Sunday, December 18, 2011
'Brodeur's saves are like snowflakes,' those who've watched his whole career have seen 'an unending blizzard'
12/18/11, "Brodeur sees road’s end," NY Post, Larry Brooks
"There are no hints dropped from the Great Brodeur upon being asked whether this 18th season might be the final one of his NHL career.
There is, though, a vow from the 39-year-old goaltender, as good at his craft as anyone who has ever played the position, and the promise as told to Slap Slaps on Friday is this:
“I will make the decision before somebody makes it for me,” the Devils’ netminder said. “No one will have to tell me when it’s time for me to go.”
Martin Brodeur played his first game for the Devils on March 26, 1992, three years, one month and 28 days before Mariano Rivera first stepped on the mound for the Yankees; three years, two months and three days before Derek Jeter played his first game in pinstripes.
The goaltender will one day be on our sports Mount Rushmore, with Rivera, Jeter and a very select group of players who arrived as teenagers and grew into men here, all the time epitomizing professionalism while delivering multiple championships — all the while the essence of the teams they represent.
Make no mistake. Brodeur remains capable of greatness. Indeed, he has made some of his greatest saves this season by using a two-pad stack unique in this era. The estimable Michael Farber once wrote in Sports Illustrated that
- Brodeur’s saves are like snowflakes, each one unique,
and those of us around here fortunate to have watched his career in its entirety have been treated
- to an unending blizzard of them.
It is true, though, the second and third saves and the second nights of back-to-backs have become more difficult for him, and the time of 75 starts a year are history, just like all the history that Brodeur has made as a New Jersey lifer.
But the time for a decision is drawing near as his contract is in his final year. Brodeur understands that. This isn’t sneaking up on him.
“I’m not putting myself in the position where this is going to be something I wait to think about until the end so I’m not ready for it,” said Brodeur, who notched career victory 633 last night in Montreal. “After the game in Florida the other night, I thought to myself that
- it might be the last time I ever play there, and the same with other rinks."...