NEWARK, N.J. -- Marty Brodeur played in more games (1,146) and won more games (691) than any goaltender in NHL history. He won 30 or more games a record 13 times in his career and owns the single-season record for wins in a season (48).
That last record could be in serious danger this season, thanks to Capitals netminder Braden Holtby, who is on pace for more than 50 wins.
“He reminds me of me a lot,” Brodeur said Saturday before taking part in a ceremonial puck drop involving Holtby and Devils goalie Cory Schneider. “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. I don’t know him and I don’t know if he does or not, but he’s having a great year. Not just this year; last year he was coming on and he’s going to be good for a long time for them.”
Brodeur was a workhorse during his 20-year career with the Devils, playing in 70 games in 12 of those seasons. He says he sees no reason the Caps should pay special attention to Holtby’s workload down the stretch. (He’s on pace to play in 67 games, six fewer than last season).
“I don’t think so,” said Brodeur, who will have his No. 30 jersey retired Tuesday night. “If you want to play … you probably have a better risk of getting hurt in practice than you do in a game. You need to be sharp.”
Brodeur compared starting down the stretch to former Yankees closer Mariano Rivera getting the ball in the ninth.
“It’s like a reliever,” Brodeur said. “Nobody told Rivera not to go out and get your saves at the end of year so he’s ready for the playoffs. He wants to stay in that rhythm. You have to be smart about it. You’re workload in practices is where you need to understand (the workload).
“He’s still young (26) and I was young when I was playing 75, 76 games a season. But I managed my time in practice better than other guys did and that’s why I was able to play for so long and play so many games.”
In recognition of his years of stellar play in North Jersey, the Devils will unveil a statue of Brodeur outside of Prudential Center on Tuesday night.
“I didn’t see that coming,” Brodeur said. “I’m really flattered. It’s a great honor for me knowing that everybody that comes through the Prudential will take a look. The birds, everybody. I’m going to hire my own cleaning crew.”
MORE CAPITALS: Are Orpik and Johansson close to having return dates?