Exposing Martin Brodeur: The NHL’s Most Overrated Goalie

Martin Brodeur
Brodeur earned a reputation largely built on the strong defensive teams he played behind. (Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIRE)

As the regular season comes to a close, Martin Brodeur may have played his last game as a New Jersey Devil, or even as an NHL goalie. With dwindling numbers over his past few seasons, Brodeur’s glory days seem to be but a distant memory, with his last true great moment being a surprise Stanley Cup finals appearance in 2012.

As the 41-year old goalie’s career comes to a close, it’s time that fans and hockey people come to terms with who Brodeur is- the most overrated goalie of all time.

That’s right, Martin Brodeur is not the greatest goalie ever, not by a long shot. There’s a chance he even falls out of the top five spots, maybe even the top ten, all things considered.

This is not a personal vendetta against Marty, he’s definitely a first ballot Hall of Fame player and has done some very impressive and memorable things over the course of his career. I’ve supported him time and time again for Team Canada, and witnessed many of his greatest moments.

But that doesn’t really matter here, since he’s built a legacy where many people believe he’s the best to ever step in between his pipes, and that is simply not true. Impressive, legendary, and iconic are three words to describe Brodeur, but greatest is never a word you should associate with the Devils goalie.

Heck, it’s quite possible Brodeur was never even the best goalie in the NHL at any given time. Let’s break Brodeur down step by step and see how he managed to produce a completely false reputation about himself.

Brodeur has the Most Wins and Games Played in NHL History

This is the Brodeur supporter’s go-to. Brodeur has the most wins and games played, so he must be the best goalie right? Wrong. Wins are a team stat, and it’s frightening how few people realize this. While wins are definitely influenced by a goalie, great goaltenders can be placed on bad teams and struggle to win.

For example, Ryan Miller put up just 15 wins in 40 games in Buffalo this season, despite putting up a  very respectable .923 save percentage. When Miller was traded to the Blues, he has since put up a disappointing .905 save percentage, but has earned victories in 10 of 18 games he’s played in.

On the flip side, Antii Niemi and Marc-Andre Fleury are currently tied for second in the league in wins, yet there is little to suggest these are two of the very best goalies right now in the NHL. It happens every year, non-elite goaltending on good teams rack up a lot of wins. While goaltenders do have a big influence on whether their team wins any given game, it’s not a fair assessment since the playing field isn’t level to begin with. A great goalie doesn’t always have the most wins, and the most wins don’t always belong to a great goalie.

If we are to consider wins as a measuring tool, surely we are to count losses too? In this category Brodeur also finds himself first, but it’s impossible for someone to be the best and worst goalie of all time. Both stats are clearly a product of his longevity, not necessarily his skill. If Brodeur’s losses can be ignored, it’s only sensible to also ignore his wins.

For further proof of why wins must be taken with a grain of salt,  144 of Brodeur’s wins came with a save percentage less than .900, far from impressive. But when you’re playing in a defensively minded system like New Jersey, having a rough game here and there can still equate to racking up another W.

Brodeur has the Most Shutouts in NHL History

Shutouts are an easy way to cloud someone’s judgment of a goalie, perhaps even more so than wins.

Individually, on their own, shutouts are usually impressive. There’s nothing a goalie could want more, and there’s nothing more a coach could ask of a goalie who doesn’t let in a goal.  But unfortunately for Mr. Brodeur, not all shutouts are created equal.

The “Net Detective” Jim Carey perhaps knows this lesson better than anyone. Carey stormed into the league in 1994 with Washington, coming second in Calder voting in his first year and winning the Vezina in his second. While his glory days coincided with the year of my birth, so I was unable to witness him first hand, it appears his Vezina was awarded due to a league high 9 shutouts, despite his .906 save percentage, which ranked him 13th in the league. Breaking those shutouts down game by game, Carey’s save totals were 21, 20, 26, 20, 28, 27, 21,18, and 24 saves, far from show-stopping totals in any of those wins. Carey also ranked 2nd in the league in wins in 35, but it’s rather surprising that the voters decided to assume Carey was the main factor in all those wins and shutouts, and not a Washington team who gave up the second least shots in the league. (For more on why giving up less shots is key to success, read here). It’s a wonder Dominik Hasek received just 3 Vezina votes despite leading the league in save percentage, but perhaps voters thought he was to blame for the team missing the playoffs despite giving up the most shots in the league. Carey then found himself out of the league a few years later, as NHL teams realized he really wasn’t all that good by himself.

For whatever reason, a 19 save shutout is valued the same as a 59 save shutout, which if you ask me is pretty ridiculous. Shutouts are obviously more likely the fewer shots you pick up, and Brodeur’s had a fairly easy path to rack up his 124, just like Carey picked up his 9 in that ‘magical’ season.

It’s no secret Brodeur played behind some great defensive teams. In Brodeur’s entire career, he’s faced over 40 shots or more in a regular season game just 31 times. For reference, Ondrej Pavelec has faced 40 or more shots 32 times, in just five seasons.

Ondrej Pavelec Jets
Ondrej Pavelec has  already had faced more extremely tough assignments than Brodeur has. (Dustin Bradford/Icon SMI)

Only 21 of his shutouts required over 30 saves, whereas Hasek has 29 of those performances, Roberto Luongo has 26, and Tomas Vokoun has 23.

Hasek also once had a 70 save shutout in the playoffs in what is statistically the best goalie performance of all time, and far and away from any challenge Brodeur’s ever faced.

So while Brodeur’s shutout totals are impressive, there’s no reason why any other goalie couldn’t have racked up those numbers playing behind the same New Jersey Devils teams.

Brodeur’s the most durable goalie ever

Glenn Hall once played 502 games in a row as a goalie without missing a start, and that’s pretty much all that needs to be said. Eras aside, that’s far more impressive than any of Brodeur’s 70+ game seasons played. Second most durable goalie ever? Sure, there’s no one else who really put up Brodeur’s numbers. But again, still not the best in yet another category.

Glenn Hall was hockey’s original iron goalie.

Brodeur’s longevity is unmatched

Dominik Hasek
Hasek never led Buffalo to a Cup, but he was the best goalie on the planet in his time there. (Kevin Hoffman-US PRESSWIRE)

Some will point to Brodeur’s games played record as a sign of his greatness. And it shows something- sure- but longevity doesn’t equate to skill. By that logic, John Vanbiesbrouck is the 8th best goaltender of all time.

Once again, Hasek comes into the conversation about longevity. Dominik Hasek played goaltender at the professional level from ages 17 to 46, including in a few retirements and stints in both the Czech pro League and the KHL. Hasek casually won the best goaltender of the year five straight years in the Czech league before the rest of the world had ever heard who he was.

So what if he didn’t play as many NHL games as Brodeur? That isn’t to say Hasek or other goalies didn’t have the physical capabilities to do so. Is it tougher to succeed in the NHL than the Czech leagues or KHL? Definitely. Is it actually a more taxing job in the NHL to play in as a goalie compared to other pro leagues? Maybe, but I’d be willing to bet the effects are marginal enough that it’s nearly irrelevant.

To add to that, Brodeur is no longer even above average. He’s put up .908, .901, and .901 save percentages respectfully, which would have run a goalie ten years his younger out of town if there was a better option. Many other goalies could’ve easily struggled their way to a sub- .910 save percentage in their later years and some have. Hasek put up a .923 save percentage at age 42. Johnny Bower played until he was 45, even winning a Vezina at age 40 and a Stanley Cup at 42.  Even Dwayne Roloson put up .916 numbers at age 41, and he’s far off from an all-time great.

So Brodeur ‘led’ New Jersey to an appearance in the Cup Final in 2012 at age 40? It was exactly the 27th best save percentage of 46 goalies who suited up in those playoffs. .917 is nothing to scoff at, but it’s not exactly Conn Smythe material either.

The 2012 playoffs were also the only stretch of games since 2009 (either entire regular season or playoffs) where Brodeur put up a save percentage above .916, which is about average for a typical starting goalie.

 Brodeur had a great save percentage

Bryzgalov Minnesota Wild
Ilya Bryzgalov has made a steady transition from Edmonton to Minnesota and has amassed a very formidable 4-0-2 record for the Wild while the team’s netminding situation has been anything steady. (Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports)

Ilya Bryzgalov and James Reimer are two goalies that people love to make fun of for their incompetence in net. Ilya Bryzgalov and James Reimer also both have a better career save percentage than Martin Brodeur.

Are either of these two better goalies than Brodeur was in his prime? No, but if Brodeur was really as great as people claim he was, his numbers wouldn’t even be near those two goaltenders who are currently struggling to land a #1 job.

Martin Brodeur ranks 33rd on the all-time save percentage list of goalies with at least 100 games.

 Of goalies to play 500 games,  he’s 7th

To be fair to Brodeur, he’s had more time in the league than anyone else to have ‘off years’ that will lead to a decline in save percentage. But he’s also had more time than anyone else to put impressive save percentage numbers up, and he’s struggled to do so year after year.

If Martin Brodeur was really the ‘best goalie ever’, why did he lead the league in save percentage just once in his career? Why could he only crack the Top 10 in save percentage six times in 20 seasons?

For reference, Domink Hasek had five seasons in his career where he topped .930 in save percentage, and six years where he lead the league in save percentage. Brodeur’s career best was .927 in the shortened 1994-95 season and would not have led the league in save percentage in any other season from 1993-present.

Even from 2002-2010, the statistical prime of Brodeur’s career, he’s still got just the 8th best save percentage of any goalie to play at least 100 games over that time..

Hasek’s .914 from 2002-2008 (when he retired from the NHL) is just three percentage points behind Brodeur’s from 2002-2010, which is remarkable considering he was 37 in 2002 while Brodeur was just 30 and coming into his prime.

Hasek takes the cake in this category, as he also is the all-time save percentage leader at .922, and probably the fairest comparison as he and Brodeur came into the league at around the same time.

Brodeur had amazing playoff performances

Some say Brodeur was good in the regular season but really came to shine in the playoffs. Okay, but if he’s known for the playoffs, he must be the best in the playoffs, right? And while three Stanley Cup wins are definitely impressive, it’s not the most impressive. Try my four, says Patrick Roy. Here’s my six, says Ken Dryden. Don’t forget me, says Billy Smith, who also earned four. The list goes on. All of those teams were good teams, you say? Well so were Brodeur’s championship squads, laced with Hall of Fame players, because, you know, they won the Stanley Cup. If you really were the best in the playoffs too, where’s your Conn Smythe, Marty? Just once? 16 other goalies have managed to win the Conn Smythe, yet Marty is 0-for-4 in his finals appearances in being the most valuable to his team. Cam Ward has more Conn Smythe wins.

Statistically, Brodeur gets crushed again. Of any goalie with at least 50 playoff starts since the stat was recorded, Brodeur sits 8th. He also managed just a .001 edge and just 3 less playoff losses than Roy, despite St. Patrick playing 42 more playoff games.

Roy won four Stanley Cups, including beating Brodeur in the final in 2001.

Of any goalie with at  least 100 playoff starts, both Hasek and Belfour edge out Marty for top spot once again in career playoff save percentage.

Even for single year performances, Marty only comes up at #9 with his .934 % in 2003. Yet he was infamously outshined by Jean-Sebastien Giguere’s unreal .945 %, who earned the Conn Smythe in a rare losing effort.

Great playoff performer? Yes. Greatest? Not quite.

Brodeur’s amazing Olympic performances

Carey Price's performance in Sochi outshined Brodeur in Salt Lake. (Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports)
Carey Price’s performance in Sochi outshined Brodeur in Salt Lake.
(Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports)

So what about the biggest non-NHL stage in hockey, the Olympics? Martin Brodeur led Canada to a gold medal in 2002… with the sixth best save percentage in the tournament at .917.  Brodeur played well, not stellar for a stretch of 5 games. Tournament MVP? Not his, that went to Joe Sakic.

In 2006, he was 4th in the tournament with a .923 save percentage as Canada bowed out earlier than expected, and in 2010 he lost the starting job to Roberto Luongo, as he gave up 6 goals on 39 shots in the two games he played.

Carey Price’s 2014 performance outshines any of Brodeur’s, as he was awarded the tournament MVP and posted a .971 save percentage in his five games.

But the greatest performance in NHL-player era Olympic history comes again from Hasek, who led the Czech Republic to a gold medal in Nagano in 1998. Save percentage stats are elusive from this tournament, but it’s widely known Hasek’s MVP performance was able to defeat many of the game’s all time greats in a five round semi-final shootout against Canada.

Brodeur won a lot of individual awards

Dryden leads a long list of successful Montreal goalies.

Hasek won six Vezinas before 2003, while Brodeur won a grand total of zero. If you factor in 5 straight Top Goalie awards Hasek won in the Czech league, it’s clear he’s been stellar everywhere he played. It was only once Hasek was already past his prime that Brodeur was able to win the award.

Glenn Hall won 3 Vezinas, but it was previously award to the goalie with the lowest GAA, so a precursor to the modern day Jennings trophy. Hall was picked as a First team all-star seven times however,(the unofficial ‘best goalie award’), which again tops Brodeur’s three.

Jacques Plante won 7 Vezinas, and had as many First Team all-star appearances as Brodeur (three).

Bill Durnan won six Vezinas and made six first all-star teams, and Ken Dryden had five of each.

You would think that the best goalie ever would have more recognition, but once again MB30 comes up overshadowed.

If the other goalies were only able to win their awards due to less teams in the league, then why was Hasek still able to win six?

The ‘eye test’- Brodeur looked like the best

This is the easiest one to refute, because it’s completely subjective. If Brodeur looked like the best goalie of all time, why did he never have the individual stats or recognition to back it up?

So who is the best goalie to ever strap on the pads?

Statistically, it’s Hasek, but that’s kind of an issue since save percentages weren’t calculated prior to the 1980s and have historically risen as advancements to the goalie position are made, so it’s tough to make cross-era comparisons. Playoff success, it’s probably Roy in the most recent era, but Dryden and Plante give interesting cases too. Durability, it’s Hall, no doubt. If you factor in other legends of their era such as Tony Esposito and Durnan, it’s quite possible Brodeur doesn’t even fit in the top 5, maybe even the top 10.

So yes, you’re right if you believe that Brodeur is the winningest goalie ever and has the most shutouts, but he’s also got the most losses and most goals against. If he only gave up so many goals and lost so many games because he played more games than anyone else, then how can you use wins and shutouts as a method to praise Brodeur? The truth- it’s impressive, but a testament to his longevity and teams, not his actual skill a goaltender.

Long story short, there is nothing tangible to suggest Brodeur was anything but a solid, durable goaltender back stopping one of the best defensive teams in recent NHL history. For as many reasons there are to place him at #1, there are at least 10 reasons why he’s not.  Enjoy your retirement, Marty, but it’s time for fans to open their eyes and stop putting Brodeur as their starting netminder on hockey’s all-time team.

All stats courtesy of hockey-reference.com

85 thoughts on “Exposing Martin Brodeur: The NHL’s Most Overrated Goalie”

  1. Did you even watch hockey? Not reading your articles ever again. Don’t be negative about Martin Brodeur he accomplished more in hockey than you did.

  2. I think Bernie Parent said it best when Brodeur broke his most wins per season record. He mentioned that even though the season was longer and there were OT wins, Marty earned the record since he was playing at a time with players that Parent and the older goalies never had to contend with. Parent said that he (Parent) never had to deal with the speed and athleticism of modern players, and at the angles they attack from. He said that Marty is the best goaltender in the game at the time, because he has been doing it so well for so long. That is high praise. Marty is the best ever. No other goaltender has had the rules changed. No other goaltender commanded the defense like he did. No other goaltender backstopped a team that many refused to believe could be a contender. Marty is the best.

  3. You are sir a complete and utter idiot. Just like most beat writers now a days you have no fuckin clue about hockey, or whatever happens in the game of hockey. This article is solely written to get a ruse, or you must be thee dumbest sports writer to walk the planet. Yourself discrediting Marty is like discrediting Gretzky for playing on a great dynasty all those years. You should retire with whatever dignity you have left and move to Russia.

  4. So you list a bunch of stats and accomplishments related to Brodeur and then you go on to name a different person whose come close or has done slightly more for each of those accomplishments. All the while, missing the entire point you proved, that Brodeur has all those qualities. To say someone is the “Greatest” in anything is just silly. Your little write up would’ve been bare-able if you hadn’t used such a tasteless Title.

  5. I challenge this guy to get one NHL win and one NHL shutout. Standing in one end of the rink for 12 minutes with no shots and then having to face an NHL shooter is not an easy shutout. There are no easy shutouts in the NHL. Just like there are no easy wins. And pretty much every goalie before the 2000’s had a lower save percentage. Any era, any gear this guy was one of the best puck stoppers of all time. And P.S. Dryden won 6 cups in 8 years must not have been on any good teams.

  6. You are missing Marty’s stick work in your statistical assessment. His polk checks, his fake outs, his grace under pressure…
    How many goalie’s forced the NHL to enact rule changes?

  7. Get this clown off the internet. He has no idea what he’s talking about. Brodeur’s the best of all time because when you combine all the categories this guy brought up, nobody else is even close.

  8. The most annoying statistician argument from anti-brodeur supporters is Save %. They tout it as the go to stat for goalies and the end all of all arguments. This is the most overrated stat in the sport of NHL.

    Most butterfly goalies have higher SV% than the goalies of old because statistically most shot faced are low, so when people shoot, the goalies drop down into the butterfly and cover most of the lower part of the net.

    The problem comes when the shooter knows enough to shoot high after faking a shot and gets a timely goal. As a result, a lot of butterfly goalies fail to make those timely goals for their team and lose the game.

    Watch some of those high SV% goalies like Luongo, who lost some critical games for his team because teams figured out how to shoot on him. Butterfly goalies are predictable.

    That makes that save % stat an illusion. Just because you are good at dropping down low and covering the lower part of the net doesn’t make you a clutch goaltender. This has been proven time and again with goalies like Bryzgalov and some of his dismal performances.

    Goalies are not great because they can blindly save the puck. Goalies are great because they can be unpredictable and save those timely goals. Roy had it, Hasek had it, and Brodeur had it.

    Unfortunately for Brodeur, he played in front of a team that was mostly defensive and faced fewer shots. However consider there were several factors also to his lower sv%.

    1. It has been shown that NJ shot counters has consistently tallied lower shot counts in their home games. If you have watched those games through the years, you’ll know that the commentators have mentioned missed counts more often than not. These extra shots saved adds up over time and should have boosted Marty’s SV%.

    2. Marty makes a lot of saves by the poke check. Poke checks are not counted as saves in the eyes of the shot counter and again, another save % booster opportunity missed.

    3. The low number of shots faced actually lowers the SV% not the other way around. This has been proven time and again when Marty faced more shots. His SV% goes up. Even Cory Schneider’s SV% took a dive when he came to NJ, because of the lower shots faced.

    SV% really is also a team stat. It is highly dependent on the quality of shots faced, the number of shots faced, and how well the team could defend.

    When you save easy shots over and over and have a high SV%, that doesn’t mean you are a good goalie.

    Goalies play on a team. As a member of the team, the most important stat is the Wins. Winning is the best way to determine success. A goalie that can help his team win a game is the best goalie. Individual stats mean nothing if you can’t help your team win. Don’t blame goalies on their teams, they are as much part of the win or loss as any other member. SV% is the most overrated here. Not Brodeur.

  9. Over the last 32 years Ive had the priveldge of watching hockey and for a lot of those years, playing it. The one thing that this stat freak fails to see is the fact that Marty acted as a 3rd defenseman for so many years. Though you claim he stood behind one of the best defensive minded teams in the league, look back, watch the tapes of all the teams you can. Now watch the goalies, how the communicate and how they handle situations.
    Now if you dont think that a goalie who can pass like a 1st line d-man is deserving of his titles or accolades then you sir are no better then a TML fan who just imigrated from another country. Low blow I know.. and a bit childish for saying it. But really you keep giving Hasek praise, he was good, and maybe on paper he was better, but the fact remains Marty is still playing at 42 and just a few seasons ago made it to the cup final, even years before that some fans were saying he is too old. The fact of the matter is this, very few goalies can even pale to compare in the accomplishments Marty has had over the years, even now, there is no clear cut decisive #1 goalie out there, Marty endured numerous rule changes and still managed to have a descent career (even better career then some goalies half his age) I can see that you are only a numbers person, but you are comparing the wrong names and the wrong stats if you want to put up a solid arguement about Marty not being the Greatest of all time.

  10. Put it all together and what do you get……… The best goalie of all time.

    PS, the guy has more goals than Roy, Hasek, Miller, and Sawchuk combined

  11. Obviously you are not an athlete! Moreover you probably never played hockey either! You are just a number’s freak who doesn’t know what he is talking about! Sport isn’t just statistics! You should know better!

  12. I’d also point out that the fixation of the author — and many readers posting here — on Dominik Hasek as the greatest goaltender of his generation is a bit strange. Hasek had a great career, but it was also a rather odd one.

    One big reason why Martin Brodeur holds so many NHL career records is that he became the starting goaltender for the Devils during the 1993-94 season when he wasn’t even 22 years old. Those of us who are old enough to remember will recall that Hasek was originally drafted in 1983 (that’s not a misprint), and spent several years shuttling back and forth between Chicago and the IHL’s Indianapolis Ice in the early 1990s after he came over to North America. It’s understandable that he wouldn’t be able to displace Ed Belfour as Chicago’s starting goalie, but he was also losing playing time to career backups like Jimmy Waite, Ray Leblanc and Greg Millen. He didn’t become a starting goaltender until he was traded to Buffalo, and he was nearly 30 years old when he finally displaced Grant Fuhr as the team’s #1 goalie.

  13. I couldn’t read past the first couple of paragraphs. I’m not a Devils fan, but if somebody is paying this guy to write, they should be fired along with that idiot writing this drivel–fired right out of a cannon preferably. What a twit! Even now Marty is still within the top 35% of goalies in the world (maybe 40% on the off chance). Even if Marty is not up to a grinding 82 game schedule he would make a fantastic backup and mentor for ANY goalie in the world.

    Will somebody put this idiot, who wrote this waste of my valuable time, out on the ice playing against my Bruins please. I’m certain they will show him just how good Marty really still is!

  14. As the poster named Ben noted below, any discussion of “overrated” goalies that doesn’t include Ken Dryden is kind of pointless if you’re basing the discussion on the quality of the team around the goalie. Dryden played his entire short career on teams that consistently put 6-8 Hall of Famers on the ice in front of him. How do you hold that against him?

    And yet Dryden himself suggested in one of his books that he had a hard time assessing his value to the Canadiens because it seemed like they always managed to score enough goals to win even when he played poorly. He cited one game — I think it was a 6-5 Montreal win where he played very poorly — and said something like: “I wasn’t even capable of LOSING a game for this team.”

  15. I’m not sure I would use the term “overrated” to describe Brodeur, but this is one New Jersey Devils fan who agrees with a lot of what this author has said. More than anything else, Brodeur’s career demonstrates why it is so difficult to compare goalies from one era to another … and even from one team to another within the same era. In a team sport, a player’s individual contribution can’t easily be separated from the team’s performance.

    I’d also suggest that any goalie whose career started after 1980 really belongs in a separate class. Before then, goalies weren’t typically great athletes and rarely had adequate coaching even at the NHL level. If you read biographies of old-time greats like Plante, Sawchuk and Hall, one of the recurring themes is that they never had goaltending coaches. Their NHL coaches just said: “Hey, just go out and play … I don’t even know how you do what you do!” A lot of these guys took to goaltending simply because they weren’t good enough to play other positions.

    Vladislav Tretiak was probably the first great goaltender of the modern era … and by this I mean that he was the first all-time great who was groomed, coached and prepped to play the position. From that point forward, the position has truly changed and the players who dominate the game are superb athletes. It’s no coincidence that scoring in the NHL has declined considerably in this modern era, and the development of the goaltending position is one of the big reasons why this has happened.

    So yes, I think Brodeur is somewhat “overrated” — or maybe “mis-rated” is a better term. Of all the statistical measures you might use to rate a goaltender, I was surprised that the author overlooked the most obvious: Brodeur holds just about every regular-season goaltending record imaginable, but his 113 playoff victories are so far behind Roy’s 151 wins that it’s hard to imagine them being in the same class. These numbers expose one flaw in Brodeur’s illustrious career: for all the Stanley Cup rings and appearances he made in the Stanley Cup finals, he wasn’t really a great playoff goalie at all. And his playoff OVERTIME record … 12-21 in 33 games, by my reckining … is downright awful.

  16. Anyone catch that this guy is like 19? Please tell me how great Hasek was compared to Marty again, when you were likely to young to remember watching them as they entered their prime. I’m sure at 7 years old you did a fantastic job of evaluating goaltender talent.
    Oh, and its not called an “eye test”, its called watching the games.
    Just because you use stats doesn’t mean your math adds up.
    You cant say he sees the fewest shots and then say he doesnt make enough saves in his shutouts(?!?).
    If he had a higher save % in his wins (which you say he had a low % for) do the wins count more then?
    His regular season wins are a team stat, but Roy’s post-season wins are a testament to individual achievement?
    You didnt throw up much of an argument in “Individual awards”, you mentioned what, maybe 3 other people.
    If your so certain Hasek is the greatest ever than why dont you write an article saying Hasek was the greatest ever. Oh, maybe because even you know how ridiculous that is.

  17. i heard the radio interview and it literally was so much bs i couldnt listen it properly.

    if hasek played for the devils and faced those legendary 15-20 shots as every1 claim, he would have needed to save 18.65/20 shots of making it 93% sv, that would have meant 1.35 gga.

    if he faced those 15 shots, he would have needed 14/15 for making it 93% sv and it would have been 1.00 gga.

    so is it realistic to expect hasek would have had 1.00 – 1.35 gga for long period of time if at all? now count those martys 1259 games and having 92% sv his gga would be 1.87 after 1259 games played when in this league goalies gettin barely under 2.00 gga after 50-100 games, so think about after 1259 games.

    brodeur didnt have chance to have 92-93 career sv % due lower amount of shots and thats just a fact.

  18. People seem to think that stats are proving all of the arguments but most of them are misread.

    Brodeur didn’t just “play behind” the best d-corps, his leadership helped coordinate them. And no other goaltender even touches him in leadership. The fact that he didn’t face fewer shots wasn’t solely because of defense, but he told him how and where to play the puck. He took stopping pucks to the next level: preventing them from being shot in the first place.

    His ability to track the puck was unmatched. His ability to play it was unmatched and forced the enemy attackers to play out of their comfort zone.

    His confidence and positive attitude boosted team morale as much as they needed to get those victories.

    Give respect where it’s due.

  19. It’s funny to see how angry devils fans get about any argument(with stats to prove—– How many Cups for Dryden in how many years?DISMISSED devils fans) about how good marty was. Marty is the BIGGEST LOSER of alltime in the NHL devils fans, that is the fact too! He is just the Bret Favre of hockey, he lasted longer than the other great goalies. One of the top 10 of alltime, no doubt. The BEST? No F’n way!!! devils fans say “they changed the rules because of HIM, the TRUTH is Turco,Hextall, DePietro, etc.. all moved the puck just as well(that answers that). The RULE that was changed that REALLY mattered was the NUETRAL ZONE TRAP that was a devils TEAM system when the redline was taken out to stop all 5 guys between the blue and redline just waiting for a turnover . Ken Dryden was the best BY FAR!!!

  20. These arguments are PURE GARBAGE… if the teams around Marty were SOOOOO Good… why is it that you “EXPERTS” never had them making the playoffs much less winning the cup??? Marty’s run in 2003 is one of the best by a goalie ever… These arguments were based off what other goalies have done… not Marty. I don’t get them??? Red Wings and Stars knocked off two defending champs in a row… out lasted a Red Hot JS Giguere in 03′ I mean come on this is utter nonsense… There is a rule names after the guy and trapezoid painted in the Ice because he could single handedly eliminate a team’s ability to forecheck… Stop Hating on the best…. it is embarrassing… what are your qualifications for being “hockey experts”??? DUMB!

  21. I don’t agree with Adam’s opinion but that what it is, an opinion. This an opinion site. Writers like Adam and me provide our opinions about the hockey teams they love and the players who take the ice.

    I’ve seen the so called bigger and well known sites print similar opinions about Marty. One of them is something fans sit on during games and it rhymes with feature.

  22. I love how offended Marty supporters and by association, Devils supporters get when you point out that a lot of his success was due to the team around him. You say he wasn’t the best but was on one of the best teams, and they can’t see the compliment. This is why devils/brodeur fans are the worst in sports. Someone above said the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen when he said he didn’t see a difference between a 19 shot shutout and a 59 shot shutout! That says it all about these people.

  23. Adam no wonder why you write for some no name source. Who has heard of the hockey writers? Why don’t you realize 3 stanley cups 5x eastern conf champs, most wins by a goalie. Adam, get off the drugs.

  24. This is a terrible article. Can this writer name one goalie to ever play who is a better all-around player? No, he just names every player better in one specific statistic. Worst analysis of a player I have ever read.

  25. Wow, what a load of garbage. He’s an amazing goaltender, perhaps not the best, but how can you objectively pick a single person who is the best at anything? Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. This ill-informed hitpiece is just trash though, and you should be ashamed of yourself. You sound like someone with a personal grudge against Brodeur. Not to mention that you were born in 1994 and didn’t even get to watch Marty in the prime of his career. So what’s your beef, little man?

  26. Ha what a load of crap from a bunch of haters. Marty is the best the league will ever see. Get off your soap boxes and recognize a true legend for once. Or is the same old “nothing good about the New Jersey Devils”? It’s old, immature, inaccurate and tiring to hear the rest of the league dump on the Devils and their players. “Oh they have no fans” – we have a bigger fanbase than you realize. “They’ve never amounted to anything” – we’ve won 3 cups since the Ranjerks won 1 (and 54 years before that one). Keep jacking it to the 1994 reruns of old news… “We don’t score enough” – hockey isn’t about scoring, it’s about winning. This season aside, the Devils are one of the most recently successful teams, done with DEFENSE FIRST! If scoring alone is all people want, then you aren’t really hockey fans, you’re fair weather fans who only come around when there’s a bandwagon to jump on.

    Marty’s Better – end of discussion

  27. Nicely thought out and researched. However, it is impossible to measure certain things like Martys stickhandling ability (both with the puck and on pokechecks), his incredible rebound control and his big game heroics.

  28. its funny, because every argument in there can be used to deconstruct every goalie. How is it fair to ignore all these facts with other goalies and use them to bring Brodeur down? Also, they ignore numerous other records through out his career. This article seems to be more of a personal vendetta. Its funny because they talk about wins and shutouts being a team thing. Go to any of his 688 wins, or 124 shutouts and watch the post game interview. The first thing he does is credit the team. Generally speaking, the only time he takes credit for himself is when he takes the blame after a loss. I think the biggest thing about him is that he is the last goalie to really fight against the boring butterfly style. Enjoy those amazing save highlights, because they will be few and far between with the butterfly style. Goalies are now just wearing oversized pads, and being in the way of the puck instead of making actual saves. The man is a legend, but of course someone is going to take a shot at him now. I do believe I would put this in the column of Hack Journalism. An attempt for this new “reporter” to go against the grain, say something controversial just to try to get a name for himself.

  29. one of the weakest arguments i’ve ever seen attempting to support a clearly spiteful opinion. do you actually watch sports? Please tell me you weren’t paid to write this, I’ll quit my job right now and come work for your organization, though it would be pretty embarrassing to work for any service that would publish such garbage.

  30. Mark Messer is a better player than Mario Lemieux since he has more cups than him and 100 more points. But Mark played 500 more games than Mario did. Does that prove he is the better player? According to all the Marty supporters it does.

  31. Did you want to play hockey as a child and did not have the skills so you became a sports writer? And in your bitterness focused your rage at the pinnacle of the Hockey Pyramid that is Martin Brodeur? You have exposed yourself to the entire world as a fool and fraud of a writer. Better you quit now and go back to writing for Heighlights Magazine where children don’t yet understand the depth of your stupidity.

  32. The individual who wrote this is apsolutly out of his fucking mind, I really hope your a math teacher with all your numbers that you compared without realizing how much the game changes every single year, there is no doubt in my mind you have ever actually played one game of ice hockey let alone play net for a game but you can take all your numbers that you compared over the last 60 years and shove em, I’m a rangers fan, I hate the devils , I don’t like Marty but how dare you put up all these numbers threw out 60 some odd years and come to the conclusion that he is not one of the top 5 goalies to every play the game. Your a disgusting writer with no actual knowlege as how the game is played, changes over time, what it takes to actually put up the numbers that you are so infatuated with writing about, and what it means to play games, playoff games , win them , get shutouts pre and post season and what is done in those games in that certain time period to get these wins. No doubt he always had a defense team in front of him with some hall of fame players in front of them but are you going to start counting the games Scott Stevens sat out compared to someone who played in 1965 and try to bring some of the wins he earned his team down because you found someone else with different numbers ? Brian leetch also played D but scored more goals so Scott Stevens can’t be as good as they say because look at the numbers? No it doesn’t work like that when you wanna compare players over decades, you do that during a season stupid. You just mixed up apples oranges grapes and a banana that should get shoved in your mouth. Dominick was great Roy was great Marty was great John Davidson was great, you cannot compare these people with all these years in between them together to bring down one person who holds almost every record there is and say he might not even be top 10. What happends if you put Marty in the game in 1965?? What do you think would happen then .. Idiot, Marty did amazing things one of my favorite being his shutout record just in the playoffs and please do the hockey readers a favor and go back to your math class. Thanks for your input though and no hard feelings. Goodnite

  33. The writer spent a lot of time energy and words to tell the world that he’s an idiot. I’ve watch Brodeur for 20 years and he IS the best goalie to ever play the game. They changed the rules because of him, for crying out loud.

  34. Ridiculous argument…”where’s your Conn Smythe, Marty?” We all know he was robbed of it when shut out the Ducks in 3 of those 4 wins in the finals in ’03, INCLUDING game 7…but they gave it to JS Giguere instead because it was better for the league to do so. Young, up-and-coming good looking guy in Southern Cali where hockey was finally starting to take off and become mainstream…they had a built-in story to sell.

    I suggest you read Ken Dryden’s book, The Game, and then write about how great of a goalie he was. He mentions several times the Canadiens had the greatest defensive corps ever, and at a time when there was very little parody in a league of only 14 teams. Stale argument.

    • Good points, Ben … but Brodeur wasn’t robbed of a Conn Smythe in 2003. If anyone on the Devils deserved it, it was Scott Niedermayer — who probably had one of the most brilliant playoff performances by a defenseman since Bobby Orr.

      Brodeur’s problem is that he rarely had to win any games for them in 2003, as evidenced by the fact that the Devils won all four games in the Finals that year by the exact same three-goal margin. Heck — it’s hard to award Brodeur the Conn Smythe Trophy when they probably could have won the Stanley Cup with Corey Schwab in goal for the entire Finals!

  35. You honestly expect me to take an article written by a 20 year old seriously????? someone who has barely even seen Marty’s career!

  36. I am not a Brodeur lover. Without doubt a great goalie, but not THE Greatest. In my opinion I don’t anyone can pick one. Hockey like other sports is evolving. How can one compare pre-mask to each succeeding evolution? (flat mask to birdcage) Straight to curves sticks, bigger sized players, you get the message. The fact the trapezoid was put in because of Brodeur doesn’t explain the whole story (http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=367201). It was also a rule to protect Goalies. How well woulds he have fared if the Montreal rule was not instituted? (only one goal allowed on a power play)

    Each era has its own greatness. Stop wining and accept there are other Goalies. Roy, Hasik, Dryden, Gumper, Plante to name a few.

    My Opinyon.

  37. Sound like both NJD fans out there wrote in several times each about the truth here. Fat Boy has been far more responsible for NJ being OUSTED from the playoffs than them winning. Wraparounds, behind-the-net goals, shots from the corners, sideboards, floaters from way out, the CLASSIC meltdown against Carolina in the last 2 minutes (goal-line shot from the corner and wrist shot from the outside hash marks by the boards) all led to mostly-favored NJ teams being ousted to the golf course. Stack that up against the 6 save shutout, being outplayed in winning years by the opposing goalies, and never winning since Stevens & Niedermayer left, or since the Trap was abandoned after Lemaire and Burns were gone. NJ ALWAYS outshoots the other team, Fat Boy rarely has to face scoring chances and gives up the worst goals at the worst times. One thing the article left out was his skill as a puck-handler, which does rank among the best ever. But stacked against many other top goalies who had shorter careers, every single one faced more shots, more scoring chances than this blob did in far more games. Nearly every single season, NJ gave up less shots than any other team. And when he was out injured, NJ usually opened up their style allowing more shots on goal and the backups did better than this “All-timer”. Clemmenson won 30 games, then was sent to the minors when Tubby got back, and he promptly choked once again in the playoffs. Hedberg didn’t crack under the pressure when he had to cover for another injury. I agree 100% with this article, been saying it for years. Most nights, NJ could have put a chair with a crate of eggs in the crease and not a single shell would have been broken, and probably racked up 600 wins. Without Uncle Jacques and the Trap, Stevens and Niedemayer gone to protect him and keep the puck out of the NJ end, and the ridiculous season-ending goals that dominated a 20 year career, Lardie is just another goalie. Switch him with Miller and put him in Buffalo these past few years, there wouldn’t even be an article like this, because he would be driving a Zamboni in Quebec somewhere. Had Canada not yanked him after one typically embarrassing performance in the 2010 Olympics, the US wins the gold that year, but Luongo bailed them out and actually had to face shots that might have gone in. I have always given him credit for durability, but I consider him the Maytag repairman of goalies, and I always found it absurd to give credit for him “staying sharp” while going 20 minutes between shots against. Kind of like giving a DH a Gold Glove award after playing one inning in RF and never getting a chance. Didn’t make any errors either, so he must be a great fielder. So let the 200 or so NJ fans (most of whom know as much about hockey as an amoeba – try asking one how many KC Scout games he rooted for) have their fantasy. The rest of us can beat the drum of this article, about as often as LA and others beat him with the same exact shot in the 2012 playoffs – knee-high, stick side, over and over again. I think we saw how other teams also thought this, since none of them jumped at the chance to have him “help” their playoff chances thiss year at the trade deadline. Based on his overall playoff performances, any team that gives up shots couldn’t use him. One thing this article didn’t mention, and I would LOVE to see, is what his record is in games where he faced over 20 shots, which wasn’t often.

  38. “im sorry i was too busy polishing my 3 stanley cup rings!” said marty as he read this ridiculous article. Any team or fan base would have taken him in a heart beat! Youre lying if you say otherwise. Winners are measured by championships in all sports fair or not. if the rags win a cup ny fans will hail lundquist as a God. imagine if he played in montreal!! Martys records will not be broken. stop hating. martys better!!

  39. Brodeur isn’t even a top 10 goalie? You – and thehockeywriters – just lost all credibility in my book. Best of luck in your next career.

  40. You call yourself a hockey writer?? You just sound like a jilted bitch who got left at the altar or a dork without an athletic bone in her body(yes I said “her” purposely)who is jealous of any athlete who accomplishes something..the fact is you are a joke and if you read the comments you will realize nobody takes your garbage articles seriously anyway..try again moron

  41. This article is a joke. Yes I am a life long die hard Rangers fan. I watched my Blue Shirts play many games vs Marty over the years. I hated the man as much as I hate anyone who wears the Devils’s Jersey. What I also do is respect the man immensely. For someone to say he is over rated hasn’t watched many games with him between the pipes. Especially not the meaningful ones where he was as clutch as they come. He not only had longevity but he was still darn good at age 41.

  42. He raises a good point about any goalie succeeding in net behind NJ’s defensive style. Behind that defense, Clemmonson put up 23 wins when he filled in for an injured Marty.

    BTW, that landed him a starting job in FLA, where he did not put up the same numbers because the FLA team was not as strong defensively.

  43. You realize you had to pull about 20 different goalies into the conversation to compare to just Martin Brodeur. Sure, he might not be the number 1 in any one category, but the fact he is mentioned in all those categories makes him the best. Learn the game before writing crap.

    • That doesn’t make sense, in order to be the best in something, wouldn’t you have to actually be #1 in a category that you’re being the best in?

  44. Wow, you seem very angry about something. I’m not sure what it is. But whatever it is, it clouds your hockey IQ. Your article actually is the best collection of why he is easily top 5. Every category he’s notable. Perhaps not the best in any 1 or has other caveat you want to discredit, like wins and shutouts, but hes there in each. Wins, Playoffs, Championships, Longevity, Durability, GAA, Puck Handling….hes in the conversations for each. Nobody is as well rounded. You have to dig into the history book to come up with anomalistic examples in each category.

    Plus, your citations of Goalies who played when stick blades weren’t even curved can be ignored. Hockey evolved way too much over the years to compare goalies of different eras. That’s a fool’s debate.

    Which leads me too…Marty being the last stand/flop/hybrid goalie to perform well enough to go to Stanley Cup. Mechanical butterfly goalies have taken things to a whole new level. Quick being close to the exception, but he is still very much a butterfly netminder.

    Lastly, your “defensive” team argument is just silly. Ever think Marty was the reason those def. looked good? Scary to have a netminder who can act as a 3rd Def. isn’t it? They had to change the rules of the game (trapezoid) because of him. You want to discredit that skill too Im sure.

    End of the day, in the era from 1980-2014….It goes: Hasek – Roy – Brodeur. All the hot air you wrote here is just that, hot air. It’s not founded. It denies your own perception just to back up an emotional issue you have.

    • Took every word out of my mouth. This writer is clearly to involved with numbers to see what is clearly happening even now when Marty laces em up.

  45. As most of the people before me have said, it’s not being the best at one stat that makes a good goalie. The biggest statistical flaw against Brodeur is always save percentage. So lets take the opposite side of the arguement. Anytime i hear an interview with a goalie who only saw 20 shots, they will say “It was hard to get into a rhythm tonight because I wasn’t getting a lot of action.” So can we now increase the value of his save percentage due to the average shots seen per game? Also, how many more quality shots are other goalies facing each game out of the 5 extra shots or so they see?

    The main reason Brodeur faced fewer shots than anyone is his puck handling skills and rebound control. They guy could stop a shot and at the same time put the rebound out of harms way better than anyone else during the bulk of his career. That combo had to save him 4-5 shots a game over a majority of the other goalies in the league, and that is a pretty significant intangible to add to the table when looking at a goalie’s overall game.

    No one will ever be able to say for sure who the best goalie in the game was. Roy was a beast, and Hasek stood on his head for 6 or 7 years. But to leave Broduer out of the conversation is absurd.

  46. “There’s a chance he even falls out of the top five spots, maybe even the top ten, all things considered.”

    Considered to stop reading there, but I was bored so continued along for pure entertainment value. I regret it now since I’ll never get that time back, but I did learn one important thing: That you have completely discredited yourself from ANYTHING hockey related. Forever. Thankfully, for the sake of hockey, your name is attached to this “article”, so anything you write here on out will just be laughed at.

    Now get back to studying Algebra 1, you class clown!

  47. Marty has been in 5 CUP Finals, not 4. Does this writer even know what a hockey puck looks like???

    Terrible article by a terrible writer.

  48. Sorry but Ken Dryden is the most over rated goalie of all time, he had the greatest defense corps in front of him which is why he is even mentioned but the proof comes in his dismal performances in international competitions.

  49. Some young, no it all who thinks he knows it all. All goalies need a team behind him to support his stats. This article is trash. You know nothing of hockey. marty, subjectively, made some of the most insane saves I have ever seen. You are obviously a marty hater.

  50. This probably doesn’t even warrant a response, but I will anyway

    -How does somebody with at best 3 years worth of credible hockey knowledge evaluate the career of a guy who’s been playing for 20+ years.

    – This is basically a sloppier, briefly summarized version of the case made by a Roy/Canadiens fan on brodeurisafraud.

    -many of the individual points themselves are completely contradictory. comparing save percentages to Reimer one of the more laughable. Along with listing all of the individual awards, only then to state “If Brodeur looked like the best goalie of all time, why did he never have the individual stats or recognition to back it up? ”

    basically a very see through attempt at stirring a debate on a subject the author clearly didnt research enough to make competently. pretty damning considering the argument has been made by others now for almost 2 decades

  51. Don’t quit your day job, this article is absolute comedy. There is no universe where James Reimer and Bryzgalov should be mentioned in the same article as Brodeur, I dont care what type of slanted stats you are trying to bring up. Yes Brodeur didnt have the type of success he had earlier when Stevens and Nieds left, but the late 2000s Devils were carried by Brodeur on his back into the playoffs. Have a a little respect and just be thankful you got to watch a legend play rather than pretend to be an ESPN hockey writer publishing garbage like this.

  52. Essentially the argument you’re making is fundamentally flawed. You say that due to his longevity Martyt amassed these gaudy statistics, and because of his team he was able to be successful. If Marty isn’t in the top five Goalies of all-time then MR.HOCKEY isn’t in the top five players of all-time. He played on a line with two other hall of famers during every one of his Heart Trophy seasons. He also only lead the league in points Six timesBut you know what? howe played longer and at a higher maintained level than any one else ever had before him. So has Marty. It is his consistently good to great play over 20 + years that makes him one of the best ever. I would equate Marty to being the Gordie Howe of Goalies, and definitely ranks among the top three goalies of all time.

  53. Excellent article. This is truth!!!! Nice to see all the insecure whiny Devils fans can’t handle it…

  54. My favorite part about this fantastic article is how many comments refute not the evidence but instead concentrate on your age. The amount of ad hominem attacks is often a great measure for the accuracy of a controversial argument. Great job on all fronts, especially the ones that’s most important: clearly and accurately explaining why Brodeur is perhaps the most overrated goalie of all time. (BTW, check out the article from Brodeur is a Fraud that makes the case that Trevor Kidd could have been in Brodeur’s place. Makes some compelling arguments.)

  55. Maybe you shouldn’t have kids writing articles about goalies who all played before he stop wetting himself.

  56. 1 – If you were born when Jim Carrey was relevant, I believe that’s ’96, so you’re immediately eliminated from contributing anything of substance on this topic.
    2 – You cover primarily the Avs for this site (According to your bio. I have never been on this site before and don’t intend to visit again.), so could it be you’re just a Roy fanboy who has an axe to grind against Brodeur?
    3 – Discounting shutouts because the number of saves the goalie made wasn’t in the 30s is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. What was Marty supposed to do, stop shots that never came? Shoot on himself? If his opponent took X number of shots, and he stopped them all, guess what, he was perfect that day. Period.

    I am a Devils fan and have seen Marty at his best and his worst. I personally think Hasek is the best goalie I’ve ever seen, and in a 1 game win-or-go-home scenario I’m probably taking Roy over Brodeur too. But you cherry pick stats to tear down someone you never saw play in his prime and your attitude is misplaced and your arguments flawed. This is a pretty terrible piece of ‘journalism’ or whatever you want to call it.

  57. Good article, many of players have played long careers, people are so hurt over this but the reality is when you place the best against the best, Marty loses almost everytime, wins are a reflection of playing the most games, his wins are a reflection of great defence, the goalies that you put on a net and use for shinny are about as useful as Marty behind the defence he played with.

  58. You also forgot one pertinent bit of information to support the article (which I whole-heartedly agree with): Marty never won a Stanley Cup after Scott Stevens retired. So, were those Cups truly a product of Brodeur’s goaltending, or Stevens cleaning the crease?

  59. It’s nice to finally see some reality, facts, figures put next to Brodeur’s name instead of Devil’s fans who can’t see past Brodeur as some “great one.” A goaltender does not make a team win a Stanley Cup that is for sure, it takes a team, without great defense a goalie cannot win games and that’s been proven even by my Rangers. Henrik cannot save games for the team every night he needs good defense and if your team plays crappy you certainly can’t win it for them. The stats have to be there to show you are really truly the greatest of all time and Marty has never been nor will he ever be the greatest goaltender and that title should not be taken lightly. It’s insulting to all those goaltenders that came before him and did rack up the stats and accolades to act as if you are some kind of God’s gift to hockey, the arrogance of Marty on top of the arrogance of some of the fans can sometimes show a huge lack of disrespect for the game itself. A true sportsman, a true professional should never and would never act that way. I just think in sports as in politics facts matter, if you look at stats and they don’t add up to the label you’ve given someone then it doesn’t add up, view reality and move on from it.

  60. You’re article is retarded. Next I’d like you to go and tell us all that Gretzky isn’t actually “The Great One”. Sorry bud, unfortunately your lack of hockey knowledge shines in this piece of shit you just wrote. I’d suggest taking some time off. I completely agree with H. Byrd above… this website and it’s writers aren’t anything worth reading.

  61. Everything that you say is truthful. However, you are forgetting the compilation effect. While he may not be the best in every category, he is close enough to the top in every single category to make him the best. While Hasek may be good here and Roy there and Dryden over here, nobody spans all of the categories like Brodeur. Therefore, Brodeur is the best goalie of all time.

  62. Marty amaynot be the best but he is definitely in the top 5. Try being a goalie for 30 plus years,20 of which were in the nhl. Thats alot on the body.

  63. “So while Brodeur’s shutout totals are impressive, there’s no reason why any other goalie couldn’t have racked up those numbers playing behind the same New Jersey Devils teams ”

    This is the point when I knew you had no idea what you were talking about. You’re telling me that aside from Marty there are goalies out there that would have performed as good or better if they had played for New Jersey during the trap days.

    Odd considering that numerous teams played the same style and their goalies failed to put up similar stats. Maybe Brodeur is better than the lot?

    Brodeur may not be statistically the greatest goalie to strap ’em up, but you’re making it out as if he’s some two bit plug- see James Reimer- who lucked into all of his incredible stats.

    If we’re discounting greats then maybe it’s time to re-evaluate how people view Hall of Famers-

    Ken Dryden-11 players from the 76-77 Canadiens are HHOF…the only season he posted double digit shut outs….not a coincidence. Not to entirely discredit Dryden, immensely talented teammates, but when your team is averaging 4.8 goals for per game it’s awful hard for the other team to even have the puck to shoot don’t you think? Product of team.

    Terry Sawchuk- It was the 50’s, six teams, poor players…I mean 4 seasons of 10+ SO and 5 straight seasons of < 2.00 GAA is easy to do when see the same poor shooters over and over. Never ever see this kind of entrance into the league, since or ever.

    Tony Esposito- Had five good seasons before he became an average netminder. He recorded just 4 30+ W seasons after the age of 30. He played until he was 40.

    Brodeur has 7. 5 of which have come after Scott Stevens retired and Scott Neidermayer left. So much for the great defense theory. After they left who has become the workhorse shut down blueliner? Andy Greene? Anton Volchenkov?

    That list could continue as long as I feel like breaking down the heros of my childhood.

    It's easy to cherry picks stats to support your argument, but the context of comparing players cross-generationally is insane. Contemporaries- fine he ranks behind Hasek and Roy. But only them.

    Save percentage may be the greatest indicator of goaltending success, but ultimately keeping the game close, (which he did! Life time GAA 2.24) and being reliable are traits you expect from a goalie and Brodeur delivers in spades.

    There is no doubt that Brodeur is a model of consistency, that is something to speak of itself. His puck handling skills, and the ability to rely on him are what have made him great. It's the big scorpion saves, and double pad stack that people will remember, not the .908 SV% or what have you.

    Not the latter years of league average netminding.

  64. This is an asinine article. Actually, it’s not even an “article,” it’s an opinion piece from someone who isn’t even old enough to have seen what a difference maker Brodeur was during his prime. Yes, you refer to specific statistics and try to back up your opinion with examples, but the ridiculous anti-Brodeur spin you put on everything can easily be turned around and applied to those goalies supposedly better than Brodeur. I could write this exact same article about all of the other goalies you mention.

    Brodeur might not be the “best of all-time,” because let’s be honest – how can we possibly tab ONE great goalie out of many as being the undisputed best? – but he certainly isn’t nearly as over-rated as you make him out to be.

    This is just sensationalized click bait. If The Hockey Writers want to take things to the next level and actually become a respected site for hockey news, the first step should be cutting out crap like this. It’s the kind of garbage you’d expect to find on other less reputable sites.

    Stick to the facts and leave opinions to the real columnists please.

  65. How could you possibly even make this arguement? Based on your own statement (as it appears) you were born when, 1995? You weren’t even around to make some of these judgments. Also, how about when the game changed i.e. the NHL saying let’s do whatever we can to generate more scoring (the trapezoid, making goalie pads smaller, nets bigger, no more 2 line pass, etc.) AND you’re going to say that he had tip top defensemen after Scott Stevens and Niedermyer left? Far from it. Marty had 6-8 quality years post-defense heavy years and into the forward movement with Zajac, Parise, Kovalchuk, Clarkson, Elias, Zubrus, Clarkson, etc. as the big name guys, not defensemen.

  66. If you look at Martin Brodeur the goaltender, maybe your poitns are valid. However, the greatness of Martin Brodeur far exceeds just his goaltending. How many rules did the National Hockey League change because of any of Hasek’s talents? None Roy? None I’m aware of. Same for the others.

    The NHL created the trapezoid to try and neutralize the stickhandling ability of Martin Brodeur. You can’t quantify this impact. People have tried, but they always admit there are assumptions used to generate their “calculation.” It absolutely led to a reduction in the shots he faced and made him invaluable to his team. But, if you want save percentage to mostly define a goaltender, all you are proving is you don’t watch the games and the impact Brodeur had during his prime to the point he revolutionzed the position. Yes, Ron Hextall made a huge impact with his stickhandling, but Brodeur took it to the next level when he paired it with exceptional goalie skills.

    I’m admittedly a little biased having been blessed watching the last 20 years of his greatness in net and while he admittedly isnt’ the goalie he was, he still plays better and has a better impact on the game than his numbers dictate. Numbers often can tell the story, but they don’t always tell the entire story.

  67. To start, you identify Brodeur’s lower save percentage compared to Bryz and Reimer as why he isn’t that good. But then later you talk about how league wide save percentage has been going up over time. So you are comparing Brodeur’s sv% (which was at its best 5-10 years ago) to Reimer who is only 26 years old. That skews your data.

    I will give you that in each of your sub-sections you have some interesting points to dispute Brodeur; however, there are so many categories of brodeur’s you are writing off.

    Maybe you can say his quantity of starts or his SV% are overrated, but when you have to discount most wins, most shutouts, most durable, greatest longevity, great save percentage, playoff performance, Olympic performance, and individual awards, you look foolish.

    Brodeur is one of the all-time greats because he is so impressive in all of those areas above. Also, saying Hasek is a better goalie is hardly an insult to anyone who has ever played the sport.

    To be honest, this article screams of sensationalism to me.

  68. Thanks for putting something out there that doesn’t buy into the Brodeur insanity… he has a legacy, to be sure, but he’s not the greatest player that ever lived. Or even close. Thanks for writing something a little closer to reality.

  69. sorry, saying brodeur is overrated is just utter nonsense. Numbers are an important part of how we rate players, but they’re not the end all be all. Brodeur made the important save more times than not on a bunch of teams that didn’t score a heck of a lot (except for the 2000 cup team). Wins may be a team stat and shutouts are also indicative of team defense but do you really think the Devils win 3 cups without him?

  70. The Devils defensive system worked because they had a third defenseman on the ice at all times. When you’re the only person on Earth who wouldn’t even put him in the top 10, then you may just be wrong.

  71. Numbers are numbers and yours do support your contention. However, I would dispute the idea that a 19 save shutout is of any less value than a 29 save shutout.

    I hate to refer to something that Mike Milberry said about Brodeur but I agree with it: Marty’s numbers aren’t really all that impressive but what is impressive is that he managed to keep his team in who knows how many very tight one-goal games, and because he was able to make the saves when he needed to make them, however many or few there were, he was allowing those offensively anemic NJ teams to win even when they only put up one or two goals.

    All that said, it’s nice to read something critical of Brodeur; it seems like the NJ media can be a bit protective of him and his legacy.

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