Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Low and high points are unbelievably close

Normally I don't pay much attention to player of the week in various leagues, because good play over a long period of time is what matters, not the sudden peaks. But I stopped in my tracks when I saw that Mike Brodeur has been named AHL Player of the Week.

Two weeks ago, I saw Brodeur at what was a very low point. It was the last home game for the now defunct Augusta Lynx, who were in a losing spiral. Six goals were scored on Brodeur that game. I wouldn't phrase it that he gave up six goals, because few did he have any chance on, per usual given the Lynx defense.

I was already in the back hallway when the Lynx came off the ice at the end. Brodeur led them off the ice towards the locker room, and as soon as he passed the threshold, started swearing at the top of his lungs. He slammed his goalie stick against a poor plastic bin. I decided that the questions I wanted to ask him that night weren't really that important. I had met him years ago when he was with Greenville, a very nice guy and a very good goalie. But he was going through an extremely tough patch with his team in the process of folding, which he was powerless to stop, just like the pucks that were shot at him from the doorstep.

So you can see why his signing by the AHL Rochester Americans and subsequent success is so heartwarming.
Brodeur was 3-2-0 with a shutout, a goals-against average of 1.39 and a save percentage of .949 as the Americans played five games in six days.

It's just another example of how quickly things can change in someone's career. Occasionally I tell player I hope I never see them again. That will mean they are succeeding elsewhere. Brodeur's one of those guys.


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