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Friday, May 9

Updated: May 21, 2:36 PM ET

In the crease: Brodeur & Lalime

By Darren Pang
Special to

Martin Brodeur
Martin Brodeur New Jersey Devils
GP: 65
Record: 41-23-9
GAA: 2.02
SPCT: .914
8-2 record, 1.51 GAA
.941 SPCT, 3 SO
Patrick Lalime
Patrick Lalime Ottawa Senators
GP: 67
Record: 39-20-7
GAA: 2.16
SPCT: .911
8-3 record, 1.49 GAA
.937 SPCT, 1 SO
Once again he made the momentum-gaining saves that are vital this time of year. It hasn't mattered how many shots against he faces; his concentration level is of championship quality. He had a hiccup in the first period of Game 3 against Tampa Bay and bounced back to make it a game, although they lost. I thought he did a great job of taking the Tampa Bay crowd out of Game 4 by deliberately covering up pucks around the crease, eliminating any forecheck and pressure on his own defense by the speedy TB forwards. He will again use this strategy in Ottawa's vibrant Corel Center. When there is a chance of catching Ottawa on a line change, he will move the puck up ice, but otherwise, I see him slowing the pace of play. Ken Hitchcock said it best when he told me that Lalime makes you work for every goal you score. He doesn't give you any free passes. We have all marveled at his fundamentals through the years and how he has grown as a complete goalie. Now we should take notice at the leader he has become and the "battle" instincts he possesses. He dominates the angles, so there is little room when you are shooting from the wings, and that is where the forwards and "D" will angle you. He is not really strong at playing the puck outside the crease and was bumped into plenty in the Flyers series, with out being intimidated. He has a calm and even keeled demeanor, much like Martin Brodeur.
How you beat Brodeur:
You can beat him -- barely -- by trying to get him off his angle. He is not typical of the French Canadian percentage goalies. He has a more athletic side to his game, and therefore he can over-move at times, although this can seem a stretch. He does tend to "lean" away from angle shots in certain situations.
How you beat Lalime:
You can beat him with quick puck movement side to side and expose between his legs; he is a butterfly/percentage goalie who gets in his stance and at times gets his feet locked. He will play the percentages with his body position on the angles, so a right shot will have more room than they think coming down the right side. He will drop the glove at the last second to take away the side of the body, leaving the top corner exposed for the perfect shot. He is not strong at playing the puck so you can be active on the forecheck and dump-ins.
How Brodeur beats you:
He is not at all like Lalime on the ice because they come from technically different mindsets. Brodeur has an assortment of saves he can throw at you, and that makes him unpredictable. He will poke-check, two-pad slide and butterfly, to go along with quickness and some good hands. His biggest asset is his big-save ability and his calmness under fire. He remains the best at handling the puck and leading the transition game, and much of this has to do with his hockey sense and skating ability.
How Lalime beats you:
He can beat you with his presence and size in the net, and he has greatly improved his "battling" instincts in the net. He has learned how to win with a great team, so his next step is winning in the playoffs. His momentum down the stretch will make him tough to beat. He has the ability to compete for the Conn Smythe, and he showed it last year by having a shutout in three straight games in the playoffs.

Darren Pang is a hockey analyst for ESPN.
New Jersey

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