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Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic makes a save during a game.
Photo credit: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Alex Nedeljkovic responds to hall of fame goalie's comments

Published April 12, 2024 at 7:11 PM
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Heading into the 2023-24 season, the Pittsburgh Penguins knew they had to play the goalie game smart. With the intensity of the NHL schedule, having two or even three top-tier goalies was a must to keep the netminders fresh and ready to tend the goal.

Martin Brodeur, the man who carried the New Jersey Devils on his back for ages, playing more games than your average NHL goalie could even dream of, thinks times have changed. He believes goalies these days are getting babyed, bit too much. According to him, they should be playing way more games, just like back in the day.


It's always going to be, ‘We can't play back-to-back (games).'
Brodeur told the Athletic.
You're so scared the No. 1 gets hurt. And so you baby that guy for the longest time.»



The Penguins decided to flip the script this season. Alex Nedeljkovic, their backup goalie, has been on a heater lately, starting 10 games straight. That's a rarity in today's NHL, but Nedeljkovic has been holding his own and helping the Penguins claw their way back into playoff contention.

When asked about the comments from the winningest goaltender of all time, Nedeljkovic had some thoughts. He acknowledged that the game has changed, with more travel and a different schedule than in Brodeur's heyday.

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Maybe the differences in scheduling. They didn't go to every team in the league. Nowadays, we got to go everywhere. You're doing a little bit more traveling in that aspect. You're not taking a couple of 30-minute flights across the country and through customs a lot.

Now, does Nedeljkovic think we'll ever see goalies playing 70+ games a season again? Probably not. The game has evolved, and most goalies prefer a lighter workload these days. But hey, Nedeljkovic is ready to keep grinding if the Penguins need him to. Coach Mike Sullivan raves about his endurance and passion for the game.

He loves to play. He loves being on the ice, he's got a passion for the position. He's in great shape, and that's what I mean when I say he's got a good motor.»

As the Penguins gear up for their final stretch, Nedeljkovic is locked in and ready to roll. Who knows, maybe he'll finish the season with a Brodeur-style marathon of games between the pipes. It's crunch time in Pittsburgh, and Nedeljkovic is here to stand tall and keep those pucks out of the net.
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Alex Nedeljkovic responds to hall of fame goalie's comments

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