On Tuesday night at Prudential Center, the New Jersey Devils honored Martin Brodeur by lifting his number 30 to the rafters. In his 22-year career, he played the most games (1,266), and had the most wins (691) of any netminder in NHL history.
In his 21 seasons with the Devils, he appeared in at least 70 games in 12 of those seasons. Brodeur also holds the NHL record for most wins in a regular season with 48, which he set back in the 2006-07 season.
Holtby has a chance to break that regular season wins record. This season, Holtby has won 34 games, including four in a row. With 30 games left in the season, Holtby is on pace for at least 50 victories.
Before all the Tuesday night festivities, a cool moment happened in Newark on Saturday afternoon between the Capitals and Devils. Brodeur was on hand for a special ceremonial puck drop but with a different twist. Rather than the captains of both teams participating it was Holtby and Devils goaltender Cory Schneider in the face-off circle.
The numbers that Holtby has put up this season have been noticed not only around the league but also from the greatest all-time goalie himself. But he also notices Holtby’s durability. Brodeur told CSN’s Chuck Gormley, “He (Holtby) reminds me of me a lot. Not the way he plays, but the way he puts himself out there. He’s not scared. He just wants to play. I’m sure he’s playing through tons of injuries. He’s a warrior out there. … He’s going to be good for a long time for them.”
Brodeur finished his career winning four Vezina Trophies and three Stanley Cups. Holtby could win his first Vezina Trophy this June if he keeps winning games and gets enough votes. In his six seasons in the NHL, Holtby has already established himself both with Caps fans and the rest of the league as the man in between the pipes in DC. But getting approval from Brodeur has to give the young netminder even more confidence moving forward.
By Michael Marzzacco