The New Jersey Devils appeared to be a safe bet to reach the Eastern Conference playoffs prior to their current losing streak. The Devils have lost 10 straight. Their last win came on March 23, and it was a milestone win for future Hall of Famer Martin Brodeur as it was his 666th career victory.
Uh oh. As you have probably heard, 666 is a number that has historically been associated with the Antichrist or the Devil. Brodeur has started every game in net since his 666th career victory, which came against the Florida Panthers, and the Devils have not won one a single of them. Guess how many games they have remaining? Six. Guess how many points they are trailing the 8th-seeded New York Rangers by in the standings? Six.
If you believe in curses and hexes, New Jersey’s current situation is right up your alley. Brodeur himself even acknowledged it, although in a very conservative manner.
“Now, it looks like that, huh?” Brodeur said after Monday night’s loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs, via Tom Gulitti of the Bergen Record. “We’ve got to find something. We’ve got to break through that curse, I guess.”
For the most part, New Jersey’s defense has been fine. The Devils have held opponents to three or fewer goals in eight of their last 10 losses. They have allowed an average of only 20.2 shots per game during the disappointing stretch. As Puck Daddy pointed out, the team has also had to deal with untimely injuries to Ilya Kovalchuk and Dainius Zubrus. That being said, Brodeur’s brother did tell him he should retire after win No. 666.
“I never really thought about numbers after I passed (the record),” Brodeur joked last March when he was 16 wins from 666. “My brother said you’ve got try to get to 666 because that’s the number of the Devil. It would be a short season, though, if I have to stop (at 666).”
If the Devils are unable to win any of their six remaining games, Brodeur might have an opportunity to call it a career at 666 wins. Devils fans are hoping that is not the case.