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|Brodeur played in an NHL-record 78 games last season -- his ninth straight season playing 70+ games.|
|Brodeur beat the Flyers on Nov. 17th for his 500th career win.|
What would you say are your biggest strengths and weaknesses as a goalie? A: Playing the puck, I used to be really good; now, I'd say I'm just average. It's weird. For the last couple years, I haven't played the puck as much, especially with the trapezoid behind the net. Considering what I was used to, I need to be better at it. It's such an important part of the game, so I need to work at it more. Rick DiPietro is the best puck-handling goalie right now. The best part of my game is definitely the blocker and the catching glove. Anything pretty close to my head or my eye, I can get it. As long as I can see it. Do you do a lot of work with videotape to scout your opponents and their tendencies? A: I don't really look much at what others do. On video, I go through the previous game with my goalie coach, every game. I'm going to play Boston next, so I'll watch the Atlanta game I just played. I'll look at every save, every time I touched the puck. It's really about me; I can only control what I can do. I have a book on everybody else. I've played the game for a long time, and I'm a big fan of the game, so I already know other players' tendencies pretty well. It's more about knowing where my own game is at. Who's the player you'd least want to see coming at you on a breakaway or in a shootout? A: [Jaromir] Jagr. He's so skilled. He can beat you with his reach, his moves, his shot. He's really talented. He's one of the guys I fear most in the league. Other than yourself, who would you say are the three best goalies in the NHL today? A: [Roberto] Luongo has to be one. DiPietro, for sure. [Henrik] Lundqvist, he'd be another one. What would you say was the best single-game performance of your career? A: Going back to 2000, I'd have to say Game 6 that year, when we won the Stanley Cup in the second overtime. Losing the one before in three overtimes, then coming back two nights later to win the Cup was a pretty good one. What was your reaction when you recently got your 500th win? A: When you take a step back and think about how many wins I've got, it's pretty impressive. But it wasn't a goal of mine. Where Patrick is, I'm trying to get to him [Editor's note: Roy has 551 wins, Brodeur has 506]. It took me four games to get the 500th, though. By the end I just wanted to get it over with. I'm writing a separate story on the 10 most underappreciated athletes in sports, and you're on the list. Why do you think the media has paid more attention to say, Roy among goalies, or, more recently, to younger players like Sidney Crosby? A: The model that we have in New Jersey follows my reputation. It's just all of us doing our thing and not worrying about much else. I go out there and play. I don't make different comments for different reasons. People that are flamboyant will get the attention a lot more. I don't like to have the added pressure if I don't have to. Staying low-key is what I enjoy most. Plus, the organization preaches a team concept. It's easier to deal with adversity with 20 guys at the same time than it is on a personal level if you put yourself out there for people to think certain things about you. I have to ask about your workload before we end this. You play 70-plus games every year, you've played almost every game so far this year, and you never get hurt. Is there some kind of special exercise regimen involved, or is it just good luck? A: It's a little about luck, sure. I try to keep myself in the best shape I can. But I also think it's the style of game I play. It's never too demanding. I don't go down that much. I don't butterfly. Plus, playing on this team for so many years, we won't get outshot 40 to whatever, so it's not as hard as what some other guys go through. When you play for good teams and you're winning, you just roll it over and play. Being the backup goalie for the Devils has to be the easiest job in the world. A: [Laughs] It's the easiest, and it's the hardest. It depends how you look at it. Jonah Keri is a regular contributor to Page 2 and the editor and co-author of "Baseball Between the Numbers." You can contact him here.