Joy and sorrow on both sides of the Hudson

On one side of the Hudson River, there was joy Thursday night.

On the other side, there was that eerie calm before the hurricane – tornado, tsunami, pick your disaster – hits.

In Newark, Martin Brodeur made a triumphant retun from elbow surgery that sidelined him since early November by stopping 24 shots to lead the New Jersey Devils to a 4-0 win over the Colorado Avalanche.

Not only was it Brodeur’s third shutout in 11 games this season, it was also the 99th of his career, leaving him five short of breaking Terry Sawchuk’s NHL record. Brodeur, who missed 50 games after suffering the first major injury of his career, also posted his 545th regular-season victory, and needs seven more to break Patrick Roy’s all-time mark.

Like he never left, right?

"It was an exciting night to get out there and perform," Brodeur said. "I was really anxious all day, more nervous that I thought I was going to be. We pulled it off. It was nice to score early in the game. I didn't get much work. It was a nice game to play."

On Seventh Avenue, meanwhile, John Tortorella watched his team self-destruct … AGAIN.

Tortorella fell to 0-1-1 as coach of the New York Rangers after a 2-1 loss to the Florida Panthers at Madison Square Garden.

One night earlier in his debut behind the Rangers bench, Tortorella saw them fall 2-1 in overtime to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Following that loss, Tortorella – he of the legendary temper – said he was concerned about his club’s conditioning after they blew a one-goal lead in the third period.

He backtracked a little after seeing the Rangers allow two goals in a one-minute span late against the Panthers.

“I'm not upset with them ... we just are struggling to score a goal,” Tortorella said. “I'm looking forward to keep growing with the team, because I think they have picked up how we want to play very well. We just can't finish.”

You think? New York has dropped 12 of 14, and has been held to two goals or less in 12 of them – all losses.

Torts will try again for his first win on Saturday against Colorado. The Rangers have lost three straight at home to the Avalanche, all by one goal and two in overtime.

No comments: