As I discussed in an earlier post on why everyone loves Martin Brodeur, the 2002 Olympics were a huge boost for Brodeur in terms of his reputation as a goalie. This is evident in terms of the way he has been perceived by fans and award voters since then. How has this impacted Brodeur? Is he deserving of been seen in a better light simply because of the results of a short tournament? And the most difficult question of all: Were his abilities judged more accurately by the hockey community before or after the Olympics?
In one of the comments on this site, a visitor argues that the Olympics showed Brodeur's true level of skill: "Brodeur was HIGHLY under-rated by fans/media until 2002 when he took over in the olympics." Certainly it brought him under the media spotlight more than ever before, and in the attention crosshairs of an entire country. But couldn't this spotlight just as easily had the exact opposite effect, that is it elevated his reputation to undeserving levels, simply because the casual fan associates Brodeur with Olympic gold? This topic requires further scrutiny.
To try to get a better perspective on these issues, I will run a series focusing on the goaltending situation at the 2002 Olympics, including events before, during, and after the Games, to hopefully address these questions and shed more light on Brodeur's Olympic legacy.
Part One: Nagano
Part Two: Team Selection
Part Three: Who's the Starter?
Part Four: Salt Lake
Part Five: Gold Medalist Marty