As remarkable as this future Hall of Famer is, as legendary as he may be, goaltender Martin Brodeur hasn’t enjoyed much playoff success at all in Ottawa.
While his regular-season record is 17-7-2 at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa, he’s a mere 2-6 in post-season tilts on the Senators’ ice.
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Brodeur will try to improve on that tonight when he and the New Jersey Devils visit the Sens for the fourth game of their best-of-seven playoff series. The Sens lead 2-1.
• The Devils were still irked yesterday at the way the Sens beat Brodeur Monday night. Forward Mike Fisher inadvertently interfered with the goalie, allowing defenceman Tom Preissing to score Ottawa’s winning goal on a bad-angle shot early in the third period.
Let’s not mince words here. The officials missed the infraction and blew it.
Overshadowed by the referees’ botchup, however, was the fact that Ottawa’s netminder was efficient enough again to record his second playoff shutout. Ray Emery blocked 25 shots in the Sens’ 2-0 triumph.
“You’ve got to look at what Emery’s doing,” the Devils’ Scott Gomez said. “He’s coming up huge. This is the time of year when you want to make a name for yourself, and Emery’s doing that.”
It’s true. In fact, the 25-year-old Hamiltonian is establishing himself as a legitimate candidate for the playoffs’ most-valuable-player award.
• Criticism of Sam Mitchell remained minimal in Toronto heading into the Raptors’ playoff game last night against the Nets, but objective journalists elsewhere weren’t reluctant to tell it like it is about the irascible coach.
From Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo: “Whatever leverage Mitchell gained with a franchise-record 47 victories and the Red Auerbach trophy (as the NBA’s coach of the year) largely has been lost in the avalanche of this deficit to sixth-seeded New Jersey.”
Rumblings continue that Mitchell will jump to Charlotte or Indiana but the Bobcats interviewed ex-NBA coach Paul Silas for their vacant position this week and sources keep telling me Mitchell himself is spreading the word about the Pacers’ interest in him.
Regardless, rest assured that Raps general manager Bryan Colangelo will not beg Mitchell to return. Heck, he may not even make him an offer.
• Not since Scottie Pippen 16 years ago has an NBA player put up post-season numbers like LeBron James did when he and the Cleveland Cavaliers eliminated the Washington Wizards Monday night.
James amassed 31 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists. He also flashed a series of jaw-extruding, adrenaline-fuelled shows of emotion.
“I shouldn’t do that,” he said. “My mom hates when I make those faces. She says they make me look ugly.”