A 40-year-old veteran being placed on injured reserve is never a good thing.
But in Martin Brodeur‘s case, it might not be a bad thing, either.
The New Jersey Devils put Brodeur, who missed Sunday’s game against the Winnipeg Jets, on IR with a sore back, retroactive to Sunday. This means that the Devils will be without Brodeur tomorrow against the Jets and Saturday against the Buffalo Sabres.
But, don’t panic, Devils fans. From all aspects, it appears to be a precautionary move for New Jersey, and it seems that its not an injury that will keep the all-time wins leader out for an extended period of time. Missing two games — and a lengthy flight to Winnipeg — could do some good for Brodeur, who will get an extra week of rest for his back, and the rest of his body.
Likewise, having Brodeur out for a week gives the Devils an opportunity to look at prospect Keith Kinkaid, who was called up from Albany after Brodeur was placed on IR. It’s not likely that Kinkaid would play in either of the two games over the weekend, but he’ll get a good look in practice from the Devils’ coaching staff.
Brodeur going down with an injury is the last thing New Jersey wants, but him tweaking his back is just the latest of the miserable two-week stretch it has been for the Devils. But, with the season being shortened from the lockout, it’s imperative that the Devils do everything they can to keep their players healthy for a playoff run in two months and general manager Lou Lamoriello knows that better than anyone.
Back-up goalie Johan Hedberg, if he makes both starts in Brodeur’s absence, would be registering four consecutive starts in net for New Jersey. He’s lost the last two to the Washington Capitals and the Jets last weekend, but there’s no doubt he will come ready to play now, knowing that arguably the best goaltender of all time isn’t their to back him up.