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March 25, 2019
Martin Brodeur Conference Call
MARTIN BRODEUR: Well, I hope so. I think you have to take every positive you can from an injury. Sometimes it's hard to have them. But definitely not playing as many games, you know, we'll see what that translates into, what kind of success in the playoffs.
Last time I haven't played a lot was in '95 when we had a lockout, so it was for different reasons. But it definitely was a pretty good year for us.
MARTIN BRODEUR: Well, you know, the first month was really hard because I was in a cast and I was in a brace, so I didn't really do much. I think the second month was probably the toughest one because I was able to function a little bit, but not allowed yet to work out or do anything.
I started to do the rehab, as far as just going to a therapist, start moving my arm a little more. When the new year came, I think it was where it was more interesting for me. I got back in the gym, got back working out, was doing a lot more rehab work. Slowly I was able to get back on the ice and start skating.
Two weeks prior to my comeback was probably the toughest because I felt really good, but knowing that I wasn't a hundred percent yet. The team was traveling a lot, so it made it a little hard.
It was a long process, something that hopefully I'll never have to go through again.
MARTIN BRODEUR: Well, it is a little bit. I think when you're pretty comfortable in your situation, as far as where you are in the standings and all, you always kind of say, Well, what's your team going to do? You're really worried about yourself more than anything else. Usually when you do well, they don't want to change much of the chemistry of the team.
So I think the pressure of maybe making changes is a little different than when you're in the seven, eight spot, even on the outside looking in. You're going in and sometimes GMs are trying to make a big bang to see if they can jolt the rest of the season.
Definitely for us it's maybe a little different this year because we don't have to fight for that playoff spot -- not right now anyway.
MARTIN BRODEUR: I think we've answered a lot of different things in the off-season with getting some size in Bobby Holik, Brian Rolston, Bryce Salvador. In the middle of the season added Brendan Shanahan for some depth and size also. So we did do a lot of tweaking during the off-season that came to the reason why we're having a successful season. The emergence of Zach Parise makes a big difference.
I don't know what the answer to that is. I think Lou is going to make the right decision. He always does. We definitely feel we have a great opportunity to do well. Still a lot of games to go, but we feel good about our situation. So sometimes, you know, you'll make the decision if we need somebody or not.
MARTIN BRODEUR: It's never comfortable to hear that. When people tell you stuff like that, you don't like to believe it. It's understandable. I think I'm going to go and try to accomplish some pretty big milestones or establish some records. I mean, it's normal that people will talk about it.
But I don't think as an athlete you can see yourself like that. I think if you do, it's not the right way to approach who you are, where you want to be. I think you really have to stay humble when these things are approaching.
MARTIN BRODEUR: Your first question, I think Zach, people are starting to recognize his talent. We've had him for a few years in New Jersey. I think this year is probably the first year that I think his responsibility as a player has grown big time. He's killing penalties, doing a lot of different things. I think it just translates in him being a more complete player.
He went to the All-Star Game this year and I think he'll be a permanent guy every year. He'll be a shoo-in to be one of the top players in the league just because of how he is, how he conducts himself. He's really come along really well with all the responsibility the team has given him.
Your second question, you know, through the years, you had teams, you play with what you have. I think we always did a great job with the coaching staff that was in place in New Jersey, always to try to maximize what we had. Sometimes we had to play defensively to be successful and other times, like in 2000, it was okay to score goals, don't match up and fight fire with fire when we had one of the greatest lines with Arnott, Sykora, Elias, at that time was one of the best lines in the league.
So this year is similar. We feel we have the horses to go out and score goals. But we're still a good defensive team. Nobody wants on our team to really take away from what we do defensively and go through some tough stretches on our defense. We concentrate on playing well and we believe the depth and the size of our hockey club will help us do the right things in the offensive zone when the defensive zone is taken care of.
MARTIN BRODEUR: I think the fact that for a lot of years we didn't score many goals, sometimes I had to win the game 1-0. It's all about winning the game. When you're in a tight game, it's easier for everybody to make a commitment, knowing the next goal we can go to overtime. I think guys are bearing down a lot more.
It's a pride factor. In our organization, for the longest time, even now, they take a lot of pride in shutting down teams. People blamed us about playing defensively, but we loved it, people said that about us. We really took a lot of pride in playing defensively.
So when you get to these games, 4 or 5-0, it's easy to score a lot of times because your team is not concentrated on playing well the game, you just want goals. That's not the philosophy we've had in New Jersey.
MARTIN BRODEUR: Well, it was pretty nice the other night when we played against Colorado. I've been for so long playing in the same organization. Just to be back, it was nice just the way they welcomed me, applauding me for every save I made, every time I touched the puck. It's funny. I said after the game, it's usually on the sarcastic side when a goalie stops a puck from a redline.
But it's been a great relationship. I think our fans, especially in the last couple years with the new building, it's been a great turnaround. A lot of young people going out to the games. We've been drawing real well in our new building. It's kind of a nice time right now.
MARTIN BRODEUR: Well, you know, a little bit. Everybody's been talking about it. Every time I move closer to them, people are mentioning it. It's hard not to think about it.
But, again, I'm concentrated on getting my game to the level that I need to be when the playoffs come. It's nice. I think it's a great start for me. Especially coming back from an injury I didn't expect. I didn't have much expectation about the way I would come back and how quickly I was able to get some wins.
But definitely now, you know, being on the eve of it, it's always something that will be in the back of my mind. Like I said, hopefully we'll do it really quick so we can move on.
MARTIN BRODEUR: You know, not much. Not as much as I should actually. I think his name has been brought up to me so much that definitely it's something that I will do in the next couple weeks.
MARTIN BRODEUR: No, not really. Like I said earlier, like my expectations weren't that big. I just wanted to go out and feel good and be second nature again playing hockey. It's been for so long that I haven't played games, I was a little worried how I was going to feel in there.
After the first game, that was pretty tough. Second and third game, I just felt natural in there. I felt that I belonged, you know, in the games and stuff.
But the expectation for me was just having fun again. I'm coming into a good hockey club in New Jersey and I want to follow the path of what these guys started building all year long.
MARTIN BRODEUR: I think it was definitely a great surprise to everybody. I think Scott came in, and it was a tough situation. I think everybody pegged on Kevin Weekes to be the guy to take the work load. Clemmer got his chance to play and played real well and didn't give a chance to Weekesy because he played so well.
That definitely made a difference in the way I was able to come back. I didn't have to worry about the positioning of my team. I think he took care of that. I wish him the best moving forward now.
MARTIN BRODEUR: Not much because I think just because of the nature of my injury, it's the elbow. It's not like your knees or your groin or your hip that really can kind of tweak your mobility or whatever as a goalie that you need a lot. So I didn't have that doubt that much.
You know what, the doctors, they kept on telling me, Marty, you'll see in a week you'll feel like that, in two months you'll be like that. They were right on the dot about everything they talked about. They made me feel real confident that I was going to be able to go back healthy.
After that, it's about your game. I think that's where the doubt comes in a little more. It's like when you come in, it's four months, these guys have been playing high-paced hockey for the last four months. The playoffs are coming. There's a big push. So for me it was like the level of play where I was going to be at.
I'm still looking at it to be a challenge for me. Even though I've won my first three games, I still want to make sure I take baby steps towards getting where I'm supposed to be.
MARTIN BRODEUR: I don't know. I think for me the most important one would be the wins. I think when you play hockey, you play to win. When you win, everybody's happy. That's the bottom line.
Shutouts, I think if you win enough, you'll have shutouts. You'll have a chance to creep up on that record. I've been fortunate enough to play on good teams and that's the reason why I'm approaching both records.
But, again, the importance of them are not too big a thing for me. Especially like the shutout one, that one just happened. It's hard. You don't get up in the morning and say, I'm going to shut them down. You get up and say, I want to win this game. That's sometimes the way you have to go through it.
MARTIN BRODEUR: I don't know. I think it's been a good organization to play for. I think they care about the way they play hockey. Defensively, we've been as good a team in the league in the past 15 years or so.
Definitely I think the importance of paying attention to details all the time, being accountable for everything you do, that comes from our coaching staff and definitely from our general manager. I've had a great relationship with my goalie coach all these years, and he's been goalie coach also with Clemmers and Weekesy and Mike Dunham. There's a lot of guys that came through and did well with our hockey club also.
MARTIN BRODEUR: I think it's important. You always want to make your life a lot easier. I think now, you know, being our second year in this building, I think now it's home to us. It's what we're used to go to every day. Practice or game is the same thing for us. Just feel comfortable.
The support of our fans has been unbelievable. I know it's not a Canadian team, don't get me wrong, a club like Montréal or Toronto or other places like that. But, you know, I think it's coming along real well. Even our fans [are] calling the Rock being a home place for them also.
MARTIN BRODEUR: You know, it's a long ways from now. But it's in my mind. I'd love to participate at the Olympics, there's no doubt about that. I've been in three of them so far and had great memories from it and definitely would like to add some more. Especially being in Canada, it would be an awesome place for me to be.
We'll see. They'll make the decision when it comes down to it. But I concentrated last summer to get myself -- knowing I'm getting a little older, you got to prepare yourself differently. So I definitely worked really hard last summer to be in great shape, coming into training camp, wanting to have a good season.
Definitely got disrupted a little bit with my injury, but got back at it early this new year, working out, getting back in the best shape I can to finish the season strong.
Again, these are things that are out of my control, what people think or if I'm going to get picked or not. But definitely I'll welcome the challenge to be part of the Canadian team again.
MARTIN BRODEUR: A little bit. I was surprised how quickly I felt good in the net. I thought it was going to take me a little longer to really feel at ease, not being nervous, not worry about making decisions, playing the puck, doing different things. I thought it was going to take a little longer to get used to it.
I've had some great practices. You know, games [are] different. After my first game, I didn't feel like my old self. It took me that one game. I came in against the Panthers and felt really good. Definitely yesterday I felt good also.
Yeah, it was a little bit surprising to a certain extent, like I said, because my expectation, I didn't know. I don't have anything to fall back on because it's the first time that I have done it.
MARTIN BRODEUR: Well, you know, these guys, you got to give them a lot of credit. They've been playing really good hockey all year long. I've noticed that for me in the last three games, you know, how fast we are. I'm mobile. We get the pucks. We're making plays. We have good support.
Our defense, we don't rely on two or three like top players like we used to, with Niedermayer, Stevens, all these guys. It's a five-man unit the way we play defensively. Our system gives us a great opportunity to support each other in our own zone.
I think these guys, you know, they've been playing together all year now, and you can see the cohesiveness has set in in their plays. There's a lot of good communication between each other. It's been pretty nice for me anyway to play behind them.
MARTIN BRODEUR: I was looking at it. He's definitely got a shot at it. He's got lots of games left. You still got to win them. But I think definitely in Calgary, it's a pretty good hockey club there, so he'll have a great chance.
That's what it is. You got to play a lot of games if you want to get to that number. That's the bottom line. It's almost impossible if you play 60, 65 games, to be able to break that record. I've done it with playing over I don't know exactly the amount of games, but it was definitely way over 70 games. Kipper has been doing that for a lot of years.
For me, I appreciate that. I appreciate a goalie that wants to be in the net, wants to be successful every single day. I think he's definitely on his way of getting close or beating my record. Hopefully he'll get 50. I think it will be a great mark for a goaltender to get.
MARTIN BRODEUR: Well, you know what, I think he's got to play until he can't. I think when you're a competitor, you play to win games.