit off Jokinen’s skate and went into the net.
Brodeur immediately turned to referee Eric Furlatt and claimed goaltender interference.
Once a review showed the goal was scored before time ran out, Brodeur confronted Furlatt again. He would not say what was said.
“It was all in French so nobody will know about it,” a very calm Brodeur said Wednesday in reviewing the outburst and looking forward to Game 5 at the Prudential Center tonight.
After having his say, Brodeur slammed his goal stick against the boards and then fired it against the ice. There seems to be some debate whether he broke the stick.
There is no debate, however, that the stick throwing was a first in public for the 36-year-old who is usually one of the most easygoing players in hockey.
Brodeur is aware how out of character the incident was, even though he admits that throwing golf clubs is a whole different story.
One of his twins, William, text messaged him after the game to see if he was all right.
Jeremy, his other twin, talked with Brodeur’s wife, Genevieve, about the incident, he said.
And when he woke up at home in New Jersey on Wednesday morning, his youngest child, Annabelle, walked into his room and said:
“I saw what you did last night, Daddy,” Brodeur recalled.
The goaltender then asked his daughter what he did. She refused to say.
“So I said: ‘OK, I won’t do it again, sorry,”‘ Brodeur said with a laugh indicative of a proud father.
Looking back, Brodeur was still certain that Jokinen interfered with him on the play.
“I still believe if I get position, regardless of whether it is blue ice or white ice, whatever they call it, they should not be able to hit me or touch me,” he said. “I think looking at it, I don’t think it’s worth calling a penalty, but there is a rule about incidental contact outside your crease. There is a whistle, you know, and the play is stopped dead.
“It’s hard for a referee to make a call,” Brodeur said. “That’s why I think the bottom line is try to keep it out of their hands and make somebody else make a decision on it.”
Carolina coach Paul Maurice was just as certain there was no penalty on the play.
“For me it wasn’t a discretionary call,” Maurice said at the team’s hotel. “It was outside the paint by a great margin. I certainly don’t feel we’ve had any advantage in that department.”
Hurricanes veteran Rod Brind’Amour said it was just playoff hockey.
“There is something like that always going on,” Brind’Amour said. “There is always one team complaining about something. That’s just the way the playoffs go. I know for our team, that’s not our focus. We’re worried about this next game and moving on.”
Brodeur, who said he was bumped on the Hurricanes last two goals, insisted the Devils are taking the positives out of Game 4. Down 3-0 late in the second period, they rallied to tie.
“We learned a lot from the game,” Brodeur said. “We didn’t play well for two periods and played really well in the third and were able to get back in the game. When we play a certain way we dominate that team. That’s what we need to focus on.”
Brodeur said he has not heard from the league about his outburst, noting friends have teased him, accusing him of growing a goatee recently to look a little tougher.
Devils left wing Patrik Elias understood Brodeur’s frustration.
“Nobody wanted to lose that game or lose that way,” Elias said. “I guess it happens. We could have done some damage last night. Yeah, we battled back, unfortunately we didn’t finish it off. I thought when we scored the third goal, we stopped pushing. You have to go for it. Marty felt like everybody else, we had a chance and we let it slip at the end.”