New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur is a three-time Stanley Cup champion and four-time winner of the Vezina Trophy as the NHL's top goaltender. Since the Devils' 2007 move to Newark, Brodeur has established the league's wins record and guided the team to its fifth Stanley Cup Final appearance – all on Prudential Center ice.
Now in his 20th NHL season, all with the Devils, Brodeur continues to add to his résumé as the greatest professional athlete to have spent his entire career in the Garden State. He recently shared a rare behind-the-scenes look at his game-day routine which begins at his home in New Jersey and ends in the heart of Newark's downtown.
"I usually go to bed the night before a game probably around 10:30, 11 o'clock. Usually I'm up by 7. I have a little one at home so I've got no choice: I have to feed him before he goes to school. We have breakfast together then I'll take the 20, 25-minute drive to Prudential Center to get here for our 9:30 meeting. Usually by 10:30 we're on the ice for our morning skate. That practice is probably no longer than 20 minutes. It's just to feel the puck as a goalie, for shooters to get a feel for the puck and your skates and your equipment and all that.
After that, we have probably the last meal we'll have for the day. We go for a big lunch. I go to a place in West Orange where I always have the same meal. I don't even have to order, I just walk in and they get it ready for me. It's plain grilled chicken and vegetables with a little pasta e fagioli and soup to start with.
I head back home and watch TV a little bit and try to rest between about 2 and 4 o'clock. I'll wake up around 4 o'clock or 4:10, jump in the shower, then get the suit on. That's where my preparation starts, really. I start focusing on the game, thinking about who I'm playing against. I'll grab a coffee at home and drive to the rink for a 5:30 meeting. I try to get here about an hour before to tape my sticks and do all that stuff. After that, the meeting starts, we stretch and have our skate our pregame warmup. That lasts 15 minutes or so then it's game on at 7 o'clock. It's a busy day, but when you do it for a long time, everything comes naturally.
Being at Prudential Center helps you so much. Before, it was fun playing at Continental Airlines Arena, but we had a practice facility at West Orange, so it was always kind of a guess where we were going to be, where we were going to skate, where we were leaving from to go on a road trip. Now for us it's so much easier. I know exactly how long it's going to take me for practice, for games if it's a Friday, Saturday. Leaving to go on the road and being able to park our cars here, knowing that we're going to land in Newark and be right at the rink within eight minutes after we land – it's really just a great setup that we have."