Brodeur Hurt; Devils in Trouble

Perhaps I haven’t mentioned this before, but I’m a hockey fan.

In fact, after the 1994 baseball strike, hockey surpassed baseball as the sport “love-of-my-life.”  I went to two Devils’ Stanley Cup Finals games (game one in 2000 and 2003) and made it down to Jersey for a bunch of regular season games.  Hockey was my favorite sport for a while, until they had their own labor trouble and the owners locked out the players for an entire season.

I’ve been to one hockey game since then and haven’t paid for a ticket or ANYTHING to do with the sport.  Bitter? You could say that.

I’ve slightly gotten back into the game in the last year or so and this huge news hit me close to home.  As a Devils fan and a HUGE Martin Brodeur fan (I played goalie in my own hockey career as a tribute to him and wore #31 figuring his #30 would be retired by the time I made it to the NHL), it breaks my heart that Marty looks like he’s going to be out for 3-4 months with elbow trouble.

In my opinion, Brodeur is the best goaltender in the history of the game and the most integral part of the Devils system.  Since the Devils play a variation of the neutral zone trap, defense and the goalie are very important and with Marty out for an extended period, the successful Devils are in trouble.

Since 2000, the Devils are 26-24-8 and the netminder has played no less than 67 games in his entire career in which a full season was played.  He played 78 and 77 in the last two seasons and is on the verge of breaking Patrick Roy‘s all-time wins record.  Since Brodeur hasn’t been hurt EVER, the Devils have utilized the game’s best goaltender as the backbone of their system.  It will be interesting to see how they alter game plans now with Kevin Weekes in net.

I will say this… Brodeur had the same goalie mask every year in his career until this year.  Coincidence? I dare to think differently.

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