|Henrique having fun, winning games|
|Written by Andrew Knoll|
|Thursday, 07 June 2012 12:29|
For every team that has success in the Stanley Cup playoffs, there is at least one player that raises their game to step up when the team needs them most. For the Devils, that player has been Adam Henrique, who is winning games and having fun while doing it.LOS ANGELES – It was supposed to be the most glorious night in Los Angeles Kings franchise history, but New Jersey Devils rookie Adam Henrique has had a way of stealing the show.
In the first round, he said adios to Miami with a Game 7 game-winner against the Florida Panthers. In the Eastern Conference Final, he bid farewell to Broadway with an overtime winner in Game 6 to eliminate the New York Rangers.
Now, in “Hockeywood,” his late marker saved the Devils' season.
“You know, everybody wants to be out there in those situations,” Henrique said. "You want to be counted on by your teammates, your coaches. I just play. I'm not thinking about what's going to happen if I score, if I don't score. I'm just a kid playing hockey, having some fun.”
Henrique buzzed around the puck all night, turning in arguably the best performance of any New Jersey forward even before he scored the game-winning goal. He collected a David Clarkson cross-ice pass and transitioned fluidly from his skate to his stick to the top shelf above the seemingly impenetrable Jonathan Quick’s blocker.
“When you want to play at this level and want to be in the Final you have to have players like that,” said veteran Petr Sykora, a timely addition to the Devils lineup in Game
4. “Henrique has been there for us the whole playoffs and the whole season. He’s that kind of player who will score some huge goals for us in this playoffs and hopefully he is going to score a couple more along the way.”
Martin Brodeur was the other star of the game for the Devils, stopping 22 of 23 shots he faced. The 40-year-old, playing in his 203rd playoff game, sung the praises of therookie playing in his 22nd postseason contest
“These playoffs, it's obvious the goals he has scored are important goals for this team,” Brodeur said. “It's pretty amazing to see at that young age to be able to come in and really be an impact the way that he is. Even though he doesn't score all the time, he does a lot of good things on the ice.”
For Henrique, who sported a freshly fashioned Freddy Mercury-esque playoff ‘stache, a much looser attitude than that of his veteran counterparts has maintained his playoff prowess.
“It's fun," Henrique said. "This is where every kid dreams of playing one day. We know it's going to be a tough ask to come back."
“There's no quit in the group in here. We know we can do it. We know we can put four together and come back.”
Photos by Getty Images
|Last Updated on Thursday, 07 June 2012 06:32|