Martin Brodeur's days as the undisputed No. 1 goaltender for the New Jersey Devils could be over.
Johan Hedberg will get the start for the Devils on Tuesday night against the Minnesota Wild. Brodeur was pulled Saturday against the Carolina Hurricanes after allowing 3 goals on 7 shots. He lasted just 8 minutes in that game, the shortest outing of his 17-season career.
Coach Jacques Lemaire explained his decision to go with Hedberg to reporters Monday: "My thinking? I went with Marty (in Carolina). We didn't win. I'll come back with (Hedberg). And we'll see after that."
Brodeur has played less than 70 games once since 1996-97, and that was only because of a biceps tendon tear he suffered early in the 2008-09 season. This season, Brodeur is 5-18-1 with a 3.15 goals-against average and .882 save percentage.
Brodeur stayed on the ice after practice Monday to work on his mechanics. What does he want to have happen at this point?
"The puck to hit me. That's the bottom line," Brodeur said. "That's what I'm trying to get back at. Positioning, working through traffic, working through anything. Just trying to get that puck to hit me.
"I know I'm able to play. It's just not going real well. It's not the end of the world."
Hedberg, who hasn't fared much better with a 5-7-1 mark, 2.93 GAA and .899 save percentage, isn't looking at Tuesday's game against the Wild as anything more than just one game.
"Not more than I'm getting prepared to play the game tomorrow," Hedberg said. "That's my focus. I want to play well and get a win. I don't want to get too far ahead of myself."
With Lemaire taking a wait-and-see approach, it could result in an even split of playing time the rest of the season.
"We've got Heddy," Brodeur said. "He's a great goalie and he's here to back me up. With me getting a little older, they're using him. That should be all the answers you need to know."