What's Wrong with Marty?
I could not agree with Tim Panaccio more...the Flyers are getting beat much worse than the 1-0 score would attest. They look slow, they are getting beat to pucks and are losing the battle of heart and desire. You cannot coach desire. Likewise, it is not easy to just flick a switch when things are not going well with your team when the desire is not there. Both Mike Richards (w/ Avery) and Riley Cote (w/ Strudwick) tried to energize the team in the first period. The Orange and Black were badly outshot and were lucky to get out of the first frame only a goal down. Tim also points out that Marty Biron has been the difference in the game for the Flyers or else it would be much uglier. If the Flyers don't show some hustle and give some effort in basic hockey - crowd the net, get shots low on goal and win the battles in the corners - then it might get uglier...Biron or no Biron.
***edit* Flyers lose with a whimper and get shut out 2-0 by Lundy. Just ugly all around. Stevens should
have the team doing sprints tomorrow. Only Biron should be spared. This was the worst kind of loss***
Speaking of ugly...what about the "other" Marty in the Atlantic Division? What in the world is wrong with Martin Brodeur
Did last year's relentless march to break the single season win mark (still held by Bernie Parent IMO) damage him so badly that he is just a shell of his former Vezina self? I ask this not to taunt the Devils' fans who lost 5-0 to the Penguins - a large number of teams will do that during the regular season - but to ponder why the best goalie on the planet gave up five goals on 24 shots and had to be pulled for the first time this year?????? Inquiring minds want to know. Heck, the Flyers want to know - they are playing the Devils this Thursday at the "Rock."
Ok...it's just one game. Relax...Marty is Marty and he deserves an off night.
Wait a second....hold the phones...take a look at the numbers thus far.
Through 11 games this season, Martin Brodeur has 4 wins and 6 losses. In 2006-07, Brodeur had lost only 23 games having played 78 games and nearly 4,700 minutes of ice time. If he were to stay on this current pace (which is highly unlikely) he will eclipse that loss total around the first of the year. Still don't think there is a theme here?
Let's compare this season with his past two:
Wins Losses GAA SV% SO
2005 43 23 2.57 .911 5
2006 48 23 2.18 .922 12
2007 4 6 2.72 .896 0
Ok...I know it is still early, but look at the trends. Goals Against up more than half a goal per game. Save Percentage under .900 for the first time in his career and no shutouts from a guy who will surpass such names as Roy and Sawchuk to own every major goaltending record available. He is a legend and, until he takes a job in the booth, is still the best goalie in the game.
The question still remains...why has he started off so poorly?
Was it simply losing Rafalski and White? Was it "Father Time" catching up to a man who has seemed immune to anything but Kryptonite? Is it that the Devs no longer had the players to execute that patented Devils system that stymied the rest of the Atlantic for the better part of the past decade? Was it the run to surpass Parent's single season wins record that caused him some sort of karmatic ill will from the goalie gods?
Whatever the reason, the greatest netminder of the modern era is only one win above the league average (3), has a higher Goals Against Average (2.72) than the NHL average (2.68) and has a Save Percentage (.896) lower than the norm (.906).
As sure as the sun rises, Brodeur will eventually straighten this thing out. The questions for the Devils are...when and wearing what sweater?
Is it possible that this kind of start could lead to the unthinkable - Marty Brodeur wearing a logo other than the forked tail??
I shake my head at the very mention of it. But upon reflection, the stock trading mantra "Buy Low...Sell High" rings in my ears. Is there ever a time where the Devs might get more for him than coming off last season and might never get another chance to get as much as they can for him. There are teams who would line up to have a chance at getting this lead-pipe cinch, no doubt about it, first ballot hall of famer in net for a few years. The Devils could try to mine some more gold and find the next great backstop...but not until and unless Brodeur is no longer a Devil. If I were Lou, I would be listening quietly and putting my feelers out. This sort of thing comes along once in a lifetime.
Marty Brodeur is one-of-a-kind. He is the Devil(s) himself.
Thanks for reading...
p.s. - I hope the Flyers get their sh*t together soon or the Penguins, Devils and Penguins could turn into three losses to end one road trip and start a homestand.