Consider some of the great netminding combos of the past and one thing is abundantly clear: they don't make 'em like they used to.
Of course, it was a lot easier to load up on a pair of Hall of Fame contenders when there were just 12 teams in the league. And given the limitations of the modern salary cap, it takes some serious sleight of hand to maintain a competitive roster and still employ an eminently qualified duo like
So most teams place their eggs in one heavily-padded basket and hold their breath. If anything should go horribly wrong, as it did last Saturday for
The freakish injury -- a torn distal bicep, one of those tendons few of us even know we have -- requires surgery and could sideline Brodeur until early March, leaving an unfillable hole in the Devils lineup and in fantasy pool squads across the land.
For Brodeur, it means his heavily-hyped assault on the record books goes on hold. He's eight wins shy of passing
For the Devils, well, by the time Brodeur returns, a shot at Roy may be all they have left to compete for.
That's no knock on
Good luck with all that. While core components
You can almost forgive GM
So now Lou will have to tread water with the unimposing tandem of Weekes and
Short term, though, Weekes is in a no-lose situation. If he can offer with any kind of consistency the same sort of effort as his 28-save performance in a 2-0 loss to Buffalo on Monday night, he's a hero. If not, well hey, he's Kevin Weekes, the guy who's played just 57 games over the past four seasons. The guy who hasn't been a starter since 2003-04. The guy who hasn't floated a save percentage above .900 since the lockout.
Weekes is a solid teammate and an insightful interview subject, but there are several good reasons why he's a backup in this league. The consistency the Devils crave is something that's always eluded him. He can overplay the puck. He also has a tendency to give up the soft goal, especially on long-range shots.
It's hard to imagine this team changing up its approach, but that might be the only way the Devils stay afloat. They earned 99 points last season despite ranking 27th in goals scored. Without Brodeur, they would have held a lottery ticket, not home ice in the first round. They've been slightly more productive this season, at least at even strength, but they may have to open it up, focus on providing enough offense to give Weekes a little breathing room.
It's a lot to ask of this group, and of this franchise, but these are desperate times. It may be their best chance to hold the fort until Brodeur's return.
Unless, of course, someone's got a working number for Plante and Hall.
You can't blame fans of the Dallas Stars for rolling their eyes at the news that the team signed free agent
While that trio should straighten out their games over time, Colorado's biggest flaw will be harder to address. These Avs are, as a group, painfully slow. At a time when speed kills, they rely on too many players who don't have the wheels to match up on a nightly basis. Getting cornered on the goaltending situation is one thing, but building a team that can't keep pace is an indictment of GM
The Sabres might just have something big in 5-foot 5-inch left wing
Still there are plenty of doubts lingering around a player better suited to being a jockey.
"It's an issue," one scout told SI.com. "We talk about guys who are 5-11 being undersized, and he's half a foot shorter than that. You look at him and picture [an NHL] defender putting a big mitt on his head while he swings wildly with both hands like in the old cartoons. It's a huge disadvantage. But he has the quickness that little guys have to have and he finds a way to burst through the holes. And this kid is clever. The things he can do with the puck are dazzling."
The Sabres aren't having any trouble scoring now, but if the offense hits a rut this season, expect Gerbe to get a look.