June 01, 2003

The soft goal to end all soft goals?: The Mighty Ducks got their first win against the Devils, in the fashion they've won a lot of their playoff games so far: in overtime and getting all the lucky breaks. Does Ozolinsh's fluke goal signal the return of the Disney magic, and the beginning of true series, or is this just a bump in the road to the Devils' coronation?

posted by qbert72 to hockey at 08:00 PM - 15 comments

I've never seen a goal like that in all my hockey watching years (bad bounces, goalies caught out of the net, sure, but nothing like that). I'd say Game 3 was Brodeur's 'bad game per series' (seemed like he should've stopped the 1st goal too if he was in top form). Previous examples: game 4 v. the Bruins (5-1); game 3 v. Tampa (4-3); dunno if he had a stinker in the Ottowa series but he gave up 3 in games 1 & 5. NJ wins the next 2 to silence all the bandwagon sport reporters (and I'm no Devils fan - it's embarassing that the league's worst power play is going to hoist the Cup - but they play much better hockey than Anaheim).

posted by kokaku at 09:59 PM on June 01, 2003

You have to score more than one goal to win a series. It was a bad goal but the story will be told with game 4. I thought Cloutier's gift against the Wings last year was worse. 1. The Canucks were up 2 games to none at home against the top team in the league and looking good. 2. The shot was from farther out and it was actually a shot on net. Cloutier has to stop that one. 3. He didn't, pfffft, Detroit wins that game and 4 in a row. In Brodeur's case he didn't have to stop the puck so he can't be faulted for being soft, just clumsy. A series can turn on something like that so if Anaheim rattles off 4 wins then that will be defining moment. Will people remember that NJ tied the game and sent it to OT though?

posted by gspm at 01:14 AM on June 02, 2003

I've seen worse. State tournament as a kid, our goalie let in a goal on an icing, we lost 2-1, fell into a 3 way tiebreak in round robin, and lost the tiebreak because we beat a team 7-1 that the others beat 23-2 and 11-1. Tie, we advance, loss, we went home. We beat the eventual champ though :( State championship in high school, goalie (and close friend) lets in an icing (just from mid ice, unlike the above, which was from behind the other goal line), game lost 4-3. Game over, career over. Ouch. Not NHL, but good goalies at every level always have one goal like that in their bank of stories. It just sucks that it happened in the Stanley Cup finals... luckily for Brodeur, it shouldn't cost them much, as I expect the devils to pull it out without much of a problem.

posted by Bernreuther at 01:52 AM on June 02, 2003

I think the goal could be a turning point. It lets the Ducks know that he is human and can be beaten at any time. That psychological boost could be enough. I hope it is. The worst goal I ever saw live was one that I scored. We were ahead by a goal with about a minute to play. I was on defence and I got control of the puck in front of my net. I decided that we needed a break from the pressure so I switched to my backhand and lofted the puck WAAAY up in the air (almost hitting the banners hanging from the roof). Well, simultaneously the opposing goalie was looking at his coach, waiting for the signal to come to the bench and add an extra attacker. When he looked back to the play the puck was already in the air so he couldn't see it. The puck landed between the hashmarks and he couldn't react in time (and it took a funny bounce as well). Right in the net, untouched. That's one of the few times I said "Sorry" to the opposing team (the goalie in this case).

posted by grum@work at 06:35 AM on June 02, 2003

The shot was from farther out and it was actually a shot on net. In my opinion, that just makes Brodeur's blunder worse. It wasn't even a shot on net! If he had stayed in his net, we wouldn't be talking about this. But that's the way Brodeur plays, so I guess it's just poetic justice for all the times his puck handling annihilates dump-ins. And you got to admire the way he's dealing with the mistake. I like kokaku's thinking: Brodeur has had one weak game per series so far, and that was definitely the one. But the Devils as a team let the Senators force a seventh game when they were up 3-1. So I'm on the fence, and looking forward to game 4.

posted by qbert72 at 06:45 AM on June 02, 2003

I haven't seen the goal yet, but it reminds me of a goal scored by the Dallas Stars against the Detroit Red Wings in the playoffs several years ago. Someone scored on a too-wide shot from center ice that the goalie -- either Chris Osgood or Mike Vernon -- deflected into his own net. It doesn't seem like Martin Brodeur is affected at all by the mistake. I still expect the Devils to win in 5 or 6.

posted by rcade at 08:05 AM on June 02, 2003

vs the Cloutier goal - I was thinking in terms of flub factor. Brodeur can play that puck and make an error and 99 flubs out of 100 (maybe not that much, but it was kind of a fluke) he won't cause the puck to go in. With Cloutier, the puck was on the net and there is no margin for error flub-wise. It was just freaky and weird (I've only seen the video provided on the NHL and ESPN websites and the view isn't superb). Compared to the Cloutier goal it is worse in terms of turning a non-goal into a goal BUT not anywhere near as bad as what it would do to the team/confidence/whatever. With Brodeur you look at what he did - a mistake that freakily put the puck into his own net. With Cloutier you look at what he didn't do - stop the puck. In a way it does not affect anybody's confidence in Brodeur's ability to stop a puck. Cloutier's flub let those doubts creep in (see also Felix Potvin and Chris Osgood). You can brush it off somewhat. In the context of game 3 of the finals i wouldn't brush it off - but if you want to compare one goal to another I think there are differences. grum - i recall a goal in Quebec (maybe vs the Rangers? mid 80s?). The Nordique player approached center and lifted the puck high into the air like you mentioned, then he went to the bench on a line change. the puck game down and bounced... five-hole. if i recall correctly, the guy who scored it was on the bench when the puck went in.

posted by gspm at 08:12 AM on June 02, 2003

Not so much the overtime goal, I think the turning point was scoring the first goal of the series against the Devils. Holding them to a tie into overtime showed that they can fight, the overtime could have gone either way, and more often than not it's just a coin-toss by that time.

posted by Space Coyote at 08:57 AM on June 02, 2003

Didn't Captain Kirk McLean give up a somewhat similar (but not as bad) goal in the '94 finals against the accursed Rangers? There was also a remarkable and key fluke goal (dumped in, off the back boards, off his leg as he went out to play it and in) that accursed Ranger Mike Richter gave up against the Penguins in the second round in '92.

posted by Mookieproof at 09:34 AM on June 02, 2003

I remember in 1997 the Ottawa Senators losing game 7 against Buffalo when Yashin won a defensive zone faceoff so cleanly he lifted the puck back into his own net. Well, the recap i found says it was the 2nd and tying buffalo goal in a game then won 3-2 in OT win (yeah, now I remember) but, you know, being up a goal in the 3rd period of game 7 only to have a flukey one go in...

posted by gspm at 10:11 AM on June 02, 2003

That was an amazingly flukey goal...however, don't take credit away from Anaheim for the way they played (and again tonight). They are evening up the chances and defending much better than in the first two games. We might even have ourselves a series here...

posted by filmgoerjuan at 12:36 AM on June 03, 2003

Brodeur almost let ANOTHER one in on Monday night. This time it was a bounce off the back board, into the crease. He tried to scoop it up with his glove and they had to go to instant replay to show that he stopped it with his stick before it crossed the line. Incredible! (and now that the series is tied 2-2, it's getting interesting)

posted by grum@work at 07:00 AM on June 03, 2003

Highlights of that one are available on the ESPN recap for those that haven't seen it or want to see it again. Series tied. Which means that NJ is 2-4 in their last 6 games in the Finals and have a 3 game Finals road losing streak. Interesting series.

posted by gspm at 08:51 AM on June 03, 2003

Looks like I blew that call. Brodeur recovered well, but the NJ offense was non-existant (coupled with Giguere recovering his Red Wings/Stars smashing form). NJ could be in trouble if Giggy's back in the zone.

posted by kokaku at 01:46 PM on June 03, 2003

I think the lay-off rust is gone, and the whole team is playing like they did for the first 3 rounds. I'll keep my prediction to myself, since posting my last all-out call backfired.

posted by garfield at 02:43 PM on June 03, 2003

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