Take a seat: Martin Brodeur
says watching from the bench will help him get up to speed. (Minas Panagiotakis/Icon SMI)
By Allan Muir
It may not rank among the game's most significant records, but Martin Brodeur's remarkable string of starting 18 consecutive season openers for the New Jersey Devils is a singular achievement that may never be matched.
It was expected to stretch to 19 tomorrow night when the Devils meet the Pittsburgh Penguins, but in a surprise move, the team announced today that Brodeur will be relegated to the bench with Cory Schneider getting the nod.
Schneider's opening start will be the first by a goalie other than Brodeur since Chris Terreri led the Devils to a 2-1 win over the Lightning on Oct. 6, 1993.
Devils coach Peter DeBoer told reporters he wanted to give Brodeur an extra day of rest after the passing of his father, Denis, last week.
GALLERY: Denis Brodeur's classic hockey photos
Brodeur took the news well, telling The Bergen Record
, "I haven't seen much action in the preseason, so it's kind of nice to be able to get a game day and get on the ice and be on the bench and look at the speed of different things. I think that's going to help me out for my game."