Martin Brodeur remembers thinking, "I had enough."
The Devils goaltender wasn't alone. The team was having a miserable season and it would have been difficult to find more than a handful of players on the roster who could claim they were playing anywhere near the level expected of them.
Brodeur hit his personal rock bottom on New Year's Day in Raleigh, N.C. He lasted only eight minutes and gave up three goals on seven shots before being pulled in a 6-3 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes. It was the third time in six starts Brodeur had not completed a game he started.
"That was I had enough. I had enough of everything," said Brodeur, who is in line to start his 12th consecutive game tonight in Boston. "The situation wasn't great. In my head, I knew exactly what my plan was."
Things have turned around dramatically for Brodeur and the Devils since then. In his past 22 appearances, Brodeur is 16-4-1 with a 1.68 goals-against average, a .927 save percentage and two shutouts, including a 3-0 victory in Columbus on Sunday. In the process, he has lowered his GAA to 2.45 and raised his save percentage to .901.
Those season numbers – along with his 21-22-2 record – are hardly Brodeur-like, but they're far more respectable than where they stood after his brief, forgettable outing in Raleigh. The loss left Brodeur's season record at 5-18-1 with a 3.15 GAA, .882 save percentage and three shutouts in 27 appearances.
"I knew I wasn't doing well," he said. "I'm probably my worst critic. It's not a fun thing that I went through, but you have to take it like a man."
Back on horse, Martin Brodeur keeps Devils in game
Bergen Record | Mar 22