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NHL: Projecting Martin Brodeur's Stats for the New Jersey Devils in 2012-2013

NEWARK, NJ - MAY 25:  Martin Brodeur #30 of the New Jersey Devils looks on against the New York Rangers in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Final during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Prudential Center on May 25, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Joseph KuchieCorrespondent ISeptember 8, 2012

Despite a wild run that led the New Jersey Devils to the Cup Final, last season wasn't exactly Martin Brodeur's best season.

In 59 games, Brodeur posted a record of 31-21-4 with a 2.41 GAA. His GAA was way above his career average of 2.23 and his save percentage of .908 was below his career average of .913. He also split time with backup goaltender Johan Hedberg, who had one of the better seasons of his career.

In fact, the past two seasons have been on the downside for the 40-year-old goaltender. After leading the league with 45 wins in 2009-2010, Brodeur has seen a steady decrease in his save percentage, GAA, shutouts and minutes played.

Most of this change can be linked to his age and nagging injuries, but Brodeur is now coming off a Stanley Cup run where he lead all playoff goaltenders in games played (24), saves (577) and minutes played (1471). It will be interesting to see how the future Hall of Fame goaltender performs after such a successful season and grueling postseason.

For one, we can look at Brodeur's statistics the year after he won the Stanley Cup. Below is the comparison of his Stanley Cup year and the season following:

1994-1995: 19-11-6, 2.45 GAA,  3 SO
1995-1996: 34-30-12, 2.34 GAA, 6 SO

1999-2000: 43-20-8, 2.24 GAA, 6 SO
2000-2001: 42-17-11, 2.32 GAA, 9 SO

2002-2003: 41-23-9, 2.02 GAA, 9 SO
2003-2004: 38-26-11, 2.03 GAA, 11 SO

2011-2012: 31-21-4, 2.41 GAA, 3 SO
2012-2013: ?

It's interesting to compare these statistics because of the dynamic changes in each category. Besides his first Cup year (where he only played 36 games), his win totals dropped in the other two years after playing in the Final.

The same can be said about his GAA. Although it was minuscule in 2003-2004, he still saw an increase in goals allowed following a Final appearance. However, his shutout numbers did increase in all three years.

This season will be different because of Johan Hedberg sitting on the bench. Brodeur has played more than 60 games in a season just once since 2008-2009, and with Hedberg proving himself last season with Brodeur injured, it is likely that Marty will not hit 60 games this year.

With that being said, and with age not on his side, it is likely that Brodeur will only reach 25-30 wins this season. The playoffs must have taken a lot out of the 40-year-old goaltender. With a lockout looming and the preseason and training camp likely being cancelled, it would be hard to imagine Brodeur starting the season strong.

As for GAA, Brodeur should lower that 2.41 number by a significant amount. Last year the Devils introduced their "no-name defense" which took a while to get into a groove. With Adam Larsson now a year into the league and Marek Zidlicky playing a full season, the defense should improve enough to help Brodeur out in net.

My prediction: 58 GP, 29-21-8, 2.30 GAA, 5 SO

Thoughts? What is your prediction? Follow me on Twitter @jkuchie

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