Quite simply, watching Devils goalie Martin Brodeur perform his craft is witnessing greatness in action. The Coyotes know this and are focussed on getting lots of shots on net.
|Martin Brodeur |
Brodeur, 37, continues to build his Hall-of-Fame resume this season. Through 44 games, he’s leading all goaltenders in games played (42), wins (29) and shutouts (six). He also was named to Team Canada’s roster for next month’s Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
Brodeur accomplished one of his finest feats just last month when he collected the 104th shutout of his career, breaking the NHL record for shutouts set by Terry Sawchuk in 1970.
"Things are going well," Brodeur told phoenixcoyotes.com after Wednesday's practice at Jobing.com Arena. "As a team, I think we had a great first half of the season. Lately, we've been off and on. We either shut down teams or we have a tough game. But, all in all, it's been a good ride for me and for our team."
In total, Brodeur has played in 1,041 games (all for New Jersey) and has compiled a career record of 586-310-105-24, with a 2.20 goals-against average, a .914 save percentage and 107 shutouts. His most recent shutout came Tuesday night when he stopped 51 shots to help lead his team to a 1-0 shootout victory over the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. The 51 saves were the most he ever made in any of his shutouts.
Since the Devils don’t visit the Valley every year, Thursday night’s game provides a rare opportunity for hockey fans to get a firsthand look at the future Hall of Famer in person. Brodeur said Wednesday that he plans to play vs. Phoenix despite his heavy workload on Tuesday night.
“He loves shots and loves to see if you can score on him,” said Coyotes captain Shane Doan
, who has played against Brodeur for years and with him for Team Canada in international competitions. “He never gives up on any pucks and you can’t let your guard down. If you think you have a chance to beat him, you better bear down because his athleticism is incredible. It’s a lot of fun to play against him.”
The Coyotes coaches also respect Brodeur. Head Coach Dave Tippett said he considers Brodeur one of the NHL’s all-time greatest goalies. Goaltending Coach Sean Burke, who competed against Brodeur many times during his NHL career, said Brodeur’s longevity is amazing.
“He’s incredible,” Burke said. “He’s played at such an incredibly high level for so long.”
Coyotes goaltender Jason LaBarbera
admires Brodeur’s mental approach to the job.
“He’s a really smart goalie and really good at reading plays,” LaBarbera said. “That’s what’s made him so successful.”
Devils Head Coach Jacques Lemaire is a fan of Brodeur's work ethic and professionalism.
"Marty is a very coachable player and is very easygoing," Lemaire said. "He prepares himself very well. He doesn't need an angel to tell him what to do. He knows. Sometimes a player needs somebody behind him telling him to 'do this' or 'do that.' He's mature enough that he knows what he needs to do to perform. And he's a good athlete." EDITOR’S NOTE:
to purchase tickets for Thursday’s game.