I like Martin Brodeur. A lot. If the Olympics started today, I'd want him above all others on Team Canada.
This past weekend Martin Brodeur broke his own NHL goaltending record with his seventh 40-win season. But even though he is a season or so away from owning some of goaltending most hallowed and once thought to be unreachable records, I was always on record that he would not assume the title of the greatest goalie in the game's history.
Maybe it's time to rethink that, Joe!
In my previous article I theorized that during Brodeur's greatest years he was always in the shadow of Roy and Dominik Hasek. Those two dominated the Vezina trophy and All Star spots, and Hasek even got the Hart nod twice.
Brodeur, on the other hand, was considered to be a notch below those two. Much of that might have had to do with New Jersey's notorious defensive game plan. Critics would give credit just enough of Brodeur's success to the team, and especially the blueliners in front of him.
Well I think we can eliminate that now. Last year Brodeur won another Vezina trophy while setting a NHL record 48 wins in a season. This season he's on pace for probably 44 or 45 wins, probably another All Star nod and who knows, maybe another Vezina.
And while New Jersey's overall game plan remains stifling as ever, gone are the days of Scott Stevens, Scott Niedermayer, and Brian Rafalski patrolling the blue line. Now the defense core includes Mike Mottau, Sheldon Brookbank, Johnny Oduya and Andy Greene? Even veteran names like Colin White, Bryce Salvador and Paul Martin make you wonder how New Jersey is challenging for 1st place in the Eastern Conference.
I can tell you how: The great goaltending of Martin Brodeur. Just like it has been for the past 14 years.