When the Florida Panthers last skated on postseason ice, they were swept away by Martin Brodeur.
A dozen years, eight coaches and a couple hundred players later, the Panthers are finally back in the Stanley Cup playoffs. And even though the Florida franchise fortunes seem to finally be changing, maybe it's fitting that Brodeur - the NHL's winningest active playoff goalie by far - will again be the guy at the other end of the rink.
New Jersey and Florida play Game 1 of their Eastern Conference first-round series on Friday night. There's a slew of subplots adding intrigue to this series, but the reality is that if the Panthers are going to advance, they'll have to do what they couldn't in 2000 - find a way to beat a goalie who has hoisted the Stanley Cup three times, owns two Olympic gold medals and has just about every record imaginable at his position.
''He's arguably one of the best playoff goalies ever,'' Panthers center Stephen Weiss said. ''Come playoff time, that's when he's...