I think I have a sense of what the Niedermayers are feeling these days. See, I’m playing on a team with my brother, too.
Granted, it’s a bit different. OK, a lot different. My brother Saul and I play fastball, not hockey. And we’re in a recreational league, for older guys. And, oh yeah, we don’t get paid megabucks to play. Er, actually, we pay to play.
But, hey, Saul and I can relate to Scott and Rob because the Yorks also would like to win a championship together before we’re all washed up. (Suppression of snickers would be appreciated here.)
“To be able to step up and be in the championship series together is tremendously exciting,” Scott mentioned during a respite from the Stanley Cup final, which will resume in Anaheim tonight. “We’ve played against each other in the final before, but that wasn’t the same. The idea of winning a title together as brothers is something you can’t really explain. It’s more of something you feel.”
Yes, ahem, Saul and I know. Hey, we came close to finishing atop our fastball league last year. And, seriously, coming close, but failing burns at least a bit, at any level of competition.
The Niedermayers, the pride and joy of Cranbrook, B.C., may be en route to accomplishing their mission. The Ducks grabbed a 1-0 lead in the Stanley Cup series Monday night with a 3-2 triumph over the Ottawa Senators. The brothers were key contributors, as usual. Scott, the captain, was stellar on defence. Rob turned in an outstanding two-way effort, setting up Travis Moen’s winning goal late in the third period and efficiently preventing threats from the Sens’ gunners.
The Niedermayers are the first brothers to play in the Stanley Cup series as teammates since Philadelphia’s Rich and Ron Sutter in 1985. And a memorable playoff victory in overtime against the Canucks in Vancouver this post-season was won by the Ducks when Rob’s bone-jarring hit on Jannik Hansen freed up the puck for Scott, whose quick shot from the point slipped past distracted goalie Roberto Luongo. That goal won the semifinal for the Ducks, and the Brotherly Shove will go down as one of the great plays in NHL history.
The Niedermayers will go down as one of the great brother tandems in NHL history, regardless of the outcome in this series. But they’d certainly like to team up for the Cup now, while they have the chance.
And my brother and I can understand that. Saul, by the way, was unavailable for comment yesterday. He only speaks to me on game days.