LOS ANGELES -- As the Devils enter Game 6 of the Stanley Cup final Monday night -- the team’s 106th game this season -- 40-year-old goaltender Martin Brodeur's play continues to defy expectation, reason or age.
His transcendent performance this postseason, in which he has stolen the spotlight in successive series from Vezina finalist Henrik Lundqvist and Jonathan Quick, has given the Devils both renewed energy and a settling steadiness needed to keep their comeback hopes alive.
He has surrendered just two goals in the past two games to help the Devils whittle a 3-0 series deficit to one game.
“I shouldn’t say that any of us are really surprised,” said captain Zach Parise. “He’s played really well for us all year. When you look at his age, it makes it that much more impressive.”
Game 5 was yet another display that he has more than enough left in the tank to nail down his fourth Stanley Cup. Brodeur kept the Devils afloat during a poor first period and helped them preserve the lead from that point on, stacking the pads to rob Jarret Stoll on a second-period breakaway in one particularly memorable save.
“The way he’s doing it, it’s been awesome,” Parise said. “He’s done what the team asks. You ask of a goalie to give your team a chance to win. I think he really won the last game for us, I really do. He made big saves when we weren’t playing well and bailed us a lot. He’s played great for us all playoffs.”
His ability to find another gear when the Devils need him most has managed to mystify even some of the teammates that have known him the longest.
“He has those exceptional saves in a game when you just sit back and say, ‘Wow’, “ said veteran forward Patrik Elias, who has played with Brodeur since the mid-90s.
Brodeur isn’t the young netminder he was when he won his first Stanley Cup back in 1995, but he’s still playing like one.