Martin Brodeur might not be the biggest Rangers fan, but he’s got a lot of respect for them.
That was the message the day after New York beat Washington 2-1 in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, advancing to a showdown with New Jersey for a shot at the Stanley Cup.
Brodeur, who has a lengthy history with the Rangers, spoke with Rich Chere of the Star-Ledger about watching last night’s affair.
“I think we’re playing the best team,” Brodeur said.
It’s fair to suggest that, as a goalie, Brodeur feels this way because of who’s manning the Rangers’ net — Henrik Lundqvist. The Hart and Vezina Trophy nominee has yet to allow more than three goals in a game this spring and has allowed two or less in 10 games.
“He’s the Vezina contender,” Brodeur explained. “He’s kind of the top goalie in the NHL right now. For me it’s kind of nice to be able to compete against him. I’ll do my best to try to match up.”
Having read this, don’t go getting fooled into thinking Brodeur’s set for a Rangers love-in. This is the same guy, after all, who said “I hate the Rangers” in his autobiography and recently claimed this hatred goes all the way back to 1992.
From the Southampton Press:
Sean Avery, the former National Hockey League player, was arrested by Southampton Village Police last week on two criminal charges.
According to authorities, Mr. Avery was arrested September 30 following a routine traffic stop on Jennings Avenue in the village at about 4:09 p.m. He was charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief and two counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, all misdemeanors.
Police said the criminal mischief charge involved an incident the day before, when Mr. Avery allegedly threw objects at passing vehicles.
As for those counts of possession, according to the newspaper, Avery was found to have “two prescription drugs, acetaminophen with oxycodone and roxicodone.”
He was released on $500 bail and ordered to appear in court at a later date.
Did we mention he’s supposed to get married this weekend?
Pavel Zacha was this close to making his NHL debut.
Just days prior to opening their season against the Jets, the Devils returned Zacha — the sixth overall pick at this year’s draft — back to his junior club in OHL Sarnia.
The move comes after Zacha, 18, impressed throughout training camp and the preseason. He appeared in four exhibition games for New Jersey, scoring one point while endearing himself to the organizational brass, coaching staff and players.
“He understands the game. He plays with a maturity. It’s crazy to think an 18-year-old coming out of high school is up here and playing with the maturity and understanding of the game with the new system,” Kyle Palmieri told NJ.com. “I think he’s got a lot of raw talent there as a power forward. He’s got the body for it, the puck-handling skills and the nose for the net.”
At 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, Zacha has the frame and physical stature to play at the NHL level, and looked the part for long stretches of the exhibition season, getting turns on New Jersey’s top line.
The decision to send him back to junior is probably the right one, however.
Zacha only turned 18 in April and has limited experience even at the OHL level; ’14-15 was his first year with Sarnia, though he did appear in 38 Czech League games (for Liberec) the season prior.