The biggest story in just about every series was the play of one or both team’s goaltenders. The clinic put on by Jaroslav Halak is the only reason the Habs were able to knock off the top-seeded Capitals, Luey got better and better as his series went on, and former Maple Leaf trade bait Tuuka Rask outdueled the leading candidate for the Vezina Trophy to lift Boston over Buffalo. The masked men have been guilty of numerous robberies over the past two weeks, and here’s my favorite saves from the first round.
Ryan Miller was the reason I picked the Sabres to advance, and he did just about everything he could to help his club get through their series, but they just didn’t have the offense to help him out. This save in OT during Game 4 wasn’t even enough to get his club the win.
Roberto Luongo has had people question whether or not he can perform under pressure since his meltdown against Chicago last year. Saves like these next two should help silence the critics.
Of all the goaltending performances in the first round, none can rival the last three games from Jaroslav Halak. In three consecutive elimination games, he allowed just one goal every time, stopping 131 of the last 134 shots he faced. Right around these two sets of saves in Game 6, I got a text message from a friend of mine in Washington that just said “Unbeatable.” Unfortunately for the Caps, he really was. Too bad Sid the Kid will perforate him in the next series (knock on wood).
Even though the Devils got knocked out by the Flyers in the first round, I didn’t think Brodeur played all that badly. Boucher was stellar at the other end, and actually leads all goalies in GAA and save percentage so far, but Marty had the save of the series with this robbery of Simon Gagne in Game 4.