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Devils-Senators Game 7 resonates 14 years later


thecoffeecake

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Reading these sorts of threads makes me wish I grew up in NJ and why I love this team.

Sounds so amazing, and apart from our 2012 run, next time I'll be relishing in our SCF win and soaking it all up.

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On ‎5‎/‎24‎/‎2017 at 10:19 PM, Nicomo said:

Marty should have won the Conn Smythe that year. I know he faced a really small amount of shots in a lot of the wins, but 7 shutouts ffs. Giving it to that crybaby Giguère still pisses me off to this day. It should never go to a loser. 

Marty completely outplayed Giguere in the Finals to boot.  I understand that the award is for the most valuable player in the entire playoffs, and not just the Finals, but that decision was ridiculous in the end.    

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23 minutes ago, Chuck the Duck said:

Marty completely outplayed Giguere in the Finals to boot.  I understand that the award is for the most valuable player in the entire playoffs, and not just the Finals, but that decision was ridiculous in the end.    

Read my post on that one (it's very detailed).  It's not really ridiculous when you consider that there either isn't any SCF for the Ducks without Giguere, or that it would've taken them much more than 14 playoff games to get to the SCF.   

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No, that's not true, it is ridiculous. MVP of the Playoffs always comes from the winning team. Every Conn Smythe, Super Bowl MVP, March Madness MOP, NCAAF MVP, NBA Finals MVP I can ever remember was on the winning team. Aside from the fact that Giggy had such enormous pads you'd assume he was clinically obese, claiming a goalie who had THREE SHUTOUTS IN THE STANLEY CUP FINALS ALONE wasn't the better of the two is stupid. 
Most people deduce that the reason Jiggy got it was all of the Devils votes were split between Brodeur and Stevens, and that anyone who thought Giggy deserved it didn't "split" those votes. It's bullsh!t and still makes me mad 14 years later.

While I don't disagree, Hextall did win the Smythe in '87 and his team lost in the Finals. Same with Reggie Leach in '76. It's rare, but there was precedent.


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2 minutes ago, Martyisth3b3st said:

No, that's not true, it is ridiculous. MVP of the Playoffs always comes from the winning team. Every Conn Smythe, Super Bowl MVP, March Madness MOP, NCAAF MVP, NBA Finals MVP I can ever remember was on the winning team. Aside from the fact that Giggy had such enormous pads you'd assume he was clinically obese, claiming a goalie who had THREE SHUTOUTS IN THE STANLEY CUP FINALS ALONE wasn't the better of the two is stupid. 

Most people deduce that the reason Jiggy got it was all of the Devils votes were split between Brodeur and Stevens, and that anyone who thought Giggy deserved it didn't "split" those votes. It's bullsh!t and still makes me mad 14 years later.

No, it's not stupid at all.  The Conn Smythe is supposed to be awarded to the MVP of the entire playoffs...I don't think it HAS to be blindly awarded by default to a player from the team that won.  Do the Ducks get that far without Giguere?  Guy had a .960 save% through three rounds when he was facing 29.7 Shots per 60 Mins, when he HAD to be that good, because as I pointed out, his team wasn't really scoring very much (just 2.14 GF per game...Devils were at 2.63 GFPG).  Yeah, he was a poster boy for oversized equipment, but he wasn't the only one, and it's on the NHL to keep that under control...they never should've allowed that kind of equipment into the game to begin with.   

I would've LOVED to have seen Marty win it, and he was terrific and consistent throughout those playoffs for sure, and yes, was the better goalie in the SCF...and I wouldn't have argued against him winning...but to me, those Devils won more as a team.  Langenbrunner and Friesen really stepped up (they accounted for third of the Devils' goal-scoring, and between the two of them, they put five pucks in the net combined in the ECF and SCF Game 7s), and it just felt like everyone was finding a way to contribute (Jeez, friggin' Mike Rupp had three points in a SCF Game 7!)...everyone doing their jobs and coming up big when they needed to.  I'm not knocking Marty one bit, but it feels like that team didn't really have a clear cut MVP, and that's probably what hurts his cause...you can make an argument for Niedermayer, Friesen, Langenbrunner, Stevens, or Brodeur for that team...which goes back to what I was saying before...that 2003 team really was a TEAM, in the best possible way.  Lots of contributors. 

4 minutes ago, MadDog2020 said:

While I don't disagree, Hextall did win the Smythe in '87 and his team lost in the Finals. Same with Reggie Leach in '76. It's rare, but there was precedent.

And my whole point isn't so much that I'm super-pro Giguere having won it...more that I don't think it can be argued that him winning it was some travesty.  It just wasn't, when you add everything up. 

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In situations like that, more weight needs to be given to the performance in the Finals than what they did there.  Basically, Giguere won based upon his performance through the first 3 rounds.  Hell, he gave up like 19 goals over 7 games of the SCF, got lit up in a crucial game 5, and let some softy's in along the way.  Sure, the Devils were the better and more balanced team, but Brodeur's playoffs was Conn Smythe worthy (other than the dropped stick gaffe).  I can see the argument for Giguere, and surely there is precedent for a player from the losing team to win it, but I have always felt that his performance in the SCF was not worthy of the award.  It also didn't help that Brodeur, Stevens and Niedermayer all split votes that year.   

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25 minutes ago, Chuck the Duck said:

In situations like that, more weight needs to be given to the performance in the Finals than what they did there.  Basically, Giguere won based upon his performance through the first 3 rounds.  Hell, he gave up like 19 goals over 7 games of the SCF, got lit up in a crucial game 5, and let some softy's in along the way.  Sure, the Devils were the better and more balanced team, but Brodeur's playoffs was Conn Smythe worthy (other than the dropped stick gaffe).  I can see the argument for Giguere, and surely there is precedent for a player from the losing team to win it, but I have always felt that his performance in the SCF was not worthy of the award.  It also didn't help that Brodeur, Stevens and Niedermayer all split votes that year.   

As far as the Finals go...you can get on Giguere for Game 5, but you can also get on Marty for Game 6.  Also fair to remember that Giguere's team got shut out four times in regulation...yet he was able to help his team steal one of those games in OT. 

Asking a guy to keep stopping pucks at a .960 rate for four rounds of the playoffs is too much to ask of anyone...even with his not-as-good SCF, Giguere still finished at .945 for the playoffs (the only guy I remember off the top of my head having a similar save% for as deep of a playoff run is Jonathan Quick, with a .946 mark in 2011-12...damn him!).  Those three earlier rounds do deserve a lot of weight, because to not be great in a SCF, you have to get to one first, and the Ducks needed absolutely superlative play in net to make it that far.  That Duck team was really not that good...the goal differential for that series (19 to 10) really shows how much better the Devils truly were overall.  Even if Giguere had stood on his head as much as he did prior to the SCF, I think the Devils still win that series...if the Ducks lose either of those Game 3 or 4 OTs, that series is probably over in five games, even with Giguere possibly keeping Games 1 and 2 closer.   

Edited by Colorado Rockies 1976
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The thing that always bothered me about Giguere's Smythe is yes he was lights out for 3 rounds but was average the final round.  I have always thought the Smythe was for most valuable player for the ENTIRE playoffs not 3/4s.  So Giggy Puff with his mattress pads took home the Smythe.  The Devils took home the THE CUP!

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I understood why Giguere won, he was without a doubt the story of the playoffs in '03 and his team had no business being near the finals without him. The Devils were the superior team and won the cup, I can take the Conn Smyth 'loss' in stride. I barely cared who won the individual accolade and besides that's not the Devils way, it's about the logo and the team result. Marty probably would have had a hard time finding a place for it on his crowded mantel anyway.  

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7 hours ago, Antiquated Colorado Rockie said:

I understood why Giguere won, he was without a doubt the story of the playoffs in '03 and his team had no business being near the finals without him. The Devils were the superior team and won the cup, I can take the Conn Smyth 'loss' in stride. I barely cared who won the individual accolade and besides that's not the Devils way, it's about the logo and the team result. Marty probably would have had a hard time finding a place for it on his crowded mantel anyway.  

There definitely wouldn't have been any room for it in the van he rented from Enterprise. 

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1 hour ago, Martyisth3b3st said:

That's what has always bugged me. He was arguably the greatest goaltender of all time and he has one major trophy missing; (aside from a few Harts that my completely unbiased opinion states he should have won) he never took home a Conn Smythe. All of the greats (well, almost all of them) have a playoffs MVP to go along with their trophies. Obviously, give me the Cup instead.. but that trophy belonged to Brodeur.

For all the talk that "Giguere absolutely dominated" that playoffs, in so far as saying Marty didn't, I don't see it.

He faced a ton more shots. I'll give him that one. But he had a marginally better SV% and GAA (.945 to .934 and 1.62 to 1.65). Brodeur had more shutouts (7 to 5) and -- oh yeah, the important one, more wins (16 to 15). 

I see the whole "yeah but Brodeur's defense was better" argument, and obviously will not disagree there... but when has that ever been used to discredit an MVP-worthy performance? Giguere gave up 3, 3, 6, and 3 goals in the 4 losses in the finals. Giggy('s pads) may have stolen the first three series, but he sure as hell didn't steal the most important one. 

Giggy was performing under a lot of pressure too...so many OT and one-goal games, with weak goal support...if anything, you can argue that having to be damned near flawless for 14 games maybe finally wore him down by the time the SCF rolled around.  Also so hard to be that on top of your game for that long...you don't see too many goalies putting up .960 save% runs for nearly 20 games.  It's just so hard to do that for what amounts to about a quarter of a regular season...some regression is going to happen at some point.

Splitting hairs, but Giggy gave up 2, 3, 6, and 3 goals in the four losses...the Ducks gave up an empty-netter in the first game.  One problem was that the Ducks were almost incapable of bailing out Giggy when he allowed 3+ goals...the only truly appreciable support he got in the SCF was in Game 6...half of the Ducks' goals for the entire series came in that game alone...it really is miraculous that the Ducks ever found themselves in a Game 7.  I wouldn't even give Giggy credit for all of that...more that the more I think about that series, I just realize how much better the Devils really were overall.  If the Devils had somehow lost Game 7, they would've really been beating themselves up for not getting it done...maybe even more so than in 2001...at least the Avs were truly a very worthy opponent.  And Brodeur's gaffe would've been seen much differently than the amusing footnote it is now. 

Edited by Colorado Rockies 1976
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On 6/3/2017 at 3:34 PM, NJDevils1214 said:

Not trying to hijack the thread, but a thought I was having watching that clip and remembering Karel Rachunek. It is a little unbelievable how little coverage the Lokimotiv accident got here in the states.  

I thought they got a decent amount of coverage.  A lot of teams did tributes to the players including the Devils.  They even wore special patched jerseys for the occasion that were auctioned off for charity.

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6 minutes ago, Toasterleavins said:

Gimme a break. Giguere did nothing but wear super sized pads. As evidenced by how quickly he wasn't viewed as even a mediocre goalie after that cup run. The conn smythe should have specifically been given to his over sized equipment.

He did later help his team win the 2006-07 SC (he was the winning goalie for all of the second round, WCF, and SCF games the Ducks played in that year), so the bolded isn't really accurate...he also had a very good regular season in 2007-08...but his level of play did drop off significantly after his age 30 season...with occasional exceptions, he was pretty ordinary from 2008-09 on.  He wasn't an all-time great by any stretch and that's not what I was going for...but he did play incredibly well in 2002-03 for a team that needed him to. 

As far as his equipment goes...again, he wasn't the only offender, and it's on the NHL to not have allowed it in the first place.  I've brought it up multiple times, but in my old DVDs of Rockies games, it's insane how huge the nets looked behind the goalies back in the late 70s and early 80s.  And how puny they look now by comparison. 

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2 hours ago, DevsMan84 said:

I thought they got a decent amount of coverage.  A lot of teams did tributes to the players including the Devils.  They even wore special patched jerseys for the occasion that were auctioned off for charity.

I know NHL teams and the NHL gave it attention, but it got very little news and sports news coverage from what I remember. 

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41 minutes ago, NJDevils1214 said:

I know NHL teams and the NHL gave it attention, but it got very little news and sports news coverage from what I remember. 

That's just par for the course.  The biggest sports network, ESPN, doesn't even bother paying attention to the NHL outside the cursory mention here and there.  In that case I doubt they care about an air disaster carrying a hockey team in Russia.

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