Scott Niedermayer wins family feud
Tuesday, June 10, 2003
East Rutherford, N.J. The Stanley Cup will be going back to the Niedermayer home in Cranbrook, B.C. And for the third time, Scott Niedermayer will be carrying it.
Scott and the New Jersey Devils won their third Cup on Monday night beating brother Rob and the Anaheim Mighty Ducks 3-0 in Game 7 of the final.
"That was the hardest part," Scott said on the ice after the game.
When they met in the handshake line, the brothers embraced. Scott patted Rob on the arm and spoke into his ear as Rob nodded.
"I really didn't know what to say," Scott said. "I wish he could've been with us, carrying the trophy around. I just told him I was proud of him."
They were the first brothers to face off in the finals since Boston's Terry Reardon and Montreal's Kenny Reardon in 1946.
"It wasn't a distraction for me, it wasn't a distraction for him," Rob said. "We said before that we weren't going to let that happen. We were just going to treat each other as regular players.
"It's pretty special to play against your brother in the finals."
Before the series began, Carol Niedermayer said she was rooting for the Ducks and younger son Rob because he has never won the Stanley Cup. But she will instead have to celebrate with Scott, who will have his name etched on the trophy for the third time in nine years.
"I got a lot of grief from my teammates," Scott said before Game 1. "It might backfire on my mom ... hopefully, my brother will have another chance somewhere down the road."
Scott had a big hand in wrecking this chance for his brother by assisting on the first two goals in the series finale.
"He played great for them, he was a big reason why they won," Rob said.
Each played well throughout the seven games.
Rob, a centre, was a big part of the Ducks' defensive-minded system that fuelled their surprising run to the finals.
His only two points of the series came on assists in Games 5 and 6. His career had stalled in Florida and Calgary, but it received a jumpstart when he was dealt to Anaheim in March.
"He played as well and as hard as anybody on the ice out there, and it was tough for sure," Scott said.
Rob's only other appearance in the final was in 1996 when Florida was swept by Colorado.
Scott has been part of the core of the Devils that forged a mini-dynasty since 1995. He led defencemen in scoring this post-season with 18 points, 16 on assists, including five against the Ducks.
It was the second time the brothers met in the playoffs and Scott has won both times. En route to their second Cup, the Devils swept Rob and Florida in the first round in 2000.
Before Monday's series-ender, both brothers reflected on what would be said between the two once some time passed. The pair did talk during the series but not in the final days as the matchup tightened and headed toward an all-or-nothing conclusion.
"I don't think right after it's over we'll be sitting down and having a good long conversation," Scott said Monday morning.
Rob agreed, and didn't know who would make the next phone call.
"I mean, the playoffs are a very emotionally draining journey when you go through it," he said. "We both fought very hard to get to this point."