"It's an event to play here. Guys are concentrating on playing good hockey here. That translates to success."
-- Martin Brodeur on playing in Philadelphia
-- Where would New Jersey Devils
goalie Martin Brodeur
be without the Philadelphia Flyers
A personal-high 43 of his NHL-record 569 wins have come against the team's longstanding rival, as have a raft of memorable moments throughout his Hall of Fame career.
"I shouldn't be like that because every game is important, but rivalries are rivalries," Brodeur told NHL.com when asked if he gets more excited to play the Flyers rather than any other team.
In 75 regular-season games (74 starts) against Philadelphia, Brodeur is 43-24-6-2, with a 2.48 goals-against average and nine shutouts -- the second-most against any team he's ever faced, just behind the 10 times he's shut out the New York Islanders
He's also beaten Philadelphia twice in the playoffs, knocking them out in the 1995 and 2000 Eastern Conference Finals en route to two of the franchise's three Stanley Cups.
While he may have beaten the Flyers more than any other club in his storied personal history, he doesn't take any game against them for granted.
"I think it goes with the respect we have for that team," Brodeur said. "You take them seriously, even when they had that one year that they were not that good (2006-07) and we came in, just because it's in Philly, it's an event to play here. Guys are concentrating on playing good hockey here. That translates to success."
And Brodeur certainly has had a long history of success against the Flyers. He won his 500th NHL game at Philadelphia on Nov. 17, 2007. He broke Flyers legend Bernie Parent
's single-season wins record by winning his 48th game of the season, in Philadelphia, on April 5, 2008.
He once shut out the Flyers for more than an entire calendar year, posting three-straight shutouts and holding them scoreless for a total of 265:03 between Jan. 10, 2002 and Jan. 30, 2003, a span of five games.
Brodeur stopped the Flyers' Valeri Zelepukin
on the first penalty shot he faced, Oct. 30, 1999. And Brodeur is the only goalie in NHL history to have a game-winning goal -- which he was credited with against the Flyers, on Feb. 15, 2000, when Philadelphia's Simon Gagne
put the puck in his own net on a delayed penalty.
There's also his innate ability to quiet the rambunctious Philadelphia fan base.
"There's some rinks that get pretty loud," Brodeur said. "Here it's more nasty than anything. It's fun. It's a fun atmosphere to get in. It's these guys in the locker room against everybody. Makes it fun to play these games."
While a lot of the names and faces have changed in Philadelphia over the years, Brodeur said the style of play has remained the same, and so has the quality of competition.
"Definitely it's a big challenge every year," Brodeur said of playing Philadelphia. "The skill level and the toughness they have year in and year out, it's always interesting to play them."
Contact Adam Kimelman at firstname.lastname@example.org.