October 30, 2008
Then, after already allowed an overtime shootout goal to Tomas Kaberle, Brodeur faced Leafs forward Niklas Hagman. So what's the bigger diss on a Vezina Trophy winner: Nearly scoring with your back to the goalie, or giving Marty a Santa's beard-worth of ice shavings to the face?
The Leafs get a big road win, 6-5 in the shootout, besting their 10-game start from last season even without the inherent magic of the Messianic Swede. The shootout wouldn't have even happened had it not been for another Epic Fail by the Devils' power play in overtime. Only Jersey's special teams can make a 4-on-3 look like a 2-on-70.
As for Brodeur ... OK, maybe this isn't "ultimate shootout indignity." Hagman could have stopped short and started waving his stick in front of Marty's face. Or dabbled in the dark arts of prop comedy by reaching under his jersey to reveal a cheeseburger and a picture of Marty's ex-wife before shooting. Or he could have been Marek Malik.
We have unmitigated hatred for the overtime skills competition deciding professional hockey games, but even we have to admit that the snow-job-to-the-face is a bad-ass move after converting your shootout chance. If you're someone like Niklas Hagman, this is total quasi-unsportsmanlike repudiation of a well-respected star player; the quiet Finnish hockey player equivalent of a Terry Tate: Office Linebacker moment.