Predictably, DeBoer was less than forthcoming with answers on Wednesday, saying Brodeur was "feeling better" but also not close to a return. When asked to explain, he confused the public further.
Somewhere between day to day and a month? That's a wide berth -- much like the original two-to-eight week timetable for Dainius Zubrus' wrist injury earlier in the year. The difference being that a wrist injury is usually pretty cut and dry. A sore back for a 40-year-old goalie? Far less so. The worry for the Devils has to be that Brodeur's back injury will continue to linger just long enough where it's unreasonable to seek out a better long-term replacement than Johan Hedberg. As it is now, we're looking at likely the rest of this week for Brodeur, which would make it two weeks he's been sidelined and two weeks of Hedberg as starter. I think we've all seen how well that's turned out. So then what's the Devils' options? Unfortunately, there's really aren't any. Brodeur is clearly well enough to attend games and sit in arena seats, but probably still not well enough to travel on a plane or practice. More than anything, the Devils are being exceedingly cautious with Brodeur, wary of turning a sore back into a pulled muscle -- or worse. The Devils can only wait it out and hope that Marty returns soon. Their only other option is to part with precious assets and salary cap space in a trade for an option not currently on the roster, which I think Lou Lamoriello is loathe to do.