NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - For the past 16-plus seasons, playing hockey has been fun for New Jersey Devils goaltender Marty Brodeur.
It was a sport he loved to play. He earned a bundle of money doing it, and the Devils always were a threat to win it all.
Talk hockey with Brodeur these days, however, and that ever-present smile isn't always there.
For the first time in his long career, the three-time Stanley Cup-champion Devils are no longer competitive and their streak of making the playoffs for 13 consecutive years is in serious jeopardy. They are 17 points out of a playoff berth.
This could be the year of the Devils' demise, and it's only 29 games into season.