Martin Brodeur Shows Glimpses of Old Self

Amit BatraCorrespondent IIIMay 9, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 08: Martin Brodeur #30 of the New Jersey Devils makes the second period save as Eric Wellwood #47 of the Philadelphia Flyers looks for the rebound in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Wells Fargo Center on May 8, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur really came up big against the Philadelphia Flyers in game 5.  He looked like the Brodeur of 1999. The 40-year-old has constantly been criticized this season, and at times, rightfully so. He has been asked about retirement numerous times. And now one of the best goalies of all-time is chasing his fourth Stanley Cup.

And now, thanks to Brodeur, the Devils are going back to the conference championship for the first time since 2003.  Brodeur has gone the whole way with the Devils three times in the past. Sure, Marty may not be able to be the likes of Jonathan Quick or Mike Smith anymore, but he can still make the big saves when needed.

Broduer out-dueled Philadelphia's goalie Ilya Bryzgalov. The New Jersey goalie only allowed one goal early, and made 27 saves. For the Devils to get past the Rangers or Capitals, Brodeur will need to show glimpses of old and can't allow easy goals. The Devils have had a solid offensive attack in the Philadelphia series, and easily could have had a sweep if not for a game one debacle. 

Brodeur can also equal Patrick Roy with four Stanley Cup wins. He has achieved just about everything in the sport, and to say his Hall of Fame resume can even improve at this age is remarkable. The league's oldest goaltender has still got it. 

Brodeur and the Devils are halfway there. What he is doing is giving the Devils a chance to win the game.  His numbers are good, but not remarkable.  For a guy with over 100 postseason wins and 24 postseason shutouts, Brodeur brings a ton of experience. He's been there, and that ultimately does more good than bad.

With guys like Dainius Zubrus, Zach Parise, Travis Zajac, Patrik Elias and David Clarkson stepping up offensively, Brodeur's job can be easier if the offense is clicking. When guys are attacking, Brodeur feels more comfortable. Perhaps a bit too comfortable from time to time.  

But, all in all, the old Brodeur did come out against Philadelphia. If the Devils want to raise a fourth banner, Brodeur will have to perform at this level.