It's been four games now, and it has not gotten any easier to process the sight of Martin Brodeur in a Blues uniform. Many more games like last night's, though, and we won't have to see it much longer.
Brodeur was a disaster in the Blues' 6-4 loss to the Kings, stopping just 31 of the 37 shots he faced. But more than that, he looked every slow, creaky bit of his 42 years, getting beat on shots he used to be able to get to, and coughing up rebounds on ones he once would have swallowed. This was everyone's worst nightmare when Brodeur didn't retire after spending last season as one of the league's worst netminders, and when the Blues signed him to slot in for the injured Brian Elliott. But it hadn't been a debacle until Brodeur—who was not helped by St. Louis taking a whole bunch of penalties—allowed the slumping Kings to climb out of an 0-3 hole.
The sixth, which in a weird way may have been the one that was least Brodeur's fault, was the saddest. Dwight King from center ice:
"I knew it was going to be a bad bounce, so I wanted to cover the low part of the net," Brodeur said. "But I didn't expect that thing to go right over my head. It was almost like a lacrosse ball. It kind of gained speed on the second bounce. It never happened to me before."
It's happened to the best of them, and Brodeur most certainly is (was) one of the best. But I don't want to see more games like this one, and neither do the Blues. There are cheaper and better stopgaps out there, ones who aren't hanging on too long just to produce average goaltending on their absolute best nights. Take in these chances to see Brodeur, even on the bad nights, because there aren't many left.
On the bright side, when Brodeur did get to a puck, it stayed got: