Martin Brodeur made a mistake that a man his age should never make: He counted the candles.
He was celebrating with his family one night before turning the big 4-0 — he was booked for what turned out to be another party on his actual birthday — when he noticed the blaze atop his cake wasn’t quite the inferno he expected.
“I was a little disappointed,” the Devils goalie said. “There were only 20 or something, so they only went halfway on the candles. Couldn’t find a big enough cake, I guess.”
He laughed. For most mortals, turning 40 means collecting your gift-wrapped packages of Depends and Geritol, then waking up after a night of partying with six words running through your aching head:
You’re too old for this crap.
Brodeur? All he did was win another playoff game. The 4-2 victory in Game 4 will not go down as his most memorable, since for most of this one it appeared the Flyers had decided to give him a night of R&R as a special gift.
Still: The win gives the Devils a 3-1 stranglehold on the second-round series, and it adds another line in his growing Hall of Fame biography.