NEWARK, N.J. -- Glenn "Chico" Resch has watched with great enthusiasm from the broadcast booth most of the two decades that New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur has played with the organization.
Resch, 65, announced Friday that he would be retiring as Devils television analyst on MSG Network after 18 seasons. His final telecast is Sunday afternoon when the Devils play host to the Boston Bruins.
Goalie - NJD
GAA: 2.52 | SVP: 0.901
It might also mark Brodeur's last game as a member of the Devils. Brodeur, who made his NHL debut against the Bruins on March 26, 1992, has made public his desire to continue playing beyond this season and if that means with another organization, so be it. He will become an unrestricted free agent in July.
Resch, who spent 14 years playing in the NHL and six as a coach and scout, played in 571 career games with the New York Islanders, Colorado Rockies, Devils and Philadelphia Flyers.
NHL.com recently caught up with Resch to gain his retrospective on the future Hall of Fame goalie. As expected, Resch had glowing reviews.
"He never got flustered or rattled," Resch told NHL.com. "He never stays unsettled for very long and his recovery time in difficult situations was shorter than most. He had a goalie coach in Jacques Caron who fitted Marty's mindset and style when he was young. He had a team surrounding him that helped him grow into developing his style as much as anyone could."
That style helped Brodeur become the League's frontrunner at the position in career games (1,258), wins (687), shutouts (124), consecutive 20-win seasons (12), consecutive 30-win seasons (12) and consecutive 40-win seasons (three).
"Marty had a general manager [Lou Lamoriello] who said that his team was going to protect the goalie first and work out from there," Resch said. "You've got all that and he's got eyes that most goalies don't have finding the puck. When pucks were shot, he attacked it. A lot of goalies see the puck but are putting themselves in a position to block it.
"Marty doesn't just deflect it into the corner, he attacks the puck, knocks it up the blue line, bangs it out and away they go."
Resch acknowledged that whenever he chats with goalies prior to every game, he asks them about Brodeur and if there is something they always wondered about the 41 year old.
"The biggest question asked is how does he do what he is doing where he could stand up wherever the puck was and still be quick enough to make the save," Resch said. "When you watch a guy like [Columbus Blue Jackets] goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, he has to drop in the butterfly because he'll be beat five hole. Marty seldom got beat five hole or to the far side.
"Goalies butterfly because they want to take away those corners but you can't stand in a strict butterfly or else they'll shoot through the legs. Marty broke the mold; he could stand up and click his heels together and stop the five hole shot or if it went to the far side, he'd kick out that way. That's what goalies are always amazed about."
It's something that's fascinated Resch.
"Most goalies can't be in a standup style, cover the five hole and cover the corners," he continued. "He's the only goalie I've seen that could do that. Tim Thomas maybe, but he does it a little bit. The uniqueness of Marty's style to go along with his puck handling and assists; it's something to behold."
Then there's the respect that Devils management has had for Brodeur. Resch pointed to the fact that Lamoriello has allowed Brodeur to "say things that other players probably couldn't during his time in New Jersey."
"Of all the players with the Devils, he's the one who could say things; he could be honest," Resch said. "Lou and the coaches trusted that what he said wouldn't be disruptive to the other teams or put someone in a difficult situation. I liked his honestly, and if there was some sort of intimidation, he never succumbed to that. To be able to do that, you have to be great."
At a time when it appears the Devils are moving in the direction of Cory Schneider as their clear-cut No. 1 goalie of the future, Resch said Brodeur is privy to the situation.
"Marty knows the big picture in New Jersey," Resch said. "He knows having given up a very good pick for Cory Schneider [at the 2013 NHL Draft] was big. He knows Cory is in the prime of his career right now and, just like Marty, wants to play."
Brodeur will be playing his 39th game of 2013-14 on Sunday. That would mark his fewest games played over a full 82-game season since a torn distal biceps tendon, the first major injury of his career, in 2008-09 limited him to 31.
"He realizes his time as the go-to goalie in New Jersey has gone and he's smart enough to see that but I also think he also recognizes he's doing Cory Schneider a favor," Resch said. "Goalies know; we're in a fraternity. He's thinking, 'If I'm not here, that relives Cory Schneider of the pressure thinking I'm playing.' Goalies respect goalies so much; I think there are so many factors at different levels."
"I think Marty has always done everything taking the big picture into consideration."