Tom Renney talked and talked about how this series could turn, but it was hard to believe it Thursday and even harder the last 48 hours. Even the pessimists had to like the Rangers when Sean Avery dogged Martin Brodeur, then stuck it in his face with a PPG midway through the second period.
I still don’t know if this things turned, but it’s certainly a lot closer thanks to a few lucky bounces going the Devils’ way. I made a quick detour into their locker after the game and found a very thankful Marty Brodeur.
“Itâ€™s a fun situation right now,” he said. “Weâ€™re happy weâ€™ve got two days right now to relax. It took a lot of energy. Itâ€™s not easy when you lose games and you have your backs against the wall like we did tonight, but we pulled it off.”
The Devils definitely got the bounces. The first goal went in off Blair Betts’ stick. The third was redirected past Henrik Lundqvist after it hit Brendan Shanahan in the leg. (Lundqvist told me just before that his glove was there to catch it and the puck just moved out of the way.) And the last was, oh, well, you know…
Marc Staal seemed crushed afterward, but is looking to move on. “Itâ€™s something you donâ€™t want to happen, but it happened and you try to forget about it,” said the rookie, who led the club in ice time tonight.
Both Staal and Lundqvist said the goal happened so fast they couldn’t move. I can feel their pain. We were right there in the press box and we had no idea what happened. Only after several replays could I figure out the fateful deflection.If you’re a fan looking for encouragement after a tough loss, here’s Brendan Shanahan summarizing the team’s mood:”
Put your chins up, get ready to work. I donâ€™t think anyone, either way, predicted sweep for the Devils or sweep for the Rangers. I donâ€™t think anybody in here feels like the series got away or anything like that. It was a tight game. It was a strange bounce. Itâ€™s not a devastating thing. You come back to work and get ready for the next game.”
OK, one more day for me tomorrow and then Sam is back. The team is off, but I’ll look through the stats and quotes and try to unearth a few items of interest.