Brodeur focused on Game 7, not recent historyPosted: Sunday June 08, 2003 3:05 PM
Updated: Sunday June 08, 2003 10:48 PM
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- Martin Brodeur has no interest in reliving the past, whether it be very recent history or two years ago.
All that concerns the New Jersey goalie is he and the Devils are one win away from their third Stanley Cup in nine years.
So what that they also needed just one victory against Colorado in the 2001 finals and never got it? Who cares that he gave up three first-period goals Saturday night and five overall?
With a win Monday night in Game 7 against the pesky Anaheim Mighty Ducks, New Jersey will be able to celebrate.
"One day you think you're in full control and the next day it's the end of the world," Brodeur said Sunday. "You have to be able to deal with these mood swings as good as you can. This is the last one. We won't have to deal with any mood swings after that."
The home team has won each of the first six games of the series. That bodes well for the Devils, who will be hosting this one at Continental Airlines Arena. They are 11-1 there in the 2003 playoffs and outscored the Ducks 12-3 in the three home wins.
Another victory would make the Devils the winningest home team in playoff history with 12 in one year.
"The most difficult thing about a Game 7 is trying to keep your focus," defenseman Scott Niedermayer said. "You have to keep playing as you would any game. That's the challenge."
Another will be winning again most likely without center Joe Nieuwendyk, who said Sunday night he likely won't play in Game 7 because of a hip injury that been sidelined him the entire series. Nieuwendyk practiced before Game 5 and took the pregame skate Saturday, but wasn't well enough to play.
Brodeur was beaten by a bad bounce early in Game 6 when Steve Rucchin's shot hit the foot of New Jersey defenseman Scott Stevens and caromed into the net. Rucchin added another goal later in the period, and Steve Thomas made it 3-0 before the first period was finished.
He also was touched for three first-period goals against Tampa Bay in Game 3 of the second round. Brodeur's worst game in this postseason was a 5-1 loss at Boston in Game 4 of the first round when the Devils squandered a chance to sweep the Bruins.
That was the only other time he was pulled from a game in these playoffs. Brodeur was removed on Saturday with more than 10 minutes left after he allowed five goals on 22 shots. He consulted with coach Pat Burns before leaving the game.
"I had the best seat in the house," Brodeur said Sunday of his time on the bench.
If the Devils lose the Cup on home ice to the Ducks, who never had advanced past the second round, it would be a very big deal. Anaheim would be the first team in 32 years to rally from a 2-0 deficit to win the title.
"I don't believe that the home-ice advantage factor comes into play a whole lot into Game 7," Burns said. "I think what's important is I think the guys know what has to be done. We have bounced back all year long, and we'll have to see if we can pull it off again."
Only once since 1971 has a team blown a 3-2 lead. That was the Devils two years ago. The finals are going to a seventh game for the 12th time. Home teams are 9-2; the last road winner also was in 1971, Montreal at Chicago.
"You throw everything out the window," Brodeur said. "You can't rely on what's going to happen automatically just because history tells you what's going to happen. This has been a team that's been surprising everybody."