I'm not gonna lie, I've been very down on hockey the past few weeks. I have flashes where I enjoy watching the Sabres but they're brief. I really don't have that much affection for the roster as is and that's been killing hockey for me. I've thought more than once that if the playoffs started tomorrow, I wouldn't watch a single second. I don't have it in me. I am seriously burned out this season.
So thank god for Marty Brodeur. I tuned out of the Sabres game tonight (big sacrifice) so I could watch the end of the Devils game and boy, I am really, really glad I did. I don't know if Martin Broduer is better than Patrick Roy. I don't know if Martin Brodeur is partly a product of the defensive system the Devils played for much of his career. I don't care. I do know that he is an amazingly gifted goalie and a lot of fun to watch. I do know that he's played every single game of his NHL career in one sweater even though he could have gotten more money and more attention elsewhere. I love that. I loved how his teammates seemed really fired up to get the win from the second the puck dropped. I loved that the game ended with him making a save, the puck in his glove right where it belonged. I loved his teammates circling around him and tapping their sticks, one of my very favorite things in hockey. I loved Marty deciding he was cutting off the whole dang net and I loved him trying to do it with a pair of scissors like I have in my desk at school, the kind that barely cuts through a few pieces of paper without getting all messed up. I loved a fanbase that's rightfully been criticized for not being visible coming out in force and sounding like they were having a joyous time all night. I loved New Jersey, of all teams, reminding me that I don't hate hockey, I just hate the Sabres version of it. I'm a little relieved to realize that.
There will be time - plenty of time, I think - to discuss the Sabres, what went wrong last night and this season, who's to blame and how things should be fixed. For tonight I just want to bask in loving hockey again.