If there’s any goalie who can speak about the differences between “The Dead Puck Era” and the post-lockout changes, it’s probably Martin Brodeur. His career essentially covers both spans, give or take.
While it’s perfectly reasonable to state that obstruction and low-scoring games are creeping back into the picture – just look at how crucial the first goal has been in this series and many other ones – it’s still a more wide-open game now. Brodeur told the press that this “new era” made a 3-0 deficit seem a little less dire.
“Well, I think hockey’s changed in the new era. I think the way the game is called by referees, they let guys skate … [it] really makes it anybody’s ballgame,” Brodeur said. “There’s always time, regardless if you’re down 1-0, 2-0. We’ve done it to ourselves. I think you have to play 60 minutes of hockey now. You can’t just coast like you used to.”
Sure, Brodeur’s quote probably would have made more sense from, say, 2006-08, but the mindset might still be there. Either way, the Devils are just two coast-free contests away from completing the kind of comeback that would transcend style and rule changes alike.