The New Jersey Devils have clawed their way back into the Metropolitan race, and they have Martin Brodeur to thank.
After a slow start at 0-2-2, Brodeur has recorded a 6-1 record. The one loss he had was 1-0, so it was definitely not his fault. He has allowed more than one goal once in all of his five November starts, a 3-2 victory over the New York Rangers.
The Devils are currently one point out of third place and a guaranteed playoff position. The division as a whole has thoroughly improved and they have found a way to keep up.
There is no doubt that Jaromir Jagr is deserving of some credit when it comes to the Devils’ play as of late. He has been their offensive rock all season and provided a boost most did not expect coming into the season. This team has been leaning on two players in their forties to keep them alive in the 2013-14 season.
The funny thing is Brodeur and crease partner Cory Schneider have eerily similar stats on the season. They both have identical 1.98 goals against averages, and that is good for fourth in the NHL. They have save percentages within one point of each other, at .918 and .919 respectively. The only difference is Brodeur has six wins and Schneider has one. This is what Devils fans were hoping for coming into the season.
Ben Scrivens, Tuukka Rask and Jonathan Bernier have all played amazingly in November. You could name any of them as goaltender of the month, but there is no way that you can have the conversation without mentioning Brodeur’s name. Since the first of the month he has gone 4-1 with a 0.80 GAA, a .967 save percentage and two shutouts. He has allowed four goals on 121 shots. Those numbers are preposterous.
Whether this is just a string of good games for the 41-year-old wins leader in the NHL or if this is how the rest of the season is going to go now that he can finally focus on hockey, this is one of the better runs in Brodeur’s career. What a career it has been and what a run he has been on. If he can make it last then maybe this Devils team can play dark horse like they did two years ago.
Nick Villano is the New Jersey Devils writer for Rant Sports. He also adds to their NFL and MLB content. You can follow him on Twitter here.