Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Between the Pipes: The number 30

Brodeur during 2005-06 NHL playoffs.
Earlier this year, the Devils retired the jersey of legendary No. 30 - Martin Brodeur. I've always had mixed feelings about Brodeur - respect and admiration combined with dread. Being a Pens fan, he's the reason that I hated watching the Pens play the Devils for many years. With Brodeur, the Devils were a formidable enemy, and it was difficult getting any pucks past him. Otherwise, when I watched Brodeur up against any other team, I could not help but admire his skills. He has some amazing stats, including being the only NHL goaltender to have scored three goals. Yes, you heard me right. Two in regular season, and one during the playoffs.

That being said, I now turn my attention to another goaltender with the distinction of wearing the number 30 on his jersey: Matt Murray. Can you believe this kid? He is ON FIRE. He just helped the Penguins beat the Capitals in six games in the second round of playoffs, at the tender age of 21. He's the "second" goalie for the Pens, and even though Fleury was healthy enough to play game six, Sullivan kept Murray in net because if it ain't broke, don't fix it. I have no issue with Fleury's performance this past season. He is one of the best goalies in the league, but it has been exciting and amazing to see such a young player in Matt Murray aspire to such heights in such a short period of time. I would hate to see the Penguins lose him in the inevitable expansion draft.

While I'm talking about noteworthy number 30s, honorable mention goes to Henrik Lundqvist. Here is another goalie approaching legendary status, and I'm almost sorry (but not that sorry) that the Pens eliminated the Rangers in five games in the first round of playoffs this year. I was impressed with the Rangers deep playoff run last year, and Lundqvist played some incredible hockey, but this year, sadly he seamed to fall apart. We will see how he comes back next season.

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