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Brodeur: 'It's just one of those years'

by Dave Lozo
NEWARK -- If Martin Brodeur is frustrated or upset with the potential for sharing the workload with Johan Hedberg the rest of this season, he didn't show it after his lengthy practice Tuesday morning at Prudential Center.

For the second day in a row, Brodeur stayed out on the ice long after his teammates returned to the locker room. He'll be on the bench Tuesday night when the Devils host the Minnesota Wild.
Did Brodeur work on anything specific while his teammates took their post-practice showers and departed the arena?

"No, not really," Brodeur said. "Just worked hard. That's it."

Brodeur said there isn't just one reason for his nightmarish season that has seen him win just five games and post a 3.15 goals-against average and .882 save percentage.

"There's different factors why," Brodeur said. "I think it's hard to pinpoint one thing. It's just one of those years, I guess."

Coach Jacques Lemaire hasn't seen any changes in Brodeur since last season, when he coached the team to an Atlantic Division championship.

"The puck goes in the net more. That's the difference I see," Lemaire said, barely getting the line out as he chuckled to himself before turning serious. "The way he practices and the way he behaves and all that, he's fine. I don't see anything different."

Brodeur said he feels better physically this year than he did last year, when he won 45 games, the second most he's ever had in a season. He said the biggest problem for him this season is the puck simply isn't hitting him.

"When you're a goalie and that doesn't happen, that's pretty tough," Brodeur said.

Wild forward John Madden, a close friend of Brodeur who spent 10 seasons as his teammate in New Jersey, was at a loss to explain what's been happening with the future Hall-of-Famer this season.

"Obviously you see the numbers and they're not near Marty's numbers, but it's a tough situation," said Madden, who also talked about what it's like for everyone on the team. "You feel for them. You know those guys personally, you know their families. You know that they take their work home with them at night, especially the way they're going the way they are.

"It just can't be a good atmosphere for them."

Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo
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