Two words: Martin Brodeur.
It's the week before the playoffs, and there's been a lot of chatter lately in the Sens World about who we'd rather meet in the first round: the New Jersey Devils or the Pittsburgh Penguins. The majority seem to be favouring the Devils, as they fear the firepower of the Penguins with the likes of Crosby, Malkin, and Staal in the line-up.
However, I think in the playoffs it more often comes down to goaltending. And I'd much rather face a playoff rookie in Marc-Andre Fleury over Mr. Veteran-And-All-Star-Of-The-World Martin Brodeur. I'd rather take my chances trying to outscore the fiery Penguins over a defensive battle with the tight-checking and trapping Devils. I don't think it will be easy either way, but I think we have better odds against the young and inexperienced club in Pittsburgh.
Certainly, against Pittsburgh, we'd have a far more exciting series to watch. I forked out the $10.95 last night to watch the Sens vs. Devils match-up on Pay Per View, and for most of the first two periods, it was a snoozer. But that's what you get when you play the Devils, with their trapping game. Ho-hum, boring, boring. The third period kind of intensified, with the two teams exchanging goals in a 21-second span and lots of good chances throughout the OT. And then along came the shoot-out. As much as I love Ray Emery, and as proud as I was of him for going save-for-save with Brodeur all night long, I just knew that he wasn't going to out-duel him in the Shoot-Out.
So yeah, give me Marc-Andre Fleury any day. I think we can take him.
But it does make me sad to think that in a few weeks, the Penguins could very well be out of the playoffs thanks to me and my Sens. They are, after all, my second favourite team, and I really do admire Sid the Kid and his band of happy-go-lucky young'uns.
But this time of the year, there's no room for second-favourites.
Bring on the Penguins!!