Week six of the NHL Playoffs saw the Kings make their first Stanley Cup appearance since 1993 and the Devils defeat their rivals the Rangers in overtime. Players in these playoffs have exhibited mental toughness throughout. But few players have shown greater mental toughness over the last two decades than 40-year-old goalie Martin Brodeur of the New Jersey Devils.
I feel Brodeur deserves to be the Mentally Tough Performer of Week 6 of the 2012 NHL Playoffs for three main reasons. First, Brodeur is 40 and most people at that age are talking about their reducing skills and old age. Not Brodeur. He has exhibited the ability to compete at the highest level into his forties.
Second, Brodeur was outstanding against the Rangers. Being out shot in the last two games after the first period pretty convincingly, Brodeur kept the Rangers at bay and gave the Devils a chance to win each game. For the series Brodeur had a 2.00 goals against average and nearly 93% save percentage. Outstanding effort under intense pressure.
Third, Brodeur gave the puck away in Game 5 to allow the Rangers to tie the game in the third period. The give away did not faze Brodeur. He bounced back to shut down the Rangers the rest of the way and then play an excellent close-out game in Game 6. Mental toughness is not about being perfect, but it is about bouncing back when you have made a crucial mistake. Brodeur came up big time after a big time mistake.