What's left for Martin Brodeur

Updated: May 14, 2012, 11:24 AM ET
By Craig Custance

Sitting near Martin Brodeur in dressing rooms for two years has given New Jersey Devils backup goalie Johan Hedberg insight into Brodeur's mentality. It's a mentality that Hedberg finds inspiring.

Hedberg admits that he sometimes takes a negative approach to opportunities as a backup goalie. If he's getting a start, sometimes the thought creeps into his head that he'd better win or else he won't play again. His Devils goalie counterpart would never think like that.

"It's a positive mindset," Hedberg said. "He doesn't dwell on what might have happened in the past. He doesn't see a hurdle coming in the next game, like, 'I don't want to lose it.' It's, 'I'm going to go and win that.'"

So with Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals looming Monday night and a No. 1-seeded New York Rangers team waiting to continue its methodical march toward a championship, Brodeur doesn't see a New York team standing in his way of success. He sees opportunity. Opportunity to win another Stanley Cup.

"That's the way he's always been," Hedberg said when we chatted as the playoffs were about to begin. "He's chasing new Cups, new awards. It's pretty cool to see an athlete like that. You see it in the top tier. They don't see hurdles; they see opportunities. That's great. Everybody should feed from that. I do. It inspires me."

Part of Brodeur's legacy is already cemented. He holds the NHL record for games, wins and shutouts. This year, he had his 14th 30-win season, which pushed him past Patrick Roy. The debate for best goalie of all time is a two-goalie discussion with Roy and Brodeur at its center. But right now, Roy enjoys one significant edge.