Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Brodeur's Wins "Record"

In 2006-07, Martin Brodeur set a new NHL record for wins in a season with 48. This was hyped as a huge achievement for Brodeur, and yet another sign of his greatness. The problem is that even laying aside how useless wins (a team stat) are in terms of evaluating goalie play, a closer comparison of Brodeur's situation to Parent's shows that this record is not very impressive at all.

The biggest difference is of course the introduction of the shootout. Brodeur won 10 shootouts, the most in the league, meaning that he won just 38 games in regulation time or OT. Not only is that not even close to Parent's total of 47, it wasn't even enough to lead the league, as Luongo posted 42. Brodeur was also actually worse than league average in shootouts (.667 save percentage, 26th best in the league). Luckily for him, his Devils teammates had a 43% scoring proficiency which meant Brodeur was awarded the "W" in 10 out of his 16 shootout contests. He also won 3 games in overtime, which was not in effect in the 1973-74 regular season.

Brodeur's record was 48-23-7, or 18 games above .500, despite his team scoring just 21 more goals than they allowed with him in net. This may indicate clutch play, but more than likely is largely the result of luck and effective team defensive play while holding a lead. Brodeur was 30-14 in one-goal games, 20-8 not including shootouts.

New Jersey also had an extraordinary ability to score late game-tying goals, scoring 7 times to tie the game in the final minute or with the goalie pulled. Brodeur played in 5 of those games, which resulted in 4 additional wins from his teammates essentially bailing him out.

Since the season is longer these days, Brodeur played in 78 games to Parent's 73. The result is that Brodeur lost over twice as many games as Bernie, and his winning percentage was .660 compared to Parent's .736, even with the benefit of extra points available from shootouts and OT wins.

In summary, Bernie Parent's win record is much more impressive than Martin Brodeur's. Parent won 47 games in regulation to Brodeur's 35, despite playing in fewer games. If Parent had shootouts and overtimes, he likely would have won something like 55 games. Brodeur "won" more games because of the shootout rule (where his teammates made up for his average play) and because his teammates were proficient at scoring late game-tying goals with him watching from the bench.

But really, when you get down to it, Brodeur won a pile of games because of shootouts, Parent won a pile of games because he played for a dominant multiple-Cup winning team, and it doesn't really matter who won the most because it's a team stat. This whole charade just illustrates the pointlessness of using wins for evaluating goalies.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

"This may indicate clutch play, but more than likely is largely the result of luck and effective team defensive play while holding a lead. Brodeur was 30-14 in one-goal games, 20-8 not including shootouts."

So what you're implying is that Brodeur has just been lucky for his entire career?

Some Guy said...

Your analysis here is reasonably sound, and I think you've nailed the point that Parent's record is far more impressive than Brodeur's (and that wins is a dumb stat for measuring goalie effectiveness).

However, in the line quoted by Anonymous, above, you show yourself to be just as subjective as any ardent Brodeur supporter when it suits your needs. How do you quantify "This may indicate clutch play, but more than likely is largely the result of luck..."?

In addition, this quote: "New Jersey also had an extraordinary ability to score late game-tying goals, scoring 7 times to tie the game in the final minute or with the goalie pulled. Brodeur played in 5 of those games, which resulted in 4 additional wins from his teammates essentially bailing him out." is a completely arbitrary, subjective guess on your part. How do you know the team bailed him out and not vice versa? The timing of the goals is really irrelevant - maybe Brodeur held his inept forwards in the game long enough to finally score a goal or two? What were the scores of the games?

Otherwise a pretty good post.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to your blog, i no longner need to watch comedy central or visit the fiction section at Barnes and Nobles.

Anonymous said...

marty has so many blind fans it makes me sick. look at the last two posters. just pissed off because it's true. he's overrated. always has been. hasek is far superior and always will be. that's just a fact of life.

uncle kurtis said...

it always amuses me to hear people credit marty's team for his success, when year after year the devil's rank amongst the lowest scoring teams in the nhl.
it must burn you to see him post win after win with 1 goal differentials.
talk to anyone who knows hockey, and they will tell you that wins are actually a very impressive stat, the same as a pitcher in baseball. and if you really didn't think so, why would you do all that research to show wins stats by luongo and parent?
i look forward to reading your pouty remarks next season, when brodeur breaks roy's career wins record and ultimately goes down in the books as the greatest goalie to ever play the game.
by the way, hasek faces like 16 shots a game and plays for the most skilled team in hockey. all he has to do is watch his team stack up goals and occasionally flop around like an epileptic monkey.

Anonymous said...

"and they will tell you that wins are actually a very impressive stat, the same as a pitcher in baseball"

Hahahahahahhaha... Pitcher wins are very similar to goalie wins, but not for the reason you think they are.

If you want to learn something, go read about WHIP, ERA+, and why Bert Blyleven should be in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Anonymous said...

WOW! I bet you will be pissed off when Brodeur breaks the wins record next season. But again, its just luck over an entire career right? It's a shame that the other 99.9 percent of goalies that has played the game doenst have any luck on their side. You tried to dig deep for reasons why you are a hater but I promise you if he was on your team it would be a completely different story. Enjoy watching the highlights when he breaks Roy's record. He averages over 40 wins a season over the last decade. Thats a really lucky decade!

alex said...

I am a Devils fan and Marty supporter – so lets get that out of the way first. The introduction of the shootout is clearly a factor in Brodeur eclipsing Roy’s record this year. I can’t imagine anyone disagreeing with that. But to call him lucky and name your blog “brodeur is a fraud” completely negates any point you’re attempting to make. It’s like watching a Michael Moore movie. Extreme bias ruins credibility. Brodeur has won 3 Stanley Cups, 4 Vezinas, and will soon have the most wins AND shutouts. Personally, I think that last stat is the real number to celebrate. Bernie Parent had 54 shutouts which will be less than half of what Marty has when he retires. A few extra games a year wouldn’t have gotten Parent that many more shutouts. So your comment “this whole charade just illustrates the pointlessness of using wins for evaluating goalies” skews the point. Brodeur will go down as the greatest goalie of all-time not only for how many wins he racked up (which will probably be broken in the future), but because of his full and quite impressive resume of achievements.

Anonymous said...

This is always a good site to come to get a great laugh.

Anonymous said...

What Alex said was dead on. I'm a Flyers fan and your blog was correct that Brodeur would not have broken Parent's record had the rules been the same (no OT and no shootouts) but to then go on and on about how his team "bailed" him out is silly. Didn't Parent's team do the same by scoring goals?

The bottom line is Brodeur, Roy, Parent, Hasek are/were all GREAT goalies. I think it's silly the NHL didn't record Brodeur's record separately but it's really not a big deal. Even Bernie Parent said he's happy someone broke it. Brodeur was even quoted as saying the rule changes are the only reason he broke it as well.

Is Brodeur a fraud because of the rules he plays under? The answer is no, and as a diehard Flyers fan there is no team I dislike more than the Devils but this blog was good until it got silly.

Anonymous said...

And let's not forget the fact that Marty lost a year of play in 2004-2005, arguably while in his prime, due to a labor dispute. (Marty also lost half of the 1994-1995 season, but Roy lost that as well.) Roy's career wins record should have been broken a year ago.

Mid said...

I think you should have stopped with the comment that judging a goalie by the number of wins he has is just stupid. And this year just proved it. Brodeur was gone for most of the season, and still, the Devils were still one of the top teams in the league before he came back. Sure, they may be doing better now with him, but that just says that he is better than Weekes, not that he is an amazing goalie. Frankly, in response to somebody above, Brodeur has been lucky; he got drafted by a team that built itself into a strong franchise, and he benefited by getting the win record.

Anonymous said...

It can be argued that today's athletes are far superior to those playing during Parent's era, so to compare the two would be apples to oranges in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Shoot-out enthusiasts can suck it.