Back up two weeks: The text message came a few hours before New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur skated onto Madison Square Garden ice Feb. 7 to face the New York Rangers.
“Our father has a tumour on his brain,” Dénis Brodeur Jr. texted.
The father, who had been suffering bouts of dizziness, had a CT scan on Feb. 6. The results came back the following afternoon. It was cancer.
Dénis Jr. won’t often disturb his brother’s NHL game-day focus, which is an almost airtight bubble of concentration. But there was no postponing this.
Martin digested the news, then strapped on his equipment and stopped 30 Rangers shots in a 1-0 New Jersey victory.