At forty-plus years on this earth, Jaromir Jagr and Martin Brodeur are old men as far as NHL hockey players go. However, with age comes experience and calmness in the face of trouble. The New Jersey Devils playoffs hopes are somewhat in trouble, but last night, the two greybeards stepped up and shared the part of hero, factoring in as major contributors in a much needed 5-0 victory over the Nashville Predators.
Jagr scored the opening goal of the game, recording his 1,700 career point in the NHL. The accomplishment is rare indeed. In fact, the 5-time Art Ross winner becomes only the 8th player in NHL history to reach the milestone number.
Jagr 8th player in NHL history to reach 1,700 points: Gretzky, Messier, Howe, Francis, Dionne, Yzerman, M. Lemieux.
— Tom Gulitti (@TGfireandice) November 11, 2013
Jagr’s goal stood as the game winner because netminder Martin Brodeur didn’t allow any goals. Brodeur didn’t tie any goaltending records last night – that wouldn’t be possible, he already owns them all. Every time Brodeur wins a game or posts a shutout he breaks his own records. No NHL goalie has won more games or recorded more shutouts than Marty. With last night’s goose egg and victory, his grip on most shutouts stands at 123, and most wins jumps to 673. Stats courtesy of NHL.com.
It is only fitting that Jagr and Brodeur play heroes to close out the NHL’s Hall of Fame weekend. The two Devils are sure-fire first ballot entries in three years from now, or four, or even five. Both players may be around for a few more seasons, and there is a three-year grace period upon retiring before an athlete can join the Hall. Exactly three years after they’ve retired, they will get the call from the Hall.
The win moves the Devils to within 3-points of the 3rd playoff spot in the Metropolitan Division. They will not be afforded much room for error as the season goes on. With so many good teams all vying for a few places in the post season, qualification will be extremely difficult.