Brodeur on what he’d change to the game: ‘The trapezoid has to go’

36 Comments

Retired goaltender Martin Brodeur joined Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman to discuss what he likes and what he’d like to change about the game he just left.

The 42-year-old pointed to the speed of the game and the resulting hits as something that he dislikes.

“It’s too tough of a game, too dangerous of a game. I think it goes… all the speed that they wanted to bring into the game, it kind of makes it up on those tough hits and it’s hard for the players to police themselves. First of all because fighting is going away from the game,” said Brodeur. “You have a lot of guys that are taking liberties and some guys they don’t, but because the game is so fast, they don’t have time to react to a lot of things.

“The dangerous part of the game, the accidents, some of the head injuries needs to get cleaned out.

Brodeur didn’t know exactly how the league needs to go about changing the game, but did have a couple of suggestions.

“The trapezoid has to go. I think the goalies have to help their players a little bit more, but a lot of the hits come because there’s no interference,” Brodeur said. “Put in the interference on the table for the players to use to help each other.

“In the neutral zone I understand the guy skating 100 miles an hour with the puck nobody should touch him, but when you see your guys getting lined up, you should be able to hook that guy a little bit to make him realize ‘hey, you got to stop buddy, you can’t hit him’. But if he does that, the guy gets a penalty. Interference needs to get back in the game.”

Since stepping away from the game, Brodeur has joined the St. Louis Blues as a senior advisor to general manager Doug Armstrong.

Brodeur was in Philadelphia on Saturday night scouting the Flyers and Leafs as part of his new role and spoke with NHL.com’s Adam Kimelman about his new vantage point.

“I think it’s a lot easier to judge people from up here,” Brodeur said. “That’s where I’m trying to find the way of doing it, the right way of doing it, to give the best input I can knowing that two weeks ago, three weeks ago I was the one down there.

“Hockey’s hockey. Right here I think it exposes it a little bit, but it’s all productive.”

Armstrong says the two are learning from one another.

“What I’m trying to gain from him is his knowledge of the Eastern Conference, gain his knowledge on how he sees the game,” Armstrong said. “There’s as much teaching as learning from both of us now. That’s what makes it a really exciting relationship.

“With us we’re just trying to tell him what we look for in players, what we want to do at the trade deadline, how our philosophy of evaluating players is, what we look for. And then I get his input on how he looks at things and how he looks at players.”

Steen, Blues hold on against Ovechkin, Capitals

6 Comments

On a milestone afternoon for Alex Ovechkin, it was the St. Louis Blues’ Alex (Steen) who ultimately got the last laugh.

Both forwards scored two goals on Sunday, but Steen also added an assist on Vladimir Tarasenko’s game-winner as the Blues beat the Washington Capitals 4-3. By taking this one, St. Louis continues its winning ways in the form of an 11-game point streak (10-0-1).

Take a look at Steen’s two goals below:

T.J. Oshie was right up there with Steen, generating three points of his own (all assists), along with four hits. Oshie’s most memorable check might have come in the first period when he seemed to leave Brooks Orpik a little groggy.

David Backes was ejected from the game for a boarding hit on Karl Alzner, who scored the 4-3 goal. A makeshift line of Tarasenko, Steen and Oshie played well enough to top the one-two punch of Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom.

Here’s a look at that Backes hit, which may draw supplementary discipline:

While this effort was better than the one that netted a 4-1 loss to St. Louis on Nov. 15, the bottom line is that the Capitals lost both games against the Blues in regulation. The Capitals have now dropped six of seven games, and while all of those defeats were by a single goal, this could be a stretch that Washington ends up regretting.

Head coach Barry Trotz doesn’t regret the way backup Justin Peters played, however.

As entertaining and competitive as this contest was, the two teams ultimately continue in their diverging paths.

David Backes ejected after boarding, bloodying Karl Alzner

29 Comments

It might be a Sunday matinee, but the Washington Capitals and the St. Louis Blues aren’t playing a sleepy game. At least not physically.

Kevin Shattenkirk was injured after a collision with Alex Ovechkin and now David Backes’ night is over early after he received a game misconduct and five-minute boarding major for this hit on Karl Alzner:

The Blues might have made that the turning point of the season period instead of the Capitals taking advantage, as St. Louis killed the major power-play opportunity. In fact, Washington only managed two shots on goal on that man advantage.

Not that much later, Alexander Steen scored his second goal so far to give St. Louis a 2-1 lead. We’ll see if there are more fireworks going forward.

Here’s a shot of the hit:

source:

The aftermath:

source:

It may take some time to find out if Backes, 30, will be fined or suspended.

Video: Shattenkirk injured, won’t return after collision with Ovechkin

2 Comments

The St. Louis Blues have been red-hot lately, and Kevin Shattenkirk has been a big part of their success, but Sunday showed how quickly such things can change.

Shattenkirk took an ugly spill after a collision with Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin in the first period. He won’t return.

It’s currently labeled a lower-body injury, which might be the best news for St. Louis:

Just moments ago, David Backes was ejected for boarding Karl Alzner, so it’s been a physical contest so far. Tune in on NBCSN.

NHL on NBCSN: Blues try to stay hot against Capitals

NBCSN will continue its coverage of the 2014-15 campaign when the Washington Capitals host the St. Louis Blues at the Verizon Center at 1:00 p.m. ET today. In addition to NBCSN, you can also watch the game and pre-show online.

The Washington Capitals saw Braden Holtby fall just short in a goalie duel against Carey Price and the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday, and now they must take on the red-hot St. Louis Blues today.

Any way you slice it, the 31-13-4 St. Louis Blues are on a roll right now.

Regarding the team itself, the Blues have generated a point in 10 straight games (9-0-1), including wins in each of two contests since returning from the All-Star break. They’ve been getting great work in net from Brian Elliott while captain David Backes has generated a ridiculous 16 points during a nine-game tear.

The Blues beat the Capitals 4-1 in the two squads’ other meeting earlier this season.

While St. Louis is scorching, the Capitals are struggling a bit, at least after a hot run of their own. They’re now 1-3-2 in their last six contests.

One obvious advantage Washington has is home ice today. They’re 13-5-5 at the Verizon Center, although the Blues haven’t been pushovers away from their own friendly confines, as they have a 12-9-2 road record so far in 2014-15.

It all shapes up to be a serious challenge for the Capitals, yet there are times when overcoming such obstacles can shape breakthroughs.