If you picked Martin Brodeur in your hockey pool this year and also found yourself incredibly upset and/or depressed this past week, my bet would be that there is probably a link between the two. Out of commission following surgery to repair his biceps, Marty has been a formidable starter in the Devils net for what seems like forever. The last season Brodeur started fewer than half of the Devils’ regular season games: the Habs were Stanley Cup Champions, George Bush Sr. was President of the United States, and Alexandre Daigle, still playing junior, was being hailed as the next Mario Lemieux.
I truly believe that there is no single player in the league who means as much to his team as Brodeur does to the Devils, and they are surely going to struggle over the next 3 to 4 months. Kevin Weekes has never been much better than average over his career, and he’s stepping into a role where many of his teammates and coaches have received excellence for well over a decade. If the pressure proves to be too great, the Devils might give one of the young goalies in their system a chance to gain some experience in the bigs. However, Weekes is a good play right now in leagues that reward SV % and GAA, especially with the Devils boring, defensive system. If you’re still strapped for a goalie with the loss of Brodeur, the Oilers Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers has been an absolute freak this past week, and appears to have swiftly stolen the starting job from Mathieu Garon.
On the injury flip side, Sergei Zubov came off of the injured reserve this week for the Dallas Stars, and if you can still grab him, you’d better be quick. Zubov is easily a top 10 defenseman when healthy, which he finally appears to be.