by PuckStopsHere on 12/13/08 at 06:53 AM ET
When superstar goaltender Martin Brodeur was hurt for the Devils earlier this season, they were written off by a lot of people. Brodeur had surgery on his torn tendons in his left bicep. The surgery occurred in early November and with recovery expected to take 3-4 months, he would project to return in February at the earliest.
Martin Brodeur has been the heart and soul of the Devils franchise for years. His goaltending has been one of the main reasons for the Devils success. Without an elite goaltender, the Devils might be in for a long season.
Not so fast! The Devils have been 9-1 in their last ten starts without Brodeur. Scott Clemmensen has filled in marvelously. He has been the winning goalie for the Devils in eight of those nine wins.
When Brodeur got hurt, it was presumed that Kevin Weekes would take over as the starter. Weekes had been Brodeur’s seldom used backup and had starting goaltender experience in his earlier days. He once played 66 games in a season for the Carolina Hurricanes.
However, it was Scott Clemmensen who stole the show. Clemmensen has largely been an AHL goaltender. Before this season, he had 28 NHL games played over parts of six seasons with the New Jersey Devils and the Toronto Maple Leafs. He had been basically a fill-in goalie when nobody else was available and he had not been much of a success in those games.
This year has been his first chance to play regularly at the NHL level and he has played well. He sports a .919 saves percentage and a 2.43 GAA.
The Devils will find it tough to do as well as had been initially predicted with Martin Brodeur injured, but so far they have done so in games with unheralded Scott Clemmensen in goal. It might be tough for Clemmensen to keep up this level of play, given his lack of a track record, but he has shown that for the Devils life will go on without Brodeur.
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