Blog Entry

Raising the bar

Posted on: March 18, 2009 11:51 am

Martin Brodeur broke Patrick Roy's career record with his 552nd win, but the two still share a distinction being the only goalies in history to have 30 win seasons at least 10 times.

Only three netminders have won at least 40 games more than twice, the latest being Calgary's Miikka Kiprusoff, who joined the exclusive club only last week.

But Kiprusoff is 33 years old and he'd have to average around 40 wins for the next five seasons just to reach the zip code of Brodeur's new career mark. That's how old the legendary Jacques Plante was when he hit the last of his 40 win seasons, and four years older than Terry Sawchuk was in his third and final 40 win season.

Brodeur, though, has won 40 games a record seven times in his career, including in each season since the lockout. He was 33 when play resumed, and has since led the league twice in wins, while playing more games and minutes than any other goalie in the last two full seasons.

That suggests he isn't slowing down, something anyone who has seen him play since returning from a long injury rehab could confirm. Brodeur jumped back in after four months with a shutout in his first game, and has won seven of the other eight in the three weeks since. His goals against average is 1.95 and his save percentage in the 920s.

That's freak of nature stuff, especially for someone who plays a position where timing is so critical. It tells you he could plausibly win 40 games when he is 40 years old, and since he'll probably play that long, the question then becomes whether Brodeur can establish a defining record that might be unbreakable.

Topping Sawchuk's career shutout record of 103 (Brodeur has 100) might fall under that category, but wins are the signature stat for goalies. Brodeur could raise the bar to a different stratosphere.

Say like 700 wins? Something that would require a goalie to average well north of 30 wins for 20 seasons. Unlikely. Brodeur will finish this season around the 560 mark, and he'll pad that total a lot in the next few seasons. Maybe enough to get to 700.

But whatever the final count is, don't bet on anyone ever beating it.

Category: NHL

Since: Aug 28, 2006
Posted on: March 18, 2009 3:52 pm

Raising the bar

For his quiet dominance and incredible consistency, Martin Brodeur gets my vote as the greatest goalie to ever play hockey. Roy was flashier and more entertaining, but Marty has simply performed at a consistently superstar level for his entire career. What that man accomplishes year in and year out, every single year, without EVER slipping, is incredible. Best of all time, no doubt.  

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