Sep 20, 2011, 10:59 PM EDT
During a 12-season span from 1995-96 to 2007-08, New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur established a staggering track record as the NHL’s ultimate workhorse. Brodeur appeared in an astounding 877 regular season games in that time period – a run that undoubtedly helped him break the league’s record for wins. Even today, I use the phrase “Brodeurian workload” when a goalie starts a massive amount of games.
The future Hall of Famer hasn’t been quite as invincible in two of the last three seasons, though. Call it the effects of advancing age/tons of starts, the impact of a modern demanding era of netminding in the post-lockout era or sheer bad luck, but he’s been hampered by injuries in his latter years. Brodeur sandwiched a typical 2009-10 (77 games played, 45 wins, William Jennings Trophy victory) between a 31-game 08-09 and 56-game 10-11.
With his recent stretch of vulnerability in mind, one cannot blame the Devils organization for holding its collective breath when he gets hurt. Brodeur probably raised a few heart rates on Monday when he was held out practice, but the netminder downplayed the hamstring issue after returning to action on Tuesday.
Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur said he injured his hamstring “a little bit” in practice and experienced some stiffness behind his leg. That was why he was held out of Monday’s scrimmage.
Brodeur said he sat out Monday’s scrimmage as a precaution.
“Yesterday was only Day 3 of camp, so I didn’t want to push it,” Brodeur said. “If it would I have been a practice, I would have practiced.“Because it was a game, I said I’d stay out because reacting I wasn’t sure how my leg was going to feel. It was just a little stiff behind my leg. That’s it.”
Johan Hedberg performed admirably well in Brodeur’s absence at times last season, which is probably why the Devils brought “The Moose” back for 11-12. That being said, the team’s playoff hopes probably rest on Brodeur’s aging shoulders. It sounds like his hamstring injury won’t be what derails that dream.
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