You looked down at the ice for one final time watching to see if there would be anything different about the way Martin Brodeur would respond to this victory, watched to see if the goaltender would do anything special on his way to the locker room after being congratulated at the Rock by teammates named Mark Fayne, Jaromir Jagr and Stephen Gionta the way he was so many times at the Meadowlands by Devils named Scott Stevens, John MacLean and Brian Gionta.

Watched to see if he would do anything following this 4-3 victory over the Red Wings that could be remotely as special as what he has done in a New Jersey uniform for two decades.

But there was nothing different about this 684th victory celebration of Brodeur’s career, nothing that would have told a visitor from another planet this night might have been the most different of all of them.

And why was this night different from all other nights?

Because it might well have been Brodeur’s last night as a Devil.

The all-time goaltender kept his intentions as hidden as if he were still behind a mask when asked after the game if he had sought or would accept a trade before Wednesday’s deadline. Brodeur said he has had a series of conversations with general manager Lou Lamoriello, the contents of which he would not reveal.

We do know this, however: Brodeur wants to play and he wants to play a lot more than he has this calendar year, having started only three of 16 games immediately preceding last Saturday’s match against the Islanders.