New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur salutes the crowd following his 3-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
NEWARK, N.J. - Martin Brodeur is looking beyond passing Patrick Roy as the NHL's all-time leader in wins by a goaltender.
The New Jersey Devils goaltender wants to win enough games to make his mark almost untouchable for those youngsters who today are skating on ponds and in arenas with their dads and junior teams.
Brodeur, who tied Roy's career mark in a storybook setting in his hometown of Montreal this weekend, will get a chance to win his 552nd game on Tuesday when the Devils play host to the Chicago Blackhawks.
"I will just put myself in a class of my own, for now," Brodeur said Monday when asked about breaking the mark. "When people look at stats now, there are two names at 551. There will be one name at 552 when I get there. After that, it's 553 and I will just try to raise the bar as high as I can."
Brodeur doesn't have a particular number in mind. After breaking the mark, he said the next big number would be 600, but obviously that is not his goal.
The 36-year-old is under contract for another three seasons and he intends on fulfilling that commitment.
Until tearing a biceps in his left elbow in November and missing almost four months while undergoing post-surgical rehabilitation, Brodeur had won at least 37 games a season since 1996-97, not counting the lockout year.
If the four-time Vezina Trophy winner did that over the final three years of his contract, he would have about 675 wins when his contract runs out.
Brodeur said that he was able to catch Roy a little earlier because there are no more ties in NHL games, and that could help some youngster catch him.
"Guys will have to play a lot," Brodeur said. "Depending on whether goalies can have that work load and organizations will leave goalies alone for 15 years and say: 'You go on the ice whenever you want.' They might have a chance to be close to it."
Brodeur believes that all-time wins is the most meaningful record for goaltenders.
"It's all about winning," he said. "I'll say it again, it's not just about the goaltender, it's about the team. The team, in 15 years, we've won that many games and more with other guys chipping in along the way. It's a lot of wins."
The Devils took Sunday off, and Brodeur rested, saying the pressure of tying the record in Montreal drained him more than he expected. He said he really appreciated the standing ovation Canadiens' fans gave him after the game, noting his father, who worked for Montreal as a team photographer, was really emotional after the contest.
"I am definitely looking forward to doing other things, but you sit back and take it all in," Brodeur said. "You have to appreciate what you have just accomplished or what you are about to accomplish. That's part of doing some great things, being able to live it. You don't want to regret it, and say, 'I should have enjoyed it a little more that moment.' I am enjoying every second of it."
Brodeur would like nothing better than to surpass Roy's record in New Jersey. He has hit most of the personal milestones in his 15-year career on the road.
"There is that sense of pride being on one team and making the commitment to people in the organization and fans, that you want to stay here and love where you are at," Brodeur said. "For me, it was never a secret about that, I love being in New Jersey and being a part of this. The success of the organization is my success at the same time."