The Martin Brodeur debate – which side are you on?

December 22nd, 2009 by Burgundy Leave a reply »

With last night’s 4-0 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins, Martin Brodeur became the all time shutout leader in the NHL. This is Brodeur’s 104th career shutout, one more than goaltending great Terry Sawchuk. It goes without saying that this accomplishment is one for the ages and probably won’t be broken for some time to come. And as a side note, how does Brodeur shut out the likes of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and others for this record yet was unable to do so against Florida, Carolina, or Philadelphia earlier this month?

Congratulations Martin Brodeur! A classy accomplishment.

Martin Brodeur now holds the all time NHL shutout record after a 4-0 win last night

Martin Brodeur now holds the all time NHL shutout record after a 4-0 win last night

No one debates that Brodeur is a great goaltender — except for a few goalie friends of mine (but whatever, goalies are like drummers and are particular and weird…) —  the man is a Stanley Cup champion, Olympic champion, and has won many other accolades.

But it begs the question: Is Martin Brodeur the best goalie of all time or is he a great goalie who’s always had a very solid team (with a defensive system) in front of him?

Personally, I believe Brodeur is the best of all time. He’s had the luxury of playing in a strong system with a good team, but he was the backbone of that very system. Brodeur’s NHL career has seem him play more than 1000 games with a career goals against average of 2.21 and a save percentage of .914. He’s played 70+ games in a season 11 times – each time posting 38 wins or more. He’s helped redefine how goalies can handle the puck and its value to breakouts/dump ins. He’s won four Vezina trophies and turned in clutch performances time and time again.

I don’t know how much more of a case I can plead. Either way, I’m sure you have your thoughts. There are probably hundreds of other articles online that discuss this topic in further detail, but I don’t care. I want to hear from our Classy community and see what you think and why.

Is Brodeur the best goalie ever? Why or why not?

Stay classy, Martin Brodeur.

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11 comments

  1. Mantooth says:

    Umm, this is a tough one.. Back in the day, I think the shots were a lot softer then today, and the play has gotten way faster, but one has to look at the team in front of him too. Great example Burgundy gave out on the Last shutout, how did the Pens Powerhouse not score on him? Was it because he’s a brick wall? I think not. This record is a great milestone, but a huge amount of the effort goes out to the players in front of him, sacrificing themselves for him.

  2. Cq says:

    I personally think it’s a 65/35 split. Part of it being Brodeur’s talent and skill. But the bigger part being the team overall for so many years. Does anyone think that Brodeur could play so well with a Leafs team or Habs team in front of him right now? Put him in any other franchise and the numbers wouldn’t be nearly as good. They’d be impressive, but not record breaking.

  3. Sens19 says:

    To me he is the best. Roy is a close second but when I watch Brodeur play Im always in awe. He’s just oozing skill, talent and perfection in the net. Ya he’s fortunate to be playing in a really great system, but the guy’s been at it for how many years now? You can’t hide behind a system for so long. And I know the NJD are considered a “boring” team to watch but the truth is if you’re watching Brodeur the games get quite interesting. Even when his team plays like crap, you know they still have a huuge advantage because of the guy in nets.

    Something else somewhat non related. People need to stop bashing him as a person because of his off-ice issue, nobody knows the details so people need to stop judging

  4. Burgundy says:

    @ Charly – I think that’s as close as I’m gonna get to you admitting the Habs suck. Hopefully Markov plays like he did in NY every night. RE: Brodeur – you are probably right. Stick him on Atlanta for the last 15 years and his shutouts are probably around 30-40. But, I still believe his save percentage would be above .900.

    @ Sens19 – I totally agree with you. As a Canadian, he’s come up huge for this country so many times. There’s a reason he’s got the numbers has.

    @ Mantooth – Just give Pittsburgh a powerplay for the whole game. They can’t score on the PP to save their lives! Nice point about the players and the sacrifices they’ve made for Brodeur.

  5. Does anyone think that Brodeur could play so well with a Leafs team or Habs team in front of him right now?
    Or a senators team…

  6. Sens19 says:

    @Pension Plan Puppets: no he wouldnt be playing that well on a Senators team. He’d be playing MUCH better ;) We’re just that awesome you know

  7. Burgundy says:

    The Senators would probably sit Martin Brodeur in order to help Brian Elliott achieve his 1000th straight NHL start. The Senators organization doesn’t believe in giving Elliott days off, despite mediocre/inconsistent play.

    I kid, I kid…

  8. Fantana says:

    I think Brodeur’s got to be considered the all-time best goaltender now. It’s funny to see people coming around to this concept now that he has 104 shutouts.

    To me, it’s Brodeur’s consistency that makes him the best. He’s posted 7 seasons with 40 wins or more and is on pace to do it again this year.

    I also respect the fact that he’s never dragged out a contract dispute or gotten greedy for money. If there was ever a player who could’ve made a strong case to earn more money, it would be Brodeur.

  9. Burgundy says:

    I like what you said there, Fantana.

    Brodeur’s off-ice issues are well documented, but he’s been a class act in every Hockey aspect. I think the most controversial thing he’s ever done (off the top of my head) would probably be not shaking Sean Avery’s hand a few years ago. And even that is pretty understandable. I love the way Brodeur negotiated his own contract with the Devils at a pretty good rate. Classy!

  10. MasterOfPuppets says:

    The only thing gonna slow him down now is age. There aren’t too many that wouldn’t take him first on any team. That’s why he’ll be the starter at the Olympics, with Fleury as backup. SO 104 cemented it. Backup vs Starter. He’s had too many big games under his belt. A huge part of the blue collar team’s success in Jersey.

    On the best of all time question? Did the other “great goalies” not have solid team playing in front of them?

    Maybe the selection criteria should be whoever is the best one on one goalie (breakaway/shootout goalie)should get the title. Pffft.

    I guess I’m on Fatty’s side. :)

  11. Burgundy says:

    Other than “Fatso”, I’m also willing to accept “Delissio Pizza Dude”.

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