On Monday night, the New Jersey Devils openly worried about Johan Hedberg’s confidence. It turns out their concerns were justified.
The 39-year-old has been pretty brutal at times during Martin Brodeur’s injured stretch, but Tuesday might be the worst night yet. He was pulled about 33 minutes into tonight’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning after allowing three goals on just 11 shots.
Before this poorly timed six-game slump, Hedberg has been a suitable backup for Brodeur, sometimes even putting up better numbers. He started 2013 hot with just two goals allowed in his first three games, but now he’s 0-4-1 (possibly 0-5-1 if New Jersey doesn’t come back) in his last six contests.
With Brodeur, 40, needing a little more time to heal, 23-year-old goalie Keith Kincaid is seeing his first bit of NHL action tonight.
All he has to do is face the high-flying (and probably angry) Tampa Bay Lightning offense out of the blue. No pressure, kid.
Update: The Devils ended up losing 5-2. The Bergen Record’s Tom Gulitti reports that Brodeur isn’t ready to return, so the plan is to give Hedberg a chance to redeem himself on Thursday.