He has the most wins, most shutouts, most games played, and most minutes played by an NHL goaltender in the history of the league. The question is, why is he still continuing to play in every single game in the regular season? Martin Brodeur has started in twenty straight games and thirty-seven out of forty on the season. He is thirty five years old and no longer in the prime of his career.
So why is this occurring?
This question is being asked by many because he is coming off an injury plagued season last year in which he played mostly in the second half. He has looked tired and burnt-out in every playoff year since 2003, the last time the Devils won a Stanley Cup and made it past the second round. Brodeur has accomplished so much in the NHL that it is time for him to cut back on his playing time, he needs to know when to give it a rest.
If Canada wants to have any shot at winning gold in the 2010 Winter Olympics, coming up this February, Brodeur will be their number one starter. That means he could be playing an additional five to seven unnecessary games, which could add to his fatigue. There is also a further risk of injury, so how do you think he will hold up when he returns from Vancouver in March after playing virtually the entire first half of the NHL season combined with that?
It is time to give Yann Danis more playing time. On the league worst and terrible defensively New York Islanders last season, Danis was able to compile a 10-17-3 record with a very good goals against average of 2.86 and an even better save percentage of .910. He also happens to be 3-0-0 this season in the limited amount of starts he has been given.
At this stage in Brodeur's career, he should not be playing as many games as he has been playing. The body can only take so much over the years as he has started 72 or more games in nine out of the last ten seasons. He would have done it last year also, if not for a freak injury.
But not all blame should be on Brodeur; every coach he has ever had has always given in to his demands to be the starter every night. As a Stanley Cup winning coach he should recognize that he needs to stand up to Brodeur and sit him for a certain number of games whether he likes it or not.
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