February was certainly the peak month for the New Jersey Devils in the 2010-11 season. They rode the momentum they built up in the second half of January into a fantastic set of results. The team went 11-1-1, climbed out of last place in the East, and reminded the rest of the league they weren't the doormats they were in December. The star of the month was goaltender Johan Hedberg, who was fantastic in the 10 appearances he made. He gave a couple soft goals, but they were limited to just one of his games and they never put Hedberg off his game. Devils fans should remember Moose very well from February.
However, Moose wasn't expected to play as much as he did in February. Martin Brodeur was still the starter as the month started, and he started the team's first three games. He suffered an injury during the February 6 game against Montreal and had to leave after the first period. Brodeur missed 5 games due to a right knee sprain; but when he was available on February 18, Moose was just so hot that Jacques Lemaire had no choice to keep riding him. Therefore, Brodeur remained on the bench until February 27, where upon he showed that his groove was only interrupted, it wasn't lost.
|February 2011 - Martin Brodeur||4||200||4||0
February was a short month for Brodeur, so there's not a whole lot to review. 4 goals allowed in 4 games isn't going to tell us too much; but it was part of the season, so it must be done. Don't worry, there will be much more in March to go over on Monday. All the same, please set your viewing to wide to see the chart where we can take a look at the 4 goals allowed in February.
About the Review
The main thing I'm looking for in this review are "soft goals," those goals against that should have been stopped by the goaltender. Here's how I am defining a soft goal. The goalie must have seen the shot coming; the shot was not deflected or change otherwise in motion; the goalie was in position to actually make the stop; and the goaltender made an uncharacteristic mistake that led to the goal. If all were true, then I deemed the goal as "soft." In fact, the very last bit alone can make the difference between a soft goal or not.
I also want to highlight the last column in the following list: Skater Error. Did askater do something seriously wrong on the play that led to the goal? If so, their name (or names) end up on the chart. I could be picky and call them out for every goal, but I'm only highlighting who's actions or lack thereof contributed to the goal against. There will be goals where multiple skaters screw up, so you may see more than one name. I'm tracking this to see who was commonly at fault, assuming it means anything. As with the goals against themselves, feel free to discuss this too.
Lastly, I have provided links to the video I looked at for each goal from NHL.com. These links will auto-play the video, so be forewarned.
The 4 Goals Allowed by Martin Brodeur in February 2011: A Chart
|Date||GA#||Where Beaten?||GA Description||Soft Goal?||Video Link||Skater Error|
|2/1/2011||90||Low, on left flank||Alfreddson threads a pass across the slot to Kovalev, who was right on Brodeur's flank for an easy tap-in 5on3 PPGA||No||Link||White|
|2/3/2011||91||Over the left shoulder||Anisimov drop passes it to Callahan by left sideboards. Callahan fires a perfect shot shortside over Brodeur||No||Link|
|2/3/2011||92||Low, past right pads, far post||Prospal attempts a cross-slot pass, only for Tallinder to deflect the puck at an angle to past Brodeur's right side and in. 5on3 PPGA||No||Link|
|2/27/2011||93||Under the right arm||Repik sets up Reasoner just outside of the slot, who one-times the puck just under Brodeur's right arm||No||Link||Zajac|
Well, the population size for this month is small and there weren't any soft goals allowed. GA #92 was just a bad break; Brodeur simply had no chance on GA #90 and GA #93. White could have done something about Daniel Alfredsson's pass on GA #90; so I tagged him with an error, though I'm a little sympathetic given it was a 3-on-5 situation. As for GA #93, it's never a good sign when the opposing team's commentators calls out the Devil who made the mistake on the replay. Travis Zajac should have done something to Marty Reasoner, did nothing, and so they paid the price.
This leaves GA #91 and I'm sure some of you are wondering why that's not a soft goal. After all, Brodeur saw the shot and there was no deflection on it. However, Brodeur didn't put himself in a bad position on the goal and he didn't make any particular error. Ryan Callahan picked the open space over Brodeur's left shoulder, and that's really it. Like with Martin St. Louis' goal last month (GA #79), Callahan just fired a perfect shot that just beat Brodeur. Therefore, I didn't count it as a soft goal against Brodeur.
The weird thing about that goal was that Ilya Kovalchuk scored nearly the exact same way on Henrik Lundqvist earlier that night. Shot nearly from the same location and it beat the goaltender in the same way. Seriously, check it out. Freaky.
Location of Goals Allowed
All locations are relative to Brodeur himself, not necessarily where the puck goes into the net. It's pretty simplistic, but it'll do for general information.
Again, there's not a whole lot to discuss. Callahan got him high on GA #91, Reasoner got him just under the arm on a one-timer on GA #93, and two re-directed pucks - one intentional on GA #90, the other unintentional on GA #92 - got him low. That's it.
Martin Brodeur didn't play a lot in February, but when he did, he was great. This review helps confirm that by showing that he didn't give up any soft goals among the few he did. Throw in the fact that Hedberg only allowed 3 soft goals among his low total of 14 goals allowed and it's another sign of a sensational month of Devils hockey. Again, there will be much more to go over in Brodeur's March 2011 performance, which will be done on Monday. Until then, I want to know your take. Do you agree with what I found? What did you think of Brodeur's short February? Please leave your answers and other relevant thoughts in the comments. Thanks for reading.