Martin Brodeur returned to his hallowed place between the pipes for the New Jersey Devils one week ago, and it could not have come at a more pressing time. A shoulder injury has rendered winger Ilya Kovalchuk to the sidelines, and he joins Dainius Zubrus and Alexei Ponikarovsky to form a full line of injured top-six forwards.
Henrik Tallinder, Stephen Gionta and captain Bryce Salvador are banged up as well. If Brodeur took any longer to recover, the Devils might have been doomed to miss the playoffs a year after reaching the Stanley Cup finals.
But his stabilizing presence and puck-stopping ability have returned, and New Jersey is 2-0-1 since, with Brodeur starting all three contests. Although this is a small sample size, the 40-year-old appears to have picked up where he left off.
In this slideshow, I'll grade his performance in all three games and dissect the goal he was credited with against the Carolina Hurricanes in his first game back.