It takes a lot to impress Martin Brodeur as a goalkeeper. However, the Quebec native is pleased with the work of the New Jersey Devils goaltenders, who he says have restored the franchise to its former glory.
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Things have not gone particularly well for the “Devils” in recent years, who have often occupied the basement of the National Hockey League’s (NHL) Eastern Association rankings in recent years.
Czech Vitek Vanecek’s arrival at net and Jack Hughes’ offensive awakening are among the reasons that propelled the team to second place in the Metropolitan Division.
“It’s nice to have some stability in front of the net. I believe that [Vanecek] brought this. [Mackenzie Blackwood] coming back from injury has given us some good games,” the Devils’ vice president of hockey operations told NJ.com Thursday.
At the start of today’s games, Vanecek was averaging a 23-5-3 score of 2.31 goals and 0.916 percent in saves, stats that could help him earn some votes for the Vezina Trophy. Brodeur is the last – and only – winner of this award in Devils history, having won it in 2003, 2004, 2007 and 2008.
The Quebec native had the good years of founding New Jersey, having won the Stanley Cup three times during his tenure (1995, 2000 and 2003). According to Brodeur, the Devils are competitive again.
“This is what the Devils should look like all the time,” he said. It was difficult for the fans and for the people who work for hockey. We are where we deserve to be with this wonderful atmosphere.”
On Thursday night, the Devils faced the other formation Brodeur wore in the NHL, the Blues of St. Louis.