In what’s expected to be his final start as a New Jersey Devil, Martin Brodeur did what he’s done best since 1993: He won.
The Devils’ 3-2 victory over the Boston Bruins was career victory No. 688 for Brodeur, all with New Jersey. But after a very inconsistent season, and with Corey Schneider clearly poised to be the Devils’ starter next season, this was likely Marty’s farewell – and his teammates and fans treated it as such with an emotional postgame moment:
Patrik Elias was the one who encouraged that Brodeur head out there, saying he deserved it.
Here’s Brodeur speaking to the crowd after the game:
After the game, Brodeur had some interesting comments about the past season and the future, via Tom Gulitti.
On the two-headed goalie monster this season:
"The position the coaching staff was in with having two goalie No. 1, just doesn’t work. It didn’t work in Vancouver. It didn’t work here too good. We didn’t make the playoffs."
"It’s important when you have 1 good goalie you’ve got to give him the bulk of the work and Schneids will get that from now on.”
Someone must have seen his save percentage this season …
Here’s Brodeur on free agency:
“I think [about] a ballpark of an amount of games that I’ll be able to play. That’s the bottom line. I don’t want to prepare myself like I did this summer and get ready for a great season and sit on the bench. But if I’m ready for 30 games next year in an organization and the Devils can’t give me that that’s going to be something that will probably make my decision easier or harder.”
“The region I would want to go, usually I would like to have a sun that’s more than four months a year. So, there’s a lot of places. But, you know what, it’s something that for me that just the thought about playing the Devils would kill me. That’s one of the things that bothers me the most.”
I think there’s a chance Brodeur retires a Devil, but I also think there’s an equal chance a team pays Brodeur to share their crease and work as a mentor for a young goaltender.
Whatever the case, it shouldn’t be in New Jersey. It’s Schneider’s crease, and Sunday was a fitting tribute to what Brodeur means to the franchise. Until his number hangs from the rafters, when it’s revisited again.