In order for it to work, Schneider has to play 45-50. Originally, I thought if you split him and Marty 41/41 that would be perfect. It's really tough to do what they're doing because of Marty's Hall Of Fame career. It must be very humbling for a man that not long ago, had your team eyeing a storybook comeback against the Kings. I think until their defense steadies (DeBoer-Harrold session, Volchenkov), it won't matter who's in net. Obviously, Schneider is the better puck stopper at this point. The lack of mobility is a concern. Plus you need the offense (Zajac, Henrique) to come around. Elias' return should help.
I am going to echo your sentiments regarding the Elite 3 (Brodeur, Hasek, Roy). Marty being the most consistent having longevity along with the records (wins, shutouts, appearances). He also has that streak of 40 wins or more and 30-plus that probably will never be duplicated. Dominator for me was unbelievable. The unorthodox style he played, it was like watching a slinky. And he was small. I remember seeing him before that snowstorm game in February '01. I marveled at what he could do. That was the game Rafalski tied it after the buzzer. Very tough driving hazards. It's hard to say how many more wins, shutouts he might've had. You can only marvel at the talent. He definitely benefited from moving to Detroit. But those Buffalo teams had little talent. Roy won 2 with Montreal and 2 with Colorado. The ones with the Avs were easier. They had much more talent. He wowed as a rook the same year Claude Lemieux started his playoff reputation. '93 was the best one. All the crazy overtimes. Another unbreakable record.
Brodeur's best moments:
1.2003-backstopped team past a loaded Sens and stood up to the pressure in the home series vs Ducks.
2.2012-I have to put this second because nobody gave them a shot. They beat 3 higher seeds (Panthers, Flyers, Rangers). And he got the better of Lundqvist at 40. Remarkable. Bitter pill to swallow. And he gave the Devils a shot in that final. Just didn't score enough.
3.1994-I still put this pretty high on my list due to the caliber goaltending display. He was unbelievable. A star was born.
4.2000-That was a tougher road than '95. Leafs/Devils Part I was intense. Then dethroning the champion Stars in a goalie duel against Eddie. Vintage stuff.
5.1995-Most probably have this higher because it was his first Cup. I never understood why the Red Wings were heavy favorites. It was the Devils who lost in a classic ECF versus us. The Wings lost to the Sharks. They had the experience. It showed. It took Detroit 2 more years.
6.Olympic Gold '02 Salt Lake. If you're a pure hockey fan, this will probably be in the top 3. Canada's drought. And he took over for Cujo and finally led Canada to gold in a classic against Team USA. A great Olympic moment.
You could rank the other records and round out your top 10. I guess for a Devil fan, it would look different. I think it shouldn't matter how he goes out. He's a legend. Even if I didn't say the right thing regarding the Henrik stuff, you have to admire Brodeur. He shouldn't be run out of town. I'd still rather have him backing up than most. Maybe he'll surprise you. When he retires, the rivalry loses some of its appeal. It already started with Schneider getting the start Saturday. It won't be the same.
I think DeBoer and others envisioned a split going into the season...even Marty getting slightly more starts...but I also think they weren't going to wait long to deviate from that idea if Marty struggled, especially when you factor in everything else: Devils not making the playoffs last season, Marty not looking good in the second half of the year (but getting starts because the other guy was even worse), having a good young goalie on the roster. I think if Marty's at roughly .900 in save% and has a couple of wins under his belt, maybe the loose split would've continued a bit longer. But his rough start (and more importantly, the WAY he looked during it) made the decision relatively easy for DeBoer.
That being said, goaltending is hardly the only issue for the Devils at this point. They look to be a team that is going to be inconsistent (at best) when it comes to putting pucks in the net. The names don't appear to be meshing. Schneider playing at his current best will lead to more points than Brodeur playing at his current best, but with the way the team looks right now, Hasek, Roy, or Brodeur in their primes would have a tough time getting this team into the playoffs.
I would love it if Brodeur could provide capable backup goaltending, but the simple fact is, no one knows if he can do it. He's never really been a backup before. If his skills are declining as sharply as they appear to be, I don't know how playing less will stave that off. My expectations are pretty fair for Brodeur at this point...I'm not asking him to be anywhere near what he was in his prime. If he can finish with overall numbers close to last season's (.900ish save%), in about 25 games, and get through with roughly an NHL-.500 record, I'd be thrilled with that. Not great numbers, but at least they're passable.
You've got your share of mean-spirited Devils fans who do a better job of ripping on Brodeur than Rangers fans ever did, but don't misinterpret as people not wanting to see it get ugly for him as people wanting to run him out of town. There's fans who literally grew up watching Marty from the time they were little kids just getting into Devils hockey. Then there's guys like me who remember the Devils pre-Marty, and have been watching him do his often-awesome thing seemingly forever (I was 21 and still in college when he made his debut in '91...I'm now 43, married, and a dad). To see him look so beatable and old is really hard for some of us to take. Re: 2012, I think he gave it all in those 2012 playoffs...gave it just about everything he had left. The way he finished up the 2011-12 regular season and playoffs as a 39/40-year-old was pretty amazing, it really was. .923 save% over that season's final 27 games, .922 save% in the playoffs (until Game 6 of the SCF, which knocked it down to .917). In four of the six '11-'12 SC Final games, he gave up just one goal in regulation. I've said it many times, but I think that stretch was the best of the rest of what he had left. I do feel like the tank is just about empty now though...especially since this looks like a Devils team incapable of propping him up, and willing him to more wins. I agree, that despite what some of the Brodeur critics say, him going out struggling this season shouldn't, and likely won't, make much difference...there's guys who have gone out much more painfully in other sports (Mickey Mantle admitted that part of the reason he hung on, despite knowing he didn't have it anymore, was because the lucrative Yankees lifetime achievement contracts were giving him were simply too good to pass up, even though he couldn't come close to earning their worth...but those seasons cost him his .300 lifetime batting average), but fans do remember all of the great moments much more than the final ones. In a few years, fans will focus on the many great moments up until the 2012 SCF, with this season and last being mere footnotes.