Martin Brodeur is old. Well, old for a hockey player. If you haven’t heard this lately, you probably don’t have the internet. Or a TV. Or you just don’t care about hockey. Anyway, we all know that Brodeur is becoming what I hesitate to call an “ageless wonder”. I hesitate because it’s a stupid phrase but it kind of applies, even though he’s been showing his age for a few years now. So maybe it doesn’t apply. Whatever.
We know that Brodeur is old because the media keeps telling us (hypocrisy!) and I’m half surprised that we haven’t seen a billion comparisons between Brodeur and Jamie Moyer. I like to imagine they hang out at the Old Athletes Country Club and have old man arguments.
“Paint my chicken coop!”
Anyway, I bring up Brodeur because, obviously, his Devils just took down the once kind of invincible-looking Flyers in five games and Brodeur almost looked like his old self. And, personally, it was kind of great to see.
From a personal stand point, I will always have a very large place in my heart for Marty. Without him, I probably wouldn’t be the hockey fan I am today. I never really grew up as a puck head; I was late to that party. I was a baseball kid. I enjoyed hockey, sure, but it was never really my thing. Compound that with growing up in Toronto in the early 90s and, with the Jays winning twice and me being an impressionable child, my allegiances were pretty set in stone. I always enjoyed the Leafs and would root for them wholeheartedly, but I wasn’t as invested as I was in the Jays or, for a period of time, even the Raptors (I was a stupid child).
Brodeur comes into play because the hockey event that really shaped me into a die-hard was the 2002 Olympics and, to a lesser extent, the 1996 World Cup of Hockey. Both these teams were lead in goal by Brodeur and, even though the Cup team lost in the final, the semi-final game against Sweden will always be one of my most cherished hockey memories (possibly because I was 8 and watching it in a bar. Don’t ask.)
But the Olympics changed everything for me. It’s impossible to live in Canada and not get swept up by hockey in the Olympics, especially after watching your city’s team lose for so long. It was kind of like “hey, a chance to cheer, cool.” Brodeur owned that tournament. Well, he owned everything after the preliminary round, but, point is: my admiration for the man was sealed as the gold medal was placed around his neck.
I was devastated to watch him in 2010, his baseball swing/smack the puck forward from his own goal monstrosity in the round robin game against the United States felt like I was watching a once great player’s career ending in front of me. That was such a ridiculously dumb play; one that a younger Brodeur would never have made that I thought this was it. The end of the great Marty.
All of this is kind of a rambling, roundabout way of saying that I couldn’t be happier for Brodeur for the success they’re seeing this year. I still kind of hate the Devils, and always will (though not as much as the Flyers, so this was still fun), but I absolutely wouldn’t mind seeing Brodeur hoist the cup one more time. Provided he doesn’t throw out his hip doing so (that’s the last one, I promise).
Links To The Past
- Brodeur wasn’t the only older guy in the Devils/Flyers series. I’d make more of a joke but I think I’ve used up all my old people puns for the next couple hours. Oh, yeah, it’s Jagr, by the way. (Puck Daddy)
- You know how the Flyers threw a whole bunch of money at their “shitty goalies in the playoffs” problem and hoped it would go away? It didn’t. (ESPN)
- There were a lot of hopes for the Flyers going into this series. They didn’t live up to them so much cause they, you know, lost. (Philly.com)
- The Leafs lost Rick Dudley to the Canadiens. This might not be such a terrible thing. (The Leafs Nation)
- If you’re a fan of a Canadian hockey team and want to feel better about the fate that befell your beloved squad, you probably shouldn’t read this. (Down Goes Brown)
- The Kings are getting back to work as they get ready to take on the Coyotes. I really can’t wait to watch seven 1-0 games. But, seriously, this series could be pretty awesome. (The Hockey News)
- The Capitals kind of have to win tonight. It’d be pretty bad for them if they didn’t. (Washington Post)
- Anton Stralman wasn’t good enough to make the Devils this year. If things work out, he might end up eliminating them. Hockey is weird. (New York Times)
- JESUS. Fucking ow.