Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 03/26/07 at 06:39 PM ET
Martin Brodeur took part in an NHL tele-conference today…
Q. Out here in Vancouver, we wonder how Luongo can play every night. You’ve done it many times virtually playing every night. Do you get into a zone that you just want to be in there every single game?
MARTIN BRODEUR: Well, yeah, I think so. I think when you start playing a lot of games, I think you’re overcoming a lot of the ups and downs of the hockey season. Sometimes when you do take breaks, everything you do is a little magnified.
When you go in, bad game, good game, lucky game, it doesn’t matter. You have that confidence that you’re going to go out there the next time and do it again. I think it makes your season go through a lot easier as far as winning and stuff like that.
That’s what I found. For me playing lots of games, you don’t feel when you lose a couple games that you sit back for a week and wait for your next start; you just go right at it and get it over with and feel good about it.
I think if your body and your mental game is good enough to do it, I think it’s great.
Q. I enjoyed your book very much. I know Stanley Cups are what drives you. Chasing records is fun for you as well. Talk about the Sawchuk record. If that one falls, how important will that one be for you?
MARTIN BRODEUR: At the end of the day, it’s all about winning. I figure if I win a lot of games, I’ll get close to that one if it ever happens.
I think it’s pretty amazing, what he accomplished throughout his career, a lot of shut-outs, something I never really expected in my career to be able to have, even though there were records about it, whatever. I think the older you get, the more success you’re getting, I think you’re coming close to these kind of milestones or records.
I think they’re great. It means you’re moving in the right direction when you get close to them.
Q. On records, Bernie Parent did his without the overtime format. Do you sort of separate the two records?
MARTIN BRODEUR: Well, you have to I think. I’ve been close I think with 10 games to go in the past when there was the same system. It’s hard to get. Even though we’re four games away here, we have like seven games to go. Who knows if we’re going to play them all. It’s going to be tough to get it.
I think definitely you have to, to a certain extent, because I don’t think it’s fair for some of the goalies that have records or whatever to be compared. We have no choice. It’s not like we’re controlling it. We’re just trying to do our best. The records are there to be broken. Definitely it’s a big help with having shootouts now.
Q. Do you think goalies should be considered for the most valuable player in the league? They seem to get the bad rap over the years because they have their own award. And, secondly, are you surprised that Pittsburgh is giving you so much trouble to win that division?
MARTIN BRODEUR: I think goalies are important to their hockey club. I don’t think there should be a different award. I know we have our own award as far as best goalies. Definitely I think you become a big part of your team as far as being valuable to it.
I know in the history there’s not many guys that got that award. I think only three altogether. But, I mean, these days you see the goalies are so important to their hockey club, I think they would be well-deserved to win it, as much as a forward.
The second question, I mean, I think the Penguins have been really tough. After Christmas, they’ve been winning so consistently. It was amazing when they were doing it early, they were so young, you figure they’re going to break eventually. I think they got great support from their older players, and they added a few of them at the trade deadline. For them, it’s pretty impressive.
Definitely we had a great run. Definitely we kind of had a little hiccup with injuries and stuff with the last few weeks. They’re a really good team, a real solid hockey team.
Q. The last couple of playoff appearances that the Devils have made, I think you had a first-round exit, last year you had a second-round exit. What does the team have to do better to ensure you don’t have another early exit?
MARTIN BRODEUR: I think it’s just to be—I mean, every year you think you get the right recipe to make it happen. Sometimes it’s all about matchups. It’s how you’re going to feel when the playoffs start. Especially when you get through that first round, I think it’s an important round.
But, again, I think your depth is where I think it’s important. I think in our hockey club, when we are healthy, we do have that depth that could put us over the edge this year. I think our chemistry’s been great.
Again, I’ve been through so many playoffs, good and bad, to a certain extent there’s no guarantee. Other teams, they all want to win. They’re all good. Now with the salary cap, I think the teams that are 8 are as good as number 2 and 1. You can’t rely on some of the matchups sometimes. It’s all about how you play as a team.
Definitely we’re excited about the last stretch with having some of our guys hopefully coming back healthy, get ready for that push for the playoffs
Q. I understand a lot of people are saying you should be a candidate for MVP this year. I understand that your pick is Sidney Crosby, is that correct?
MARTIN BRODEUR: Well, when I was doing my column, it’s hard to kind of pick myself there, so (laughter). I believe he’s one of the most valuable players in the league. That’s what I was writing in the article. I went through a few of the awards. When it came down to the Hart, if I had to vote, you can’t vote for yourself, that’s the guy I would be voting for.
Q. But if you could vote for yourself?
MARTIN BRODEUR: I don’t know. You always are the favorite when you vote for yourself. You should never vote against you. That’s not a good sign (laughter).
Q. In your opinion, how much importance should be placed on home-ice advantage in the playoffs?
MARTIN BRODEUR: I mean, there is. When it comes down to Game 7, I think that’s where you want to play. In the past playing, I don’t know, maybe six, seven, eight Game 7s, the success rate of home ice for me anyway is a lot greater than it was on visiting ice.
Look at the two Stanley Cups that we won. The one that we won in Game 7 against Anaheim was at home. The one we lost against Colorado was on the road. Though there’s something to it, if you don’t have it, it shouldn’t be a big deal, but if you do have it, it’s there to give you a big boost when it comes down to it.
Q. The three Cups that you won, you never finished first in the league in points. In your opinion, is there any significance at all to earning the Presidents’ Trophy?
MARTIN BRODEUR: You know what, whatever is available in front of you, you should aim for it. I think, yes, there is a value to the Presidents’ Trophy. I never won one. I would love to be able to get it eventually in my career.
At the end, when you start the playoffs, everybody starts fresh. You got teams that have got better in the last 20, 25 games because of trades. You have different chemistry, different injuries when playoffs start. Matchups sometimes with division rivals are tougher. At the end of the day, you have to throw everything out the window, you got to play the series one by one.
Q. I was hoping you could talk about the development of your teammate Zach Parise this year. Really come onto the scene pretty strong, gotten better every game.
MARTIN BRODEUR: Yeah, you know, Zach definitely has been one of our top goal-scorers in our club. He definitely emerged. Sometimes it’s tough in your second season in the NHL to have the kind of success that he got. Shows a lot about the way that his—about his character, how enthusiastic he is about playing the game of hockey, being happy to be in New Jersey here.
For us, it’s a big plus. We always had a lot of the same people over and over. To have rookies or young guys coming in, we have Travis Zajac, this is his first year with us, he plays long with Zach, with Jamie Langenbrunner as a line, really found that chemistry to really relieve a little bit of the scoring pressure on Patrick, Gionta and Gomez.
Q. Those guys inseparable?
MARTIN BRODEUR: They play so well together, they seem to find each other a lot, support each other a lot. They still have lots to learn defensively. But, you know, they’ve come along. I think having Jamie Langenbrunner being responsible there a little bit on the ice makes their job a lot easier.
But definitely we’re looking to big things for these two young guys in their future in New Jersey, that’s for sure.
Q. What is your impression of Ray Emery? Also, how does the pressure on the goaltender change in the playoffs, especially a young guy like him?
MARTIN BRODEUR: Well, Ray Emery, I played a few times against him. I always liked the way he played. I talked about it last time we were in Ottawa. He’s really a competitive guy, pretty athletic goalie. It’s kind of a nice refreshing way a little bit, because the goalie has been so the same in the last ten years or so of being butterfly goalies, guys that are just worried about percentages, stuff like that. I think a guy like him really likes to poke-check, likes to challenge players, is really active in the nets. He even fights, too. It’s amazing (laughter). But I think he’s really a quality goalie. I like his style. But that’s my favorite because, you know, I’m not a butterfly goalie, so I think that resembles me a little bit. Kind of nice.
As far as what the pressure is for goalies, well, I mean, that’s the position you want to be in. When you become a goalie, you know that the playoffs are—everything is going to be magnified, the first round to the last. Every single goal will be judged. It’s tough, you know, because people expect you to do well year in and year out.
For him it’s just a start. He’s been having the leeway of being the leading goalie in Ottawa. So that’s going to come with pressure of some of the goalies, what they accomplished in the past in that organization. So for him it’s a great challenge to try to overcome that.
Q. Is that where you make a name for yourself?
MARTIN BRODEUR: Oh, yeah. It’s easy to play games that don’t count. Everybody could play, everybody could have one good year, everybody could be successful in one playoff run. At the end of the day, it’s how consistent you’re going to be throughout your regular season.
When you start performing in the playoffs, I think that’s where people start opening their eyes. You look at Cam Ward, how he was able to be successful. He came in this year, had a pretty solid season, even though he had a few injuries there. I think it’s all about the playoffs. I don’t care if people tell you that they’re happy about the season, they got kicked out in the first round, it’s not the way it should be.
Q. Back to the Parent record, I’m sure you’ve seen some grainy footage of Bernie, probably in black and white. There was such a rivalry between the Canadiens and the Flyers back then, what your dad might have said about him and the old Broad Street Bullies?
MARTIN BRODEUR: I’ve heard about Bernie. I’ve met Bernie a few times. I think he played in a great era in hockey. If you look at the Broad Street Bullies, how successful they were back in the early ‘70s, also with having the Canadiens being successful also, I think it’s always something that people will talk about. Definitely my dad followed all that, working for the Canadiens at the time.
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