Brodeur Isn’t Showing His Age By Staring Down Adversity

Martin Brodeur made his NHL debut as an emergency call up during the 1991-1992 season. Just a prospect at the time and being given a chance to start in the NHL, Brodeur would play in four NHL games that season and one playoff game.  The following season was spent mostly in minors with the Utica Devils in the American Hockey League and it wasn’t until the 1993-1994 season that Brodeur became a mainstay on the Devils roster.

Twenty years since being called up on an emergency basis, Brodeur has not shown any signs of slowing down.

As Brodeur and his Devils teammates celebrated an Eastern Conference Championship last night over the favored New York Rangers last night, it was unbelievable to think what the 40-year-old goaltender accomplished in that series:

1) He helped take down a team that had Henrik Lundqvist, who is considered to be one of the best goaltenders in the world

2) The Rangers were heavily favored and Brodeur managed to help preserve leads during key games

3) Brodeur kept up enough to defeat a Rangers team that had players who were just toddlers or newborns when Brodeur made his NHL debut 20 years ago

The Devils may have reduced Brodeur’s playing time by limiting him to a certain number of games but the veteran netminder still plays with the competitive fire that helped him win his first Stanley Cup with the Devils in 1995. Similar to taking down the Rangers in this series, Brodeur was not expected to beat a loaded and talented Detroit Red Wings club in 1995. Detroit was stacked with Steve Yzerman, a young Sergei Federov, Nicklas Lidstrom, and several others. There was no way Detroit was supposed to lose this series and Brodeur was an untested goaltender at that time.

Four games later, Brodeur and his teammates skated around the ice with the Stanley Cup in their hands. The neutral zone trap helped contribute to their success but the series proved Brodeur could look at adversity in the eye and stare it down. Brodeur knew people would be counting out his team but still skated off with a Stanley Cup victory.

Coaches and teammates have come and go since that first Stanley Cup in 1995 but the ability to stare down the adversity has not left Brodeur. The Rangers were heavily favored in this Eastern Conference Finals to take down the Devils and on paper, had more talent. The Rangers were young, they were fast and had the best goaltender in the world on their side. The only thing that stood in their way was a determined Brodeur who hasn’t lost a step and teammates who rallied behind him.


~ by jeffrsabo on May 26, 2012.

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