Thursday, July 12, 2007

Defend Martin Brodeur Here

Thus far, I've made my case that Brodeur is an overrated goalie with an excellent defence in front of him. This is shown by, among other things, the strong performances of his mediocre backups and what other goalies have done in similar defensive systems. He has faced few shots against, relatively few difficult chances, and few opposing power plays. Despite these advantages, he has put up unimpressive save percentage numbers throughout his career.

Brodeur's record in clutch situations in the playoffs is not outstanding, and his overall playoff performance is weaker than the best of his peers. The Devils have had playoff success at times even when they did not receive strong play from the goaltending position.

More than anything, Brodeur's success appears to stem from his durability and his teammates, neither of which are particularly good reasons to rank him as the best goalie in the league, much less one of the best of all time. I have demonstrated that all three of his Vezina Trophy wins were undeserved, and that even despite being favored by voters ahead of statistically similar peers throughout his career, he does not have the award recognition to match the all-time greats.

However, judging by reader feedback, not everyone is convinced by the evidence presented. Here's your chance to defend Brodeur by pointing out errors in my position, or contributing alternative viewpoints and hopefully evidence, statistical or otherwise, in support of Marty.

What am I missing with Martin Brodeur? Does his puckhandling save so many goals per year to make up for any other deficits? His intangibles ("inspires his teammates", "leadership", consistency") are often cited - can they be quantified? If they are so effective, why haven't they shown up clearly in his goaltending record? What else does Brodeur bring to the table that other star goalies do not? Or is it all about the career wins, Cups, and gold medals, and who cares how he got them?

Thanks for the continued feedback, positive and negative, as we continue to search for better ways to evaluate the position of hockey goaltender.

101 comments:

George said...

After reading all you have posted and based on what I have seen from him when my team plays the Devils, it seems to me that Brodeur is a solid goalie and not the goalie that is hyped by hockey's talking heads.

Then again, I feel that pretty much every NHL goalie is solid and very few stand out as great. Hasek would be my poster-goalie for great.

This is the odd part, though. I think Brodeur gets in the head of the opponents' forwards. You would have to hear from them to be sure, but I think that playing the defense-first *yawn* Devils psyches out shooters and when they finally get a shot on net, they squeeze the stick a bit. Should Brodeur get credit for this? Yeah, I suppose since he is part of the team and has been for ages, he can have some of the credit.

We will never know, but I would assume any 'solid' goalie that played in Broduer's place for all those games would be equally credited and that is okay with me.

It would be interesting to see him play a few seasons for an offensive team. Then we would all get some perspective. Until then, it is fun to see your analysis and I appreciate someone backing up their ideas with data.

Maybe this best sums up how I feel: I am looking forward to hockey season, but not when my team plays the Devils. Not because of Brodeur, but because their style is mind-numbing.

I would consider Brodeur over-rated, but not the most. Maybe I will one day, but I like to save my mostest labels and use them sparingly.

Anonymous said...

This is my issue with your argument. You have to give a reason why the Devils are consistently good. Not only that, but the reason given cannot be something different teams could replicate. This means you cannot cite The Trap. The reason the Devils are good must be something or someone only the Devils have.

Here you cite his teammates, as if he is on a team of allstars (like Detroit), as if the roster has been consistent, and as if the teammates he has put up staggering numbers. This argument fell apart mostly with the departure of Stevens and Niedermayer.

If Brodeur is not superb, you need to say what has made the Devils superb. The Trap does not work, because it is not unique to the Devils. Teammates does not work because he is not on a team putting up stellar offensive numbers with defensive prowess.

You CAN say TEAM, however, this would include him and would only suggest that his skill is in his team-role. This can be of various forms, and would include actual saves (not just puck-handling, leadership, etc.).

After Ovechkin's and Crosby's rookie seasons, you could have used numbers to tell me that A.O. was better than The Kid. Some, however, could have watched their actual play and their style and what they did for the team and told you that Crosby is the better player.

StatsRule said...

Anonymous - the fact that the Devils allow fewer shots against (in combination with fewer powerplay opp's against) contributes heavily to the impression that Brodeur is 'great'. That should answer your question/comment about the Devils as a TEAM (aside from Brodeur) that contribute to their success.

As the Contrarian & others (see Alan Ryder) have pointed out over & over, Brodeur's stats are not 'great'. If Brodeur played in front of a team that allowed more shots against & more powerplays against, he would not have nearly the 'great' reputation that he currently has.

njdevilsfan said...

Martin broduer is a combination of grant fuhr and patrick roy. He makes big saves using his athleticism and reflexes like grant fuhr with the positioning, technical skills and the classic butterfly like patrick roy.
He is hands down bar none the greatest goalie to ever play the game.

The Contrarian Goaltender said...

Njdevilsfan, would you care to address some of the arguments presented above then, and perhaps explain why the so-called greatest goalie to ever play doesn't have great save statistics? I respect your opinion, but there is a great deal of evidence presented here that contradicts your viewpoint, so I would be interested in hearing you expand on your position.

For example, why does Brodeur have a number of years of average save percentages playing on dominant defensive teams? How do you reconcile the fact that Brodeur was crushed by Dominik Hasek head-to-head in terms of stats and awards in the middle of his prime, yet still see him as the greatest of all-time? How big a role do you see Brodeur's defence having played in his success?

Anonymous said...

Your use of statistics is both amusing and biased. Hand pick the numbers all you want, say the talking heads love him but...
When it comes right down to it, players in the NHL say over and over again that he is one of the greatest goalies to play the game. Those are the ones playing with him as well as those playing against him. You really think you know better than the entire NHL?
And ask yourself, with all your comments about the media and "talking heads" having a bias towards Brodeur, why? Why would they be biased towards him? Did he buy them off? Looks good in a wetsuit? Attends the right parties? Maybe his photographer father took incriminating photos of every single person who plays the game?

Or, maybe... just maybe... he's actually one of the greatest to ever play.

The Contrarian Goaltender said...

The goalies don't appear to think he is that great. Two years ago, midway through the 2006 season, with Brodeur coming off two consecutive Vezina trophies, they did a survey of every goalie in the league and asked them who the best goalie in the league was. Nobody picked Martin Brodeur. Not a single one.

Sure, a lot of players probably think Brodeur is great. There are also players who think he isn't great at all, like Brett Hull, who went on TV and said as much. I am not a lone anti-Brodeur voice, go on hockey message boards where Brodeur debates rage constantly, far more than for any other goaltender, and the reason is because there are legitimate question marks about his legacy, regardless of what the players think or say.

Players say he is great because he has won, he is talented, and that is what the conventional wisdom says. The problem is that in the end, what matters is performance, not talent. Brodeur's performance, as I have repeatedly demonstrated, simply is not that impressive given the team context he played in.

The appeal to authority argument seems powerful, but sorry, it has been repeatedly proven that professional sports insiders do not know everything there is to know about their respective sports. Just read Moneyball.

billyp01 said...

wow i cant believe you have this much time on your hand...as a huge flyers fan i have seen brodeur a million times..and believe me i could care less for him or the devils...but i cant tell you how many times ive seen him single handedly win games and or series for the devils..in 27 years of watching hockey ive watched him play some of the best hockey a goaltender has ever played...it makes you wonder what is so bad in this bloggers life that hes forced to upkeep a site like this..you can find faults in any one hockey players carrer except maybe wayne...redic!

Anonymous said...

Using Brett Hull to back up your argument truly shows you are retarded and that you really need to go kill yourself.

He made a complete fool out of himself when he was a commentator during intermissions on NBC last year, and he only thinks Brodeur is not so great, because he's still angry about when Brodeur beat the Stars in the 2000 playoffs.

Hull went even as far to say his goal to win the cup in 99 for the Stars where his skate was in the crease was legal.

Look at it this way. If you don't think Brodeur is one of the top 3 goalies of all time then you must be on drugs. Roy is still the all-time best due to his excellent playoff performances, and his 151 playoff wins + 4 rings trump Brodeur.

Now if Brodeur had beaten Roy in 2001 this might be a different argument.

Anonymous said...

Statistically speaking, you make valid points that Brodeur has an average save percentage over his career. However you have neglected GAA, shutouts, and wins. Brodeur is consistently among the top in these areas over his career. Hasek and Roy are the only ones to compare to Brodeur in terms of great goaltending in the modern era. It is interesting to compare Vezinas and Conn Smyths, Stanley Cups and Olympic Golds, yet by the end of his career, Brodeur will be the winningest goalie in the history of the NHL and will have played more perfect games than any goalie ever (even though counting playoffs he already has).

The last point to make is that concerning the average save percentage. Brodeur clearly sets the league standard for rebound control. This is an effective means of preventing shots.

Anonymous said...

Can someone please explain to me why the great Hasek didnt win his first Cup until he was 40? Can you also explain to me why Chris Tererri didn't share the same success with the same corner stone defensemen Brodeur had? While you are at it, also explain why the departure of numerous star players from the Devils and coaching changes never affect Brodeurs stats.

Anonymous said...

Simply stated, It is a shame that
someone spends so much time and
effort trying (and I do mean
TRYING) to tear down the accomplishments of the GREATEST.
Do you also have a website created
to demean the efforts of Cal Ripken, Tiger Woods, and Ali ??

Why not use your time to justify
an athlete who you think IS great,
and make a case for his greatness,
rather than a negative piece of
media garbage....??

Martin Brodeur is a once-in-a-
lifetime goaltender, and will go down as the greatest effort, with
all the records in the book to prove it by the time he retires...

Anonymous said...

Can you do what he does....until you can you shouldn't disclaim it.
Qouting facts and figures is fine, but it makes me wonder why why someone would put so much effort into trying to "deconstruct" someone's success. IT is this negativity, rather than some kind of positive contribution (like laying claim as to why someone is underrated)that is wrong with our society today. Regardless of which team you support, or your opinion, you should be ashamed...
And look up the definition of fraud....

Anonymous said...

No offense but I think you are wrong Broduer is probaly in the top 5 of best goalies ever and you don't get 3 stanley cups because you suck. he's probaly the wayne gretzky of goalies he's got more then 10 records. he closing in on most SHUT OUTS that means he can stop the puck. he 2 seasons away to getting the most wins and on the not very offense Devils you got be able to stop the puck so think before you write.

Anonymous said...

I agree with other posters. Marty Brodeur is GREAT at his position. No, one player does not make a team win. That is why you are on a team in the first place. He has had a solid career, and he is a workhorse. What mroe could you want from your goalie????

DEVILS 2008!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

DEVILS FAN IN MISSOURI said...

MARTY BRODEUR IS THE GREATEST GOALIE EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Here's my argument:

You have to define what you mean by "the best" before you make your case. It can be deduced from your site and posts that you think statistical categories make the difference and that certain specific categories mean more than others, like save percentage.

To a franchise, what matters more could be quite different, such as 15 consistently above average, relatively injury free seasons. That's 15 years they didn't have to go hunting for a goalie and 15 years they could even relax a bit on their backup, given that he plays 75 plus games a year. What about the attitude? Would you rather coach or manage a team with Roy or Brodeur? Both excellent goalies, but one was a headache to work with.

To a defenseman, having a goalie with a great ability to corral a rebound or handle the puck can be a godsend. How do you quantify that as a plus for Brodeur, but a minus for Roy, who was plainly terrible at it?

My point boils down to this - as a goalie, you have a certain perspective on the game. Not everyone is going to come at the question from your perspective, are they?

billyp01 said...

heres a stat you havnt thought about putting into your calculations..being a goalie i know how it is to be in games where you dont get many shots. its tough to keep your head in the game and when your up by a few goals a goal here and there every couple games that doesnt matter will happen to get in. it means nothing to the game but still counts towards stats. you can look at all the positives and negatives but when the time comes down to look at it all, he wins and on a consistant basis. look at patrick roy at the end of his career. he lost some big time playoff games all by hisself, cant say i remember brodeur doing that..can you forward me the link to you roy is a fraud website?

Anonymous said...

Facing less shots per game DOES lower your save %. Look at hasek this year and previous years on detroit. Look at Nabokov this year. And broduer is the same. When you face fewer shots that leads to more of the shots you DO end up facing being better shots. Thus a higher save percentage.

Your boy dominik proves this with his career. Average defence in Buffalo...stellar sv %....stellar defence in detroit....below average save % but still wins alot.

The Contrarian Goaltender said...

No, facing less shots does not lower your save percentage. Several people, including myself, have looked at the numbers and found there is little correlation between shots faced and save percentage. You are cherry-picking a few examples - for example, Hasek was past his prime when he played in Detroit and that accounts for the lower numbers. I could just as well come up with a few opposite examples, such as pointing out recent seasons by Marty Turco (.932) and Miikka Kiprusoff (.933) where they posted outstanding save percentages on strong defensive teams that allowed few shots against.

There is not a fixed number of high-quality shots that each goalie faces every game. Great defensive teams allow fewer shots against per games and fewer good scoring chances against. Look at the 2008 Detroit Red Wings, for example. If all the better defensive teams were doing was blocking a few extra point shots and long shots that were very unlikely to be goals anyway, you wouldn't see such a huge difference in goals against by team. But you do, and the reason is that the shot quality is different.

Anonymous said...

I just happened to stumble onto this site and I am almost speechless...........WOW.....Contrarian Goaltender you my friend need to get a life. After glancing over portions of this site it is clear that you have wayyyy too much time on your hands. Get off of the computer, get a job, a girlfriend, or anything else. How can a person devote so much time and put so much effort into bashing a person they don't know? Maybe Brodeur did something horrible to you I don't know. Again Contrarian Goaltender GET A LIFE

Anonymous said...

Actually, to address the "need to get a life" & "wayyy too much time on your hands" etc.: for anyone with a cogent argument & the ability to type, spending a couple of hours per week adding well-reasoned blogs/blurbs is pretty easy. You'll note the author has formulated this website over the past couple/few yrs.

Anonymous said...

I kinda find you disrespect funny you know towards every other good goalie that ever was exept hasek. Marty doesnt need a good defense he you saw that this year when........ he won the vezina and the defense sucked, dude mottau was the best defender, best defense my ass, and should you be talking, hasek with the red wings !!! Nik lindstrom best defensemen in the league for how many years? and the red wings were by far the best team wich is the only reason his season was good

Anonymous said...

in all honesty, this site is a joke. you use very persuasive statistics to pick apart why martin brodeur isnt this or that, yet cherry pick the same type of statistics to build a case for others. you are constantly contradicting yourself, from saying stats dont matter, to they do. from winning is a bad stat to use, yet roy and dryden were good goalies because they won in the playoffs. to sayin that brodeur has had an excellent team around him, although you praise roy, dryden and even hasek who had the same, to even your opening argument in the 2nd paragraph about brodeur having below average numbers in clutch games(when it is in fact the opposite) which then leads to a link stating that their is no such thing as being clutch. all in all you use numbers where you want, and disregard them when they work against you. you apply them here, but discredit them there, and you convolude a picture everyone seems to see clearly. marty brodeur is the best goaltender of his generation, and will retire as the all time greatest.

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...
in all honesty, this site is a joke. you use very persuasive statistics to pick apart why martin brodeur isnt this or that, yet cherry pick the same type of statistics to build a case for others. you are constantly contradicting yourself, from saying stats dont matter, to they do. from winning is a bad stat to use, yet roy and dryden were good goalies because they won in the playoffs. to sayin that brodeur has had an excellent team around him, although you praise roy, dryden and even hasek who had the same, to even your opening argument in the 2nd paragraph about brodeur having below average numbers in clutch games(when it is in fact the opposite) which then leads to a link stating that their is no such thing as being clutch. all in all you use numbers where you want, and disregard them when they work against you. you apply them here, but discredit them there, and you convolude a picture everyone seems to see clearly. marty brodeur is the best goaltender of his generation, and will retire as the all time greatest.

September 14, 2008 3:59 AM"

...................................

no wonder the contrarian goalie hasnt responded, this paragraph hit the nail right on the head. one word... contradictory. this site is filled with it.

even with the whole save percentage debate. "save percentage is the most important stat" then why is roy ranked as one of the best ever, or any goalie that played prior to the save percentage stat being recorded.

or this nj had good defense, thats why hasek was so much better. well buffalo had a very good defense as well, if not better a few years.

jeff hackett is underrated... do i even need to do anything but laugh at this?

patrik roy was clutch, yet he lost 5 game 7s, including getting shelled in 2002, and losing his starting job in another playoff series.

roberto luongo is a better goalie than brodeur. really? luongo is very inconsistent, even is his best years.

luongo has to be better, his save percentage is higher. well, no, actually luongo is 6'3 and wears size 38 goalie pads with huge glove. brodeur is 6'2 and wears 35s with an average size glove.

brodeurs wins, dont mean anything because he played in a defensive system. well then why do roy, dryden, sawchuk, and even haseks numbers count when they played for great offensive teams. not to mention some of the best offensive and defensive teams in the case of sawchuk, hasek with detroit and ottawa.

if youd really like i could try and get around to picking apart every single topic on this sight as almost all of it is erroneous.

The Contrarian Goaltender said...

Anonymous, thanks for your input. If you really want me to reply to the same flawed arguments that I have dealt with over and over again since I started this blog, then I can certainly oblige you.

I don't ever recall saying stats don't matter. I have said many times that they need to be interpreted in context, it is the basic founding philosophy of this blog, but that is quite different than saying they don't matter. There are some statistics that are impacted by so many other variables that it is not far from wrong to say they don't matter (e.g. Andrew Raycroft "won" 37 games in 2006-07), but that does not then apply in the general case. The general rule is every stat taken without context is bad, every stat taken with context is good. And that is why I can say something like Dominik Hasek was outstanding at winning games while Martin Brodeur was not - because their team contexts were different.

I have said winning is a bad stat to use, if you just look at totals. If you loook at how often a goalie wins adjusted for how good his teammates are, then I think it is a reasonable stat to use. I have posted several times that Roy's playoff record was very much assisted by strong teams. Re: Ken Dryden, his team won the Cup almost every season he was in net, and failed before he got there, in the season where he did not play, and for several years after he left. That is not proof of anything, but it is certainly evidence that he was at the very least contributing to the greatness of those teams. On the other hand, since the departure of Scott Stevens, Martin Brodeur has been among the worst goalies in the league in playoff winning percentage. You seem to think wins are important - don't you think both of those records may be evidence of something?

The difference between Brodeur and Roy, Dryden and Hasek is that the last three guys had outstanding save percentage numbers and faced more shots per game than Brodeur did. All four of them did play on outstanding teams, at least at times, but the evidence is that the three of them were contributing significantly more to it than Brodeur was.

Why is Roy ranked as one of the best ever in save percentage? Because he is one of the best ever in save percentage. Are you familiar with 1980s hockey? If you compare Roy to league average over his career, he is right up there with Hasek for the best ever. Sure Roy was helped by a great defence, and that needs to be taken into account. But his save percentages were dominant, and a lot of other goalies were in a similar situation and never came close to his save percentage numbers (like Brodeur, for instance).

Buffalo did not have a very good defence in the mid-'90s. They ranked at the bottom of the league in shots allowed for several seasons when Hasek was in his prime, while New Jersey was the best in the league. But even if you were right and Buffalo's defence was just as good as New Jersey's was, Hasek was still clearly the better goalie because he obliterated Brodeur's save numbers.

Patrick Roy did well in clutch situations. You can take any goalie or player that you want and find a few games or series where they did not perform. Anybody. Roy's detractors always point to two playoff games in 2002 and a few other losses in game sevens and think that is enough to prove that somebody who played in over 250 playoff games and ended up on the winning team in 40 out of 59 career playoff OT games did not perform well in high-leverage situations. That is ridiculous, and a worse example of cherry-picking than you are accusing me of doing.

Luongo is very inconsistent? What do you mean by that? "He is inconsistent" is often used as a lazy analyst's crutch when they need to vaguely criticize a player, but almost nobody ever defines what they actually mean by the term. Do you mean Luongo has more hot and cold streaks? Do you mean he has more outstanding games but also more games where he gets shelled? Do you mean he is more inconsistent year-to-year? (That last one is almost certainly false, at least if you put any weighting into save percentage).

if youd really like i could try and get around to picking apart every single topic on this sight as almost all of it is erroneous.

Based on your attempts so far, I think you can save your effort. But I'm not one to shy away from criticism, so if you find some legitimate errors or omissions then please feel free to post them.

Anonymous said...

in response to the last post by cg, i would definitely agree that the departure of stevens and co. on defense has hurt the devils and brodeur come playoff time. the reason has little to do with brodeur. you and everybody else to this day continue to think the devils have a good defensive team. the devils DO NOT have a good defensive team and havent since the lockout. paul martin is an offense first d-man, colin white is old and slow, and the other 4 minor leaguers are exactly that. the defensive forwards they have do help, but again these guys are all getting old, and have their defense first game hindered greatly by the rule changes that took place during the lockout. simply because of brodeurs play, have the devils been relevant, and thus gotten in to the playoffs over the past 3 years, but the fact is, that against better well rounded teams in the playoffs, brodeur can not carry the load himself. you may want ot knock him for this, but i applaud him for it because unlike both roy and hasek especially, he did not choose to jump ship at the first sign of trouble for his team. it is accurate to say that hasek would not have ever won a cup if he didnt bail on buffalo, and it can almost cetainly be said that roy wouldnt have finished with the numbers he had if he hadnt jolted to colorado and upped the size of his goalie pads by 4 inches. so maybe we disagree here, but the devils have not been a solid team defensively since the lockout, and just about everyone who covers the game has predicted them to fall off the last 3 years. the reason they havent is brodeur.
as far as luongo, he is the most inconsistent goalie to be mislabeled a good that i have ever seen. more than any other goalie with luongo, he is either great, or he gets shelled. inconsistency is not something that is mentioned with greatness. luongo also seems to be the beneficiary of those gigantic goalie pads goalies will be allowed to wear until next year.
finally, you mention how roy was clutch, yet the point is that you cherry pick stats because there is an entire topic you wrote here stating how there is no such thing as clutch. so which is it? it seems to me roy is clutch when it helps build your case for him, but brodeur isnt because its just an abbhoration that fixes itself with a larger sample size.
if brodeur is not clutch then how do we explain his performance in game 7's or the playoffs in general. you stated earlier that it isnt good, but marty has a .927 save% in game 7's. how do explain his performance in games 5 and 6 of the 2000 cup semifinals and finals. his performance in 2003? now you can make reference to him having a great defense in front of him and i wont argue against that, but if you watched those games as i did, you would see that he was a wall, and specifically against dallas made some of the greatest saves ive ever seen in big spots. when down to philly 3-1 from that point on brodeur let in 3 goals in 3 games with a save% around .95.
you cant tell me even though the devils lost in 94 that brodeur wasnt clutch there. same in 95. the only season that really went against the trend was 2001. maybe you havent watched the games, but good defense only does so much. when eric lindros in his prime gets a one timer in the slot, it doesnt matter if scott stevens is on the ice. when brett hull is alone in front and gets the rebound while your on your back, its not scott neidermeyer throwing his glove out to rob a 700 goal scorer.
so basically if you deny clutch as being a real thing then dont use it to build your case for guys, and if you do use it, make sure you use it everywhere.
now that you got me thinking about it, there is more to consider when analyzing then even the stats. it is completely different viewing things from the stance of a goalie during the game, and a hockey junky arguing about how good the goalie is.
case in point, ill use game 1 of the 2000 finals. as a goalie your job is to win. the devils come out and rip dallas. they are up 7-1 with less than 10 to go in the 3rd. so as a goalie, i am sure you are not a focused as you would be if the game is 2-1. the coach starts playing the guys who normally sit on the bench, and it would even be fair to say that as a goalie you relax a bit because you are certainly going to accomplish your objective, and that is to win the game. in the final 10 minutes dallas scorse 2 meaningless goals on 4 shots. at the end of the day the goalie did what he had to do and won, yet somebody like you goes "well he gave up 3 goals on 25 shots, so thats not too good" without having any idea what happened in the game or that the goalie stopped 20 of the first 21, or 12 out of 12 when the game was close.
the same can be said when roy got blown out 7-0 to detroit. i am sure roy wasnt thinking about protecting his save% once he had gone down 4-0, but rather the fighting and shit talking which was what happened once it became apparent detroit was going to win.

The Contrarian Goaltender said...

The Devils do not have a good defensive team, compared to what? Compared to how they used to play, or compared to league average? Certainly the Devils have dropped off from their stifling peak in 2003-04, both because of rule changes, talent loss, and different coaches, but I think there is little question that the Devils were above average defensively in both 2005-06 and 2006-07, and I don't think they were any worse than average in 2007-08. Sometimes I think Devils fans need to catch a few Atlanta Thrashers games for some perspective - they seem to consider any performance that is not flawlessly dominant as subpar.

Hasek never jumped ship at the first sign of trouble. He kept playing at a historically great level in Buffalo and took the team to places it would never otherwise have been for 8 seasons as the penny-pinching management stuff disassembled the team around him before he finally had enough. I don't particularly fault him for not wanting to give up his shot at winning a championship and staying with an organization that wasn't supporting him in any way, just to prove some vague notions about loyalty to random hockey fans.

Game sevens are small sample sizes. Martin Brodeur has been good in a few games sevens, but that doesn't mean he's guaranteed to be great and win you a game seven if you play it tomorrow. Until he does it many, many times you don't really know if it is luck or skill, and nobody will ever get the chance to play enough game sevens to prove that distinction. Brodeur's overall playoff numbers have gone up because it is harder to score goals in the playoffs. He has had some great saves, games, and series, but if you compare his playoff save percentages against league average they are pretty good but not dominating, similar to Ed Belfour or Curtis Joseph but well behind both Hasek and Roy.

as far as luongo, he is the most inconsistent goalie to be mislabeled a good that i have ever seen. more than any other goalie with luongo, he is either great, or he gets shelled.

How many games have you watched Luongo play? Seems to be that you are probably being influenced by a small sample size here. I looked at the stats to compare Brodeur to Luongo in game-by-game consistency since the lockout. I defined a great game to be anything over .925, and a bad game to anything under .875. Turns out they have been very similar every season, except in 2007-08 when Luongo did indeed have a few more bad games. Percentage-wise, Luongo has been great 46% of the time, poor 20% of the time, and average 34% of the time. Brodeur has been great 47% of the time, poor 18% of the time, and average 35% of the time. Given the sample size, those two numbers are basically identical. So either Brodeur is also very inconsistent and "mislabeled" as a good goalie, or you are wrong. Take your pick.

Finally, you mention how Roy was clutch

I never said that Roy was "clutch". I said Roy did well in clutch situations, and the only reason I said it was because somebody else was accusing him of being some kind of playoff choker. I'm not a big believer in clutch, I think there are only two reasons why goalies perform well in important situations: they are good, or they get lucky. Patrick Roy played in so many playoff games that I think it is was pretty clear he was good, not lucky.

I can kind of understand how you would give goalies extra credit for doing well in important situations. It goes back to what you said about how goals against in blowouts can be meaningless as far as the team winning or losing the game. A goalie who makes a lot of saves in overtime in the playoffs, for example, is doing a lot to help his team win. Note that I don't think it proves whether a goalie is more "clutch" or not, just how much value they are contributing to their team.

Game 7s are only one possible definition of a clutch situation. The problem is that it is a very small sample size. I would prefer to use a couple of other scenarios as well, such as overtime play, but I can understand why Martin Brodeur fans don't want to use that as a criterion.

Anonymous said...

since the lockout brodeur has done nothing but prove everything all his critics are saying wrong. you are saying wins dont matter, but how does brodeur have 5 wins on a team that before tonight had a total of 9 goals? well maybe its the defense right? well he's got a save% over .94, and all the teams wins before tonight were by at most 1 goal, meaning if brodeurs save% wasnt .94 but rather .93, his team only has 3 wins not 5.
all this while guys like luongo, kipper, turco, nabakov, and osgood are getting lit up. all this while guys like price, lundvist, and miller are getting outplayed by their backups.
also your main criticism of brodeur is his supposed low save percentage, but never in his career has he had a save% below league average.
the other thing i'd like to bring up his how your crush on roberto luongo is a little bit unwaranted as he has never been able to get a team anywhere. roy was known to change the game. hasek got a bad team to the finals. brodeur, yes brodeur was known to change games too. i know i'll have to give exact examples otherwise youll just deny it but how bout during his first 2 years in the league. brodeur was the obvious reason the devils got as far as the did in 94, especially in the ecf. in 95 i'm sure you want to bring up that amazing defense, BUT the devils were a 6 or 7 seed that year. they were supposed to have been beaten by every team they played. they did not have a great defensive team if you look at the regular season numbers that year. yet brodeur had a great save% in the playoffs, including 3 shutouts in the opening round.
luongo has never been able to take his team to that next level, and has ever had difficulty making the playoffs. his vancouver teams have been at least average, defintely better than some of the buffalo teams hasek was on or the recent teams brodeur took to the playoffs.
you always want to bring up how great luongos save % is, yet for a guy who is 6'4 and wears all around league max pads, i dont find his save% numbers that impressive because naturally the larger you are the more space that is taken up, thus lower percentage of the net to shoot at, meaning a higher save percentage. the same kind of thing is true for roy as well.
that is the one place you seem to refuse to go on this site. the effect of league maximum pads, and the actual size of the goalie. this is why its easy to label roy (post 1995) or luongo's save%'s as great. if i placed a shot glass in front of a goal, and then replaced it with a garbage can, on which would you have the harder time scoring? not to mention that both are pure butterfly goalies, which means they play the percentages on their knees taking away the lower half and the middle third of the net. its that simple.

The Contrarian Goaltender said...

How does Brodeur have 5 wins on a team that is outshooting its opposition by an average of 33-25 per game this season? I don't know, it must be some miraculous clutch goaltending or something. Seriously, though, Brodeur has had a great start, no question, but please refer again to this post.

the other thing i'd like to bring up his how your crush on roberto luongo is a little bit unwaranted as he has never been able to get a team anywhere.

Ah, the team success argument. Given that this whole entire website is devoted to the principle that team success does not matter for goalies and that goalie results are strongly influenced by the rest of the team, I hope you'll understand why I completely reject that argument. Luongo has been great at stopping the puck, and that's pretty much all he can do. Could he have made the playoffs last year if he played better? Yes. But the main reason Vancouver missed the playoffs last year was they played in the tougher conference. Put the Canucks out East and the probably start the playoffs on home ice.

My "crush" on Luongo is because he comes out highly in virtually every statistical analysis I run. I rate Luongo much higher now than I did when I began this blog, because his results have really been impressive once you consider the team context.

I just don't get your argument about Luongo's size, though. Luongo is a bigger goalie, so his success is less impressive? We are rating goalies on how good they are performing, not evaluating who is the best goalie pound-for-pound. Using Luongo's size as a reason to say he is not as impressive is a subjective argument, and has everything to do with the type of goaltending style you prefer and nothing to do with his actual performance.

I'll get to the issue of goalie pads eventually. It has nothing to do with me ducking that issue or being scared of bringing it up, I just have other things in the pipeline at the moment. My working thesis: Goalie pad size is a benefit, but a minor one. And you don't want to be using Patrick Roy as evidence of proving your "pad size is important" point. Just look at Roy's save percentages vs. league average in Montreal, they were even better than what he put up later on with bigger equipment in Colorado.

Anonymous said...

i dont know were you live or what coverage you have of hockey, but if youve watched any game the devils have played this year you would see how they average 33 shots per game and less than 2 goals. how many shots they get per game i think is largely irrelevant to a goalie because even if the devils got 50 shots a game, if they only score once, the goalie either gets a shutout or he loses. also i'll mention that if youve watched the games you would notice the frequency with which nj turns the puck over in their own zone, and the quality of the shots that brodeur faces when the other team does get chances. i have seen every game theyve played so far and i doubt you are aware that at least once in every single game played so far, brodeur has had to face at least one breakaway. only semin of washington has scored.
as far as luongo goes, i would say it comes down what is said before. the bigger you are, the more space you cover. no, its not his fault, and i dont think he takes advangtage of the pads size limitations the way a lundqvist or legace does. all im saying, is i would expect him to stop more pucks than a goalie who is 6'0 wearing similarly proportioned equipment assuming they are facing the same shots.
as far as roy and the goalie pads goes, ill just say this. you seem to evaluate goalies differently based on your view of their value. what i mean is that with roy you say it would be a bad argument if i used roy because he had much better numbers in montreal when he used smaller pads. yet if you viewed roy the same way you do brodeur, i am sure your response wouldve been more like this. "well even though he had much better numbers earlier in his career, the fact that his numbers dropped off in the second half of his career when he was using much larger pads, playing on a much stronger team, and playing in a much more defensive era, shows that he is somewhat overrated and not deserving of the praise he got.
basically im just saying that you dont measure each goalie with the same consistency, and depending on who it is, i see you either defending or attacking more frequently.

The Contrarian Goaltender said...

I agree that it is really goals for that are important, because only goals for have an impact on winning and losing. However, shots for and against tend to show the run of play, and teams that outshoot the opposition tend to win. We can expect therefore that a team that has created a lot of shots and prevented shots against like New Jersey has to have a bunch of wins.

Also, if you are predicting future performance, shots for are very useful because a team that consistently gets a high number of shots will score goals. A team that has a lot of shots but few goals, like New Jersey, is likely to increase their scoring rate over the rest of the season.

at least once in every single game played so far, brodeur has had to face at least one breakaway

Horror of horrors! One breakaway in every game against! How does Brodeur manage to deal with such a difficult challenge? In places like Atlanta, Florida, St. Louis, Toronto, and Long Island, one breakaway against is considered an easy night. By the way, according to the NHL's real-time scoring system, the Devils are second in the Eastern Conference in fewest giveaways this season.

What makes you think I'm a big supporter of Patrick Roy? He's right up there underneath Martin Brodeur on the top right of my home page, in the "Overrated" column. I have brought up Roy in several different posts, some of them not particularly flattering, most notably this one. Roy is somewhat overrated, but that has absolutely nothing to do with whether increasing pad size is the cause of improved goalie performance.

Anonymous said...

alright now i understand from your postings you dont actually watch the games you seem to know so much about, but i have really lost respect for your opinion by a statement like this.

"Horror of horrors! One breakaway in every game against! How does Brodeur manage to deal with such a difficult challenge? In places like Atlanta, Florida, St. Louis, Toronto, and Long Island, one breakaway against is considered an easy night."

simply as an example of how ppor the devils defense is, using the breakaway which is the ultimate defensive lapse, as the perfect example. i dont care what team you watch normally, but nobody allows breakaways with such frequency as one per game. that outrageous. florida, atlanta, toronto whomever you want to bring up, none of those teams allow breakaways that consistently. i mean come, thats got to be one of the dumbest rebuttals ever made. in the past decade, the most breakaways allowed by any team over the course of a season 79, which was by los angeles in 05-06. so when its stated that through 8 games brodeur has faced 11 breakaways, and to have a response such as the one you gave, its commical and shows how you really dont have a clue other than the subjective stats in front of you.

The Contrarian Goaltender said...

If you have breakaway statistics, then I definitely stand corrected. Where are you getting the numbers?

I'd also be interested to know what their definition of a breakaway was. I am pretty sure, based on that frequency, that they would be using a strict definition and aren't counting partial breakaways or anything like that.

By the way, Anonymous, it is really easy to criticize somebody else when you have numbers and they don't. Like how your claims about New Jersey giveaways don't match at all with the official NHL statistics. But that's fine, because all of us subjectively make mistakes when we watch NHL games (I am certainly no different, obviously), and that is why I prefer to use statistics rather than biased viewpoints to make my cases and rankings.

ih8temarty said...

Finally someone who sees marty as the fraud he is. wanna know why marty plays so much? Low shots against for years. this keeps him fresh. not to mention the poor quality of most shots! Also he knows if anyone else plays for an extended period of time they will win just as many if not more games.
thus spoiling the legend of the great martin brodeur. wake up devil puke fans all 50 of you!

ih8temarty said...

AS for anyone sticking up for marty theyre usually a devil fan.
Which also means they dont watch any other hockey games besides the devils because if they did they would understand what we say when we call him average. Sure ive seen him have great games. this does not make him one of the greatest however. Marty knew staying with the devils and their defensive system would pad his stats. He would have been exposed on a team that gave up many shots on a nightly basis. So in conclusion hes not great. But hes no dummy!!!

ih8temarty said...

Do you know why the ducks goalie got the trophy after the devs and marty beat them for the cup?
BECAUSE HE WAS AND STILL IS BETTER THAN MARTY YOU DEVIL PUKES!!
THAT GOES FOR YOU TO CHICO I LOVE MARTY RESCH!!! GOOD GOD COULD HE GUSH OVER HIM ANY MORE?

Anonymous said...

haha, that guy definitely is borderline obsessed. im guessing brodeur didnt sign an autograph for him or something?

ih8temarty said...

HA HA HA IM GUESSING YOUR WRONG DEVIL PUKE!!! WOUDNT GIVE YA 2 CENTS FOR THAT AUTO!!! BUT IM ALSO GUESSING YOUVE GOT A BIG CRUSH ON MARTY. YOUR NOT CHICO RESCH ARE YOU ANONYMOUS?

ih8temarty said...

OK NOW DEVIL PUKES LOOK AT MY BLOG FROM NOV.3 THEN LOOK AT THE STATS FOR THE GOALIE WHO REPLACED THE GREAT MARTIN BRODEUR. WOW!!!
WHAT DO YOU KNOW HIS SAVE PERCENTAGE AND WINS ARE BETTER THEN MARTYS. THIS WITH A BUNCH OF KEY PLAYERS INJURED TO BOOT!

I GUESS YOU THINK SCOTT CLEMMENSEN IS THE GREATEST GOALIE NOW!!!!

OR COULD IT BE THE DEVS SYSTEM?

Anonymous said...

All the stats I need are the guys shutouts and wins. The whole point is to let in fewer goals than the other guy...doesn't matter if you face 3 shots and he faces 30 after it's all said and done it's who got the win, and Marty does that better than anyone. And what the crap guy...I mean...ever try something else than blogging about hockey? Like playing it?

ih8temarty said...

SO IN YOUR HOCKEY EXPERIENCE WHICH
CONSISTS OF ONLY WATCHING THE DEVILS. IF JOE THE PLUMBER PLAYED GOAL AND FACED NO SHOTS BUT GOT THE WIN HE WOULD BE DOING THAT BETTER THAN ANYONE. AND HERES THE CRAP! PLAYED HOCKEY FOR YEARS THATS WHY I DONT MAKE STUPID DEVIL LOVING COMMENTS LIKE YOU.

ih8temarty said...

AND WHILE WERE TALKING ABOUT FATSO
IT SHOULD COME AS NO SUPRISE THAT HES RUSHING BACK AHEAD OF SCHEDULE
TO TRY AND SAVE HIS FRAUDULANT CAREER FROM BEING MARRED BY A GOALIE WHO WAS HORRIBLE FOR THE LEAFS YET HAS SUCH SUCCESS WITH YOUR ROBOTIC DEVS.

Anonymous said...

DID I EVER TELL YOU GUYS THAT IF YOU POST IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS THAT IT MAKES YOUR POST MORE IMPORTANT

Anonymous said...

DID I ALSO TELL YOU THAT IF I POST IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS THAT IT MEANS I CAN SAY STUPID THINGS LIKE CLEMMENSONS SUCCESS FOR A FEW MONTHS IS JUST AS IMPRESSIVE AS DOING IT FOR 15 YEARS!!!!

I ALSO LIKE TO TYPE IN CAPS SO THAT EVERYONE REALLY KNOWS HOW MUCH I HATE BRODEUR. I ALSO ASPIRE TO DEDICATE MY SCREEN NAME TO THE MAN I HATE.

ih8temarty said...

WOW!!! ANONYMOUS SAID ASPIRE!!!!
IS THAT YOUR WORD OF THE DAY?
I MAY ASPIRE TO CHANGE MY SCREEN NAME TO IHATEANONYMOUS!
WHY DONT YOU ASPIRE TO WATCH OTHER
GOALIES AND GET A CLUE!!!!!
DEVIL PUKE!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Question.....When will it be a good time to add Hank you the list of overrateds? One would expect a great goalie to occasionally carry a team with a piss-poor defense in front of him as Marty had to do the past few years, what's Hanks excuse?

ih8temarty said...

WATCH HOW EASY THIS IS.
YOUR RIGHT HANK IS OVERRATED.
SEE THAT WASNT SO HARD.
NOW BACK TO FATSO ITS THE DEVILS STYLE NOT HIM CARRYING THE TEAM.
HOW ELSE DO YOU EXPLAIN A GOOF LIKE DAVID CLARKSON PLAYING ON A WINNING TEAM. THE STYLE MAKES AVERAGE PLAYERS SUCCESSFUL.
CLEMMER NOR BRODEUR NOR HANK WOULD CARRY THE ATLANTA THRASHERS.
WHEN YOU REALIZE THAT YOULL SEE MOST OF MARTYS SUCCESS IS FROM STAYING WITH THE DEVILS.
YOUR RIGHT ABOUT CARRYING BUT ITS THE DEVILS STYLE THAT HAS CARRIED HIM TO ALL HIS BLOATED NUMBERS.

Anonymous said...

YES POINTING TO A FOURTH LINER LIKE DAVID CLARKSON REALLY DISPROVES WHAT MARTIN BRODEUR HAS DONE. NO OTHER TEAM IN THE LEAGUE HAS 4TH LINERS EXCEPT THE DEVILS. OBVIOUSLY THEY ARE OVERRATED. EVEN IF THEY ARENT THE FACT THAT I TYPE IN CAPS MAKES IT TRUE.

ALSO ... IHATEMARTY.. YOUR MAN CRUSH ON BRODEUR IS OBVIOUSLY FROM THE FACT THAT YOUR HOPEFULLY DECEASED PARENTS MOLESTED YOU.

ih8temarty said...

THE ONLY THING BEING MOLESTED WOULD BE MARTYS GAA IF HE PLAYED FOR ANYONE ELSE. AND NOT ONLY ARE YOU A DEVIL PUKE YOUR SICK!!
IM GUESSING YOU WATCH YOUR HOCKEY GAMES FROM YOUR RUBBER ROOM AT THE INSTITUTION!

ih8temarty said...

OH WAIT A MINUTE I JUST FIGURED IT OUT! SINCE ALL OF YOUR COMMENTS ARE ABOUT STATS IM GUESSING YOUVE NEVER ACUALLY WATCHED A HOCKEY GAME. AM I GETTING WARM?
ARE YOU IN THE RUBBER ROOM WITH YOUR MARTIN BRODUER DOLL AND A COPY OF HOCKEY ILLUSTRATED?
IM GOING TO HAVE TO WRITE THAT INSTITUTION AND TELL THEM TO GET YOU A TV SET.
HOPEFULLY YOULL HANG YOURSELF WITH THE CORD!!!! BY FOR NOW DEVIL PUKE!!!!

Anonymous said...

NOTHING SCREAMS BITTER RANGER FAN LIKE IH8TEMARTY. KEEP DREAMING QUEEN LUNDQVIST GETS ENOUGH DEFENSIVE SUPPORT TO AMASS ONE VEZINA IN HIS CAREER. OH YEA, AND ENJOY THE FACT THAT YOU WILL CONTINUE TO SEE BANNERS RAISED IN JERSEY, WHILE YOU LOW LIFE NEW YORKERS STRUGGLE TO REMAIN COMPETITIVE FOR MORE THAN A FEW YEARS AT A TIME. OH WELL, AT LEAST YOU HAVE A FANBASE TO SHARE YOUR LOSING WAYS WITH.

OH YEA CONGRATS ON KING OVER RATED GETTING HIS FIRST SHUTOUT TONIGHT. I THINK THE POSTS DESERVE MORE CREDIT THAN HE DOES BUT HEY, AT LEAST NOW IN TERMS OF SHUTOUTS HE IS TIED WITH... WELL HIS BACKUP, AND ONLY ONE BEHIND THE GUY YOU SECRETLY MASTURBATE TO.

ih8temarty said...

WOW ANONYMOUS SAID MASTURBATE!
THE DAY BEFORE WAS MOLESTED!
THIS DEVIL FAN MUST BE AWFUL ANGRY
BY THE FACT THAT NOBODY LOVES HIS
FAT ASS GOALIE BUT THE HANDFULL OF NO NOTHING DEVIL PUKES AND HIMSELF!
THIS FROM A GUY WHO USED HIS WORD OF THE DAY " ASPIRE " NOT LONG AGO.
I MYSELF " ASPIRE " TO SEE HOW ANGRY I CAN GET THIS DEVIL PUKE AND TO SEE WHAT X-RATED WORDS FLY FROM HIS FINGERS NEXT!!!!
UNTIL NEXT TIME DEVIL PUKE HOLD ON TIGHT TO YOUR MARTY DOLL AND KEEP THINKING HES A GOOD GOALIE BECAUSE WITHOUT NO NOTHING DEVIL PUKES LIKE YOU THE REST OF THE HOCKEY WORLD WOULD HAVE NO ONE TO LAUGH AT!!!

ih8temarty said...

BEFORE WE GO ANY FURTHER DOES YOUR MOTHER KNOW YOUR USING SUCH FOUL LANGUAGE? CAUSE IM GUESSING YOUR ABOUT TWELVE YEARS OLD THE AVERAGE AGE OF MOST DEVIL PUKES BECAUSE WHEN I LOOK IN THE STANDS DURING
THEIR GAMES THERES USUALLY A BUNCH OF KIDS OR EMPTY SEATS!!!
WAIT A MINUTE YOUR NOT AN EMPTY SEAT ARE YOU ANONYMOUS? IVE GOT A 50/50 CHANCE DONT I?
UNLESS OF COURSE THEYRE PLAYING THE RANGERS THEN I CANT TELL BECAUSE THE PLACE IS SOLD OUT WITH RANGER FANS!!!! STICK THAT IN YOUR STATS AND SMOKE IT!!!!!

Anonymous said...

HA HA HA. DEFINITELY STRUCK A NERVE THERE. BITTER RANGERS FAN INDEED. KEEP UP THE EXCELLENT WORK ON YOUR FIRE RENNEY BLOG AH HAHAHA

Anonymous said...

Yup, poor Ranger fan. How is Lundqvist working out for ya?

ih8temarty said...

A COUPLE MORE LOSSES LIKE TONIGHTS AGAINST THE CANES AND YOU CAN BET
YOUR CHICO RESCH LOVE PUPPET THAT FATSO ANNOUNCES A SETBACK IN HIS RETURN!!!! WOULDNT WANT TO DAMAGE THAT BOGUS CARREER OF HIS!!!!!
OH AND HOWS FATSOS RECORD AGAINST
QUEEN LUNDQVIST? FOR A STATS DORK I NOTICE YOU DIDNT MENTION THAT ONE.

Anonymous said...

THATS FUNNY, SOMEBODY WHO WANTS TO TALK ABOUT TEAM EFFECT IS NOW RECITING QUEEN LUNDQVISTS WIN-LOSS RECORD?

OH HOW ACCOMPLISHED THE QUEEN IS. MR. OVERRATED DESERVES ALL THE CREDIT IN THE WORLD FOR WINNING 20 GAMES 4 YEARS IN A ROW, RIGHT? AWFULLY DAUNTING TASK CONSIDERING HE STARTS 70 TIMES A YEAR.

BOTTOM LINE: ENJOY TROLLING A BLOG HAHAHA. LIFE IN RANGER LAND MUST BE GRAND.

The Contrarian Goaltender said...

Ih8marty: Please contribute positively to the discussion or I will be forced to delete your comments.

ih8temarty said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ih8temarty said...

JUST NOTICED WHAT YOU WROTE UNDER YOUR HEADER. LOVE IT !!!
AINT IT THE TRUTH!!!!
YOU CAN ADD WEEKS TO IT NOW AFTER
HIS WIN AGAINST THE KINGS.

ih8temarty said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Lets see... the case for Brodeur.

career far from over at this point.

Will be holder of all-time wins and blow away Roy's records.
Will do the same with shut-outs.
Will more than likely end up with more than the 3 stanley cup rings he already owns.
Will probably get a Conn Smythe or two.
Has won Calder Rookie, the Vezina numerous times and might even get a Hart before career is over.
Don't forget his Olympic Gold medal and his World Cup of hockey championship & World Championship Silver.

Lets see, what else?
Has the lowest GAA in modern goaltending era.
Record for most 40+ wins seasons.
Record for most wins in a season (48).
Went to the finals in 2001 all the way to game seven (could have been fourth cup).
Made to game 7 of conference finals in rookie year.
Has scored two goals, and might get another one before he retires.
Recently, though playing on a crappy team with crappy defense, has been able to make his team quite competitive, making the playoffs every time, so you "Trap" argument or your "Stevens Defense" argument is total crap. The devils stopped playing the trap system after Lemaire left not too long after they won the cup in 95.

Oh, and if it wasn't for the lockout in 95, the cancelled season in 2004, and his injury this year, Brodeur would have surpassed Roy's win record at least two seasons ago as he would be approaching 650 wins at this point. Imagine, Brodeur would be gunning for 700 by next season, and possibly 800 before he retires!

You have no argument, Brodeur is the greatest EVER. period.ershar

Anonymous said...

I have been fan of my hometown canucks all my life. I have also been a brodeur fan for a long time. I have been watching luongo and brodeur every game and I can confidently say that brodeur is better but luongo is still amazing. You put way too much emphasis on stats. Ever since luongo came to the canucks he has been surrounded by a great defense. The canucks have even changed their style to defence first (even the trap). Roberto's numbers have been good but you would think (at least by reading this site) that the change in teams would put his numbers in the historic category. And as for clemmenson, he is solid but he is no marty. You can see this by just watching the 2 goaltenders. And lastly, I have no obligation to be a fan of brodeurs but i choose to be because of his play. I didn't start liking him because he had good numbers but by what I saw him do on the ice. You can tell by just watching him that he is something special. His style of play is very entertaining, he relies so much on his reflexes and athletitism, unlike other goalies who mainly use their size (or their huge pads) to cover as much net as possible. oh yeah, and I don't know how many players, coaches, managers i have heard say that marty is one of the best if not the best to play the game.

Anonymous said...

Just some food for thought: wouldn't shootout success rates help to settle the debate, being as it removes all outside influences like team strategy and teammates?

Like them or don't, the shootout is simply a team's best three shooters going one-on-one against a goalie, so in a discussion of who is a good goalie and who isn't, it seems to me their success or failure in the shootout should go a long way toward ultimately deciding.

Anonymous said...

I heavily doubt the shootout is in any way a competent way to evaluate any goalie skill other than his ability to succeed in a shootout, or on a penalty shot. The shootout when broken down, is not even hockey. It has never been part of the game, and only has been added as incentive for fans to watch. There are so many aspects of the game that are left out in the shootout, that it is almost insulting as a true hockey fan to have to watch them. That being said, Brodeur is again, one of the best when it comes to shootouts. But its hardly a reason to rank one goalie ahead of another.

Anonymous said...

first game back for marty........SHUTOUT!!!!!!!! hahaha
he's baaaaaack

Anonymous said...

...and another one tonight, his second in three games. Yeah, Brodeur is a real fraud.

I forget, did Hasek get 100 shutouts? Though I have to admit, Hasek did have 4 or more shutouts in a single postseason... once.
http://www.hockeygoalies.org/stats/fourshutouts.html

And on a slightly less serious note: http://www.hockeygoalies.org/stats/twowaygoalies.html

Anonymous said...

Fraud-tastic!

http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=411769

Anonymous said...

Finally ih8temarty has stopped posting. Anybody who writes in caps is a crybaby and just simply wastes everybody's time.

This Marty had great defense to win cups is so old. I guess Roy having Blake and Bourque for their last cup win doesn't count against Roy though right.

Anybody can look up stats. And the stats show Brodeur is an alltime great. Aside from the stats, most haters here simply have never watched Brodeur play. There's no other reason. If you watched him play then you would know how great he is.

Low shots per game is because of great defense, but also because Brodeur is literally a seventh defenseman directing his defenders where to go and getting them the puck effectivley or clearing the puck out of the zone during shootins on the penalty kill.

The stupid trrapezoid rule is referred to the Marty rule because it was put in to stop his effectiveness in stopping opposing chances. Shouldn't his ability to limit shots himself along with amazing rebound control and puck handling not count towards his greatness even though its not a trackable stat?

I wouldn't listen to anything Hull said. He's bitter his team got smoked by the Devils and Brodeur stopping him in a key moment of on the the games. And lets not forget how he overpaid for that moron Sean Avery.

Brodeur is a once in a generation/lifetime goalie. He is easily top three alltime.

Herbert said...

You just hate Brodeur. He is one of the greatest goaltenders ever. Just watch some of the saves he manages to make. His save percentage is affected because he takes fewer shots. That means every goal that gets scored on him, he doesn't get the same amount of chances to pad his save percentage as other goalies would. Also, a good defensive team has to have a good goalie who can communicate to his team what is going on. Higher level hockey isn't anything like high school where a defense can completely make up for lack of goaltending, especially on a team that doesn't have much offensive firepower. Plus look at his durability.

Anonymous said...

hmmm.....good to see this site is still rolling along. I've watched as many Marty games as an other Devils fan and I also think that "stats" do not tell the whole story on him. He has intangibles that stats don't measure. Stats and charts, charts and more stats, PUH-LEEEZE! Just read this on NHL.com: http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=413386&navid=DL|NHL|Home

Please teach all the guys in that link how to read stats and charts so they can see what they said and think about the guy was/is wrong.

Overrated, underrated......who gives a rat's bung hole!!??!!

Have a nice day. Hope you can get outside more often in the future! LOL

P.S. my favorite part of this valuable site is the Ranger fans that link this to their sites! LOLOL

sidaytona said...

Totally agree. I've felt that Brodeur has been an overrated goalie for years for the exact reasons you gave - especially the low amount of quality scoring chances against him.

Now - he has the all time win record. But this is a team record just as it is in baseball. Pitchers are at the mercy of their team for wins. Marty is the hockey equivalent of the big three Brave pitchers in the 90s. (i.e. Maddox, Glavine, Smoltz)

Anonymous said...

Hey guess what, he just broke the all time win record.

Here are his records as of the end of last season (excluding the all-time win record)
1st place: Most regular season wins (552)
2nd place: Most shutouts (100)
Most combined shutouts (118, both regular season and playoffs)
Most overtime wins (45)
Most consecutive 30-win seasons (12)
Most consecutive 35-win seasons (11)
Most 40-win seasons (7)
Only NHL goalie to score a game-winning goal
One of only two NHL goalies to score a goal in both the regular season and the playoffs

Regular season
Most wins in a single season (48, in 2006–07)
Most minutes played in a single season (4697, in 2006–07)

Playoffs
Most shutouts in a playoff (7, in 2002–03)
2nd place: 22 Shutouts
Most shutouts in a Stanley Cup final (3, in 2002–03)
Tied with Toronto Maple Leafs' Frank McCool.
2nd place: 94 Wins
3rd goaltender to win the Stanley Cup with a Game-7 shutout in 2002–03.
1st goaltender in history to have 3 shutouts in two different playoff series. (1995 against Boston in the Conference Quarterfinals, 2003 against Anaheim in the Stanley Cup final.)

Considering he has another 3 or more seasons left in him, I wouldnt be suprised if these numbers change. And I think they speak for themselves.

Anonymous said...

Above a poster said that these shootout type shots aren't even real hockey and are only a recent (re: last few years) addition to add excitement. While this is partly true, this is misleading. Penalty shots, which are fundamentally the same thing, have been a part of the game as long as I can remember watching, and that is over 30 years now. Although this recent change has caused consternation in the hockey world, the concept IS based on something that has been part of hockey for a very long time.

billyp01 said...

In his first appearance since breaking the NHL victory record, Brodeur made 35 saves in the New Jersey Devils' 4-0 win over the Minnesota Wild on Friday night for his 101st shutout, just two behind Terry Sawchuk's mark.
Brodeur is 9-1 with three shutouts since returning Feb. 26 after missing 50 games following biceps surgery. sounds pretty overrated if you ask me...

Anonymous said...

This website is funny.

For the sake of throwing in my two cents, here are a few arguments for Brodeur's greatness that somehow get overlooked:

- Longevity. Ken Dryden was great, but didn't play for very long. Roy left the Habs once they were no longer great and went to an up and coming Avs team to continue his stellar career. Hasek spent several years as a backup before finally getting his break. Marty, meanwhile, started his career with a Calder and came within a goal of the Cup Finals and has been great ever since. He always starts a ton of games, always wins a ton of games, and has a trademark for being unflappable. His entire career has been spent with the same team, making that team great rather than playing for great teams. No goalie since the advent of the backup has played 70+ games at such a consistently high level for so many years. It's tough to find anyone in all of professional sports who has played so much at such a high level for so long. Most stars enjoy highs and lows to their careers, and Marty's biggest low was a stretch in the late-90s where he still won tons of games, always made the playoffs, and should have won a Vezina that somehow ended up going to Jim Carey instead.

- Puck-handling. I mean, for Christ's sake, the NHL changed the rules and repainted the ice in an attempt to handcuff him to the net. Watch the Devils with and without Brodeur and you'll see how much of a difference his puck-handling makes. No goalie in the game today (and in the history of the game other than Hextall) is more composed behind his own net. No goalie springs so many offensive rushes with crisp passes. No goalie is better at chipping the puck off the glass past forecheckers and right to teammates. Look at interviews with defensemen who played with him and they rave about how much easier he made their jobs by preventing them from getting hammered into the boards by forecheckers and pressured into turnovers. This element of his game cannot be mentioned enough, and yet you barely take note. This is a ridiculously glaring mistake on your part (probably because it isn't measured statistically). It is also a big reason for why he faces so few shots, while you only give credit for this to the defensemen or the team style in front of him.

- International play. Canada hadn't won a gold medal in the Olympics in a half century until Brodeur went between the pipes. That gold-less gap includes goaltending from Roy and Joseph. Why you ignore this fact is beyond me.

- Rebound control. Brodeur doesn't just stop the puck, he directs it. No one is better at punching the puck past attackers, steering rebounds into the corners, or just flat out stopping the puck dead and not allowing any rebounds at all. But, since there aren't stats to back this up, you once again ignore it. Watch him play. Or, better yet, watch everyone else play and THEN watch Brodeur play. Pay attention to this aspect of the game and try not to be impressed.

- Selflessness. This doesn't seem to be something that fits into your personal definition of greatness, but it's certainly a part of mine. He never demanded a trade or a starting job in the Olympics like Roy. He never badmouthed teammates or coaches in the media like Hasek. He negotiated his own contract in New Jersey and took less money than his market value so the team could better afford to keep more talent around him. He's an ultimate team player, and that selflessness (as much as his talent) is a big part of why the Devils have been so good for so long.

- He's a throwback. In an era where butterfly goalies are swelling up like Stay-Puft Marshmallow Men, it's refreshing to see a guy who looks like the goalies of yesteryear. His peers constantly praise him for wearing smaller pads than most. He wore the same chest protector he had in Juniors for most of his career and even wore Bill Guerin's elbow pads. Guys like Luongo, Giguere and Lundqvist wear leg pads that are too long for their bodies and chest pads that go up to their ears, allowing them to stay deep in the net and still give the shooter as little net to shoot at as a guy like Brodeur who comes out to cut down the angle. Kay Whitmore, currently a goaltending supervisor for the NHL overseeing changes to goalie pads, constantly refers to Brodeur as looking the way a goaltender should look. You can blame Brodeur's "undeserved greatness" on a lot of things, but you can never use his equipment as an excuse. Meanwhile, Roy is not only credited for bringing on the advent of the butterfly style, but also the gigantic pads that came along with it.

- The records. Everyone knows by now about the wins record and how close he is to the shutouts record. But you put so little stock in regular season wins and so much in the playoffs, so let's look there. Here are some of his career playoff marks: Most shutouts in a playoff (7 in '02-03, yet Giguere still won the Conn Smythe); most shutouts in a Cup Final (3, also in '02-03); first goaltender to have three shutouts in two different playoff series ('95 ECQF vs. Boston and '03 SCF vs. Anaheim); second most career wins (94); second most career shutouts (22); third goalie to ever earn a shutout in Game 7 of the SCF ('03 vs. Anaheim). Here are some of his other regular season records: Most overtime wins (45); most consecutive 30-win seasons (12); most consecutive 35-win seasons (11); most 40-win seasons (7); most wins in a single season (48). You can downplay wins records all you want, but all of this points back to my original point of his incredible longevity. Show me someone else who has been so good for so long. No easy task. Of course, there are also the fun facts that he's one of only two goalie to have scored a goal in both the regular season and playoffs, and he's the only goalie credited with a game-winning goal.

So much of your argument hinges on save percentage and playoff wins, two very important stats when measuring goaltenders. But you've gotta expand your basis of judgement. Otherwise your logic becomes one-dimensional and flawed.

Honestly, I have a hard time understanding why someone would go through such great lengths to put Brodeur down. He's so damned likeable (unless you're a Rangers or Flyers fan or something). No goalie is more accessible to the media before and after games. Whenever he wins the Cup, he goes back to the street in Montreal where he grew up, invites his childhood friends (who he is still close with, BTW) over and plays street hockey with the Cup on the line (for the record, he lost it in '95 but won it back in '00 and '03). In an era of professional sports where steriods, camcorders, dogfighting, shootings, brawls with fans, etc. give great achievements a black eye, isn't it refreshing to see a guy like Brodeur accomplish so much without any of that riff raff?

The Contrarian Goaltender said...

Anonymous: That was a very good comment, maybe the best in this thread. I think it is certainly worthy of a response.

Honestly, I have a hard time understanding why someone would go through such great lengths to put Brodeur down. He's so damned likeable (unless you're a Rangers or Flyers fan or something).

I don't see it as putting Brodeur down, although I understand how some would interpret it that way. I see it as trying to evaluate him fairly. The way I see it is that everyone else is going through great lengths to pump up Brodeur's reputation at the expense of other talented peers like Dominik Hasek and Roberto Luongo. They deserve recognition because of their excellent play, and if they aren't getting it because that attention is showered on Brodeur, then why shouldn't he be put down to his proper ranking?

I have nothing against Brodeur personally and I agree that he seems to be a great guy. It is not just Brodeur, I think a lot of goalies are overrated because goalies get far too much credit or blame for team results.

Longevity: I agree Brodeur has longevity and excellent durability. Everyone has their own personal weighting system where they decide how much credit they give for longevity, and how much credit they give for peak value. I differ from a lot of people in this area because I favour peak value, but I understand why you are impressed with his longevity.

I disagree that Brodeur has been great ever since his rookie season, though. I also think Patrick Roy has been more consistently good than Brodeur over the course of his career.

Puckhandling: All the evidence, both objective and subjective, suggests to me that goalie puckhandling is a minor skill that does not have a major impact on the game of hockey. As a result, it is mentioned too much in the case of Brodeur. His puckhandling skill is impressive, it certainly does help out the defence, and you would obviously rather have a good puckhandling goalie than a bad one. But everything has a value, and to say, This element of his game cannot be mentioned enough is overdoing it.

Regarding Brodeur's historical ranking, there are quite a few quotes from NHL goalies that indicate that as a group they actually consider Marty Turco to be the gold standard of puckhandling, or at least equal to Brodeur.

International play: I think Brodeur's Olympic reputation is overblown. He wasn't terrific in Salt Lake, he was just good enough to win. Patrick Roy was much better in Nagano than Brodeur was in Salt Lake. Hockey is a team game.

Canada also had never failed to make the semifinals in a best-on-best international tournament until Brodeur went between the pipes. I don't know why Brodeur fans ignore that fact. I'm guessing they are blaming the rest of the team for it, and if so I actually agree with them. Just like I give credit mostly to the rest of the team for 2002.

Rebound control: There are actually stats to back this up, and I don't dispute Brodeur is among the best. I have of course watched him play, and he is talented in this area, but facing few shots per game and easy shots behind a great defence also makes your rebound control skills look a lot better. New Jersey's rebound shots against have significantly risen post-lockout, for what it's worth.

Selflessness: You're right, I don't care how selfless an athlete is. I'd prefer he was a nice guy, but I rate players on how they perform out on the ice.

The records: Everything you mentioned is either a wins or shutout record. I don't consider either of those to among the most important goalie stats. Brodeur does not hold a single GAA or save percentage record, and has only led the league once in either of those two categories.

I am not sure why you think I place a lot of emphasis on playoff wins. As one of the biggest Roberto Luongo defenders around, I can assure you this is not the case. I grade goalies based on performance, not on team results.

Anonymous said...

I grade goalies based on performance, not on team results.

I fail to see how this is the case when you regard Brodeur's hockey smarts as a minor aspect. Now I was going to say puckhandling skills but that is just a small area of his overall hockey smarts. I have no doubt his rebound control, his communication with his defense, his puckhandling, and his positioning were all better than Haseks and maybe tops all-time. Overall these attributes hurt Brodeur's save % but that goes with selflessness. I don't expect this to ring any truth between your ears especially after reading, "Selflessness: You're right, I don't care how selfless an athlete is."

You constantly like to treat team and goalie as separate entity and this only hurts Brodeur.

You emphasize special teams to discredit Brodeur. Well I've seen Brodeur kill up to a minute on countless power plays on his clears alone.

You should also pay more attention to work load and longevity. Regardless of league (Czech or NHL) in 21 professional years Brodeur has already played 1000 more minutes than Hasek and most of them at a higher level as well. He is also on pace to take on the workload of two goaltending careers as opposed to Hasek's one.

Dominik Hasek
1981-2008
77670 minutes
2987 minutes played per year
49 games played per year

Martin Brodeur
1988-today
83806 minutes
4410 minutes played per year
73.5 games played per year

So factor in Brodeur will at least play to the end of his contract in 2012 and that is 3 more years, so approximately 13,000 minutes, given Brodeur ~ 100,000 lifetime minutes of professional Hockey. Although, I expect Brodeur to play to about 45. and I think he'd be closer to around 110,000 minutes of hockey or 1833 lifetime games or 71% more hockey than Hasek and nearly 40% more than Roy(remember this is encompassing Juniors, IHL, Czech league, etc.)

The Contrarian Goaltender said...

I have no doubt his rebound control, his communication with his defense, his puckhandling, and his positioning were all better than Haseks and maybe tops all-time. Overall these attributes hurt Brodeur's save % but that goes with selflessness.

I'm not convinced that they do hurt his save percentage. Allowing fewer rebounds means fewer high-quality scoring chances against, and thus a higher save percentage. Better communication with the defence means covering guys in dangerous areas, resulting again in fewer scoring chances against and a higher save percentage. Positioning means he is more likely to make the save, and therefore likely to have a higher save percentage. What exactly are the things lowering his save percentage?

You constantly like to treat team and goalie as separate entity and this only hurts Brodeur.

Yes, no doubt it hurts Brodeur to not receive credit for everything his teammates do. When you are evaluating individual players, you have to treat them as separate entities. There are gray areas, certainly, but it far surpasses grading goalies by the number of wins.

You emphasize special teams to discredit Brodeur. Well I've seen Brodeur kill up to a minute on countless power plays on his clears alone.

I don't disagree with you. I'm currently testing out a theory that their contribution on the penalty kill is a major reason why puckhandling goalies generally face fewer shots against per game. If that's true, though, then we would expect puckhandling goalies to have a higher save percentage than otherwise, because the power play shots prevented are likely to be high-quality scoring chances.

Brodeur has already played 1000 more minutes than Hasek and most of them at a higher level as well. He is also on pace to take on the workload of two goaltending careers as opposed to Hasek's one.

Brodeur has not played most of his career at a higher level than Hasek. Very little that Brodeur did pre-lockout was even in the same ballpark as Hasek, and even in the last couple of seasons he hasn't been as good as Hasek was before his first retirement. I do think Brodeur will age better than Hasek, but let's not go overboard. Most stats guys agree with me that even despite Brodeur's longevity advantage, Hasek's career value is still significantly ahead of Brodeur's at the moment.

Also, I don't see why I should consider it significant that North American professional leagues play more games per season than Czech leagues do.

I'm simply not impressed by longevity. Again, I understand why some people think it is important, but it doesn't matter at all to me. I pretty much rate players by how they did in their 10 best seasons and that's it. I don't see the point in giving credit or blame for injury luck or docking players because they played a more injury-prone style, or rating them as better players because they decided to grind out a few more paycheques at the end of their careers or happened to have the league expand in their mid-thirties.

Anonymous said...


I'm not convinced that they do hurt his save percentage. Allowing fewer rebounds means fewer high-quality scoring chances against, and thus a higher save percentage. Better communication with the defence means covering guys in dangerous areas, resulting again in fewer scoring chances against and a higher save percentage. Positioning means he is more likely to make the save, and therefore likely to have a higher save percentage. What exactly are the things lowering his save percentage?


I think you are missing the point. You are treating it as goalie vs. offense, or goalie vs. shooter. It's not as simple as baseball, where it is solely pitcher vs. hitter. It is a team sport and these attributes contribute more to how the team plays vs. the opposing team. In the games I've seen Brodeur, his puck handling does not only allow his defenseman to receive fewer checks, less injuries, and better break outs. This results in the opposing team less likely to take a shot from center ice and force the goaltender to play, because Brodeur anticipated the play so well if you were to allow him to control the puck New Jersey had the advantage. Brent Sutter and countless other players have commented on his superior ability to read the play and his approach to teamwork and communication with teammates. These are immeasurable qualities for any player to have and do not show up on the stat sheet.


Yes, no doubt it hurts Brodeur to not receive credit for everything his teammates do. When you are evaluating individual players, you have to treat them as separate entities. There are gray areas, certainly, but it far surpasses grading goalies by the number of wins.


One, I never said anything about wins, I am talking about success.

Two, the Devils would not have been as successful throughout all these years without someone like that as the backstop. He has allowed Lou to make mistakes as seen after Stevens and Neidermeyer retired and still kept the team competitive. Now if you tell me this seasons Devils is anything like the 3 prior teams post-lockout I simply will end the discussion right there. Scott Clemmensen had the advantage of playing with a matured Devils team, one that has been in the making for years. You look at the in between seasons and what Brodeur has done? Vezina winner and a MVP type season. He has allowed the Devils to falter and not miss a beat.

Look at Hasek's seasons on, what I feel, is the best team of the dead-puck era. He put up very Brodeur like numbers. In fact, if you look at goaltenders who have faced <1750 shots and played >65 games, guess who has the highest save percentage with that workload? Marty.

I don't disagree with you. I'm currently testing out a theory that their contribution on the penalty kill is a major reason why puckhandling goalies generally face fewer shots against per game. If that's true, though, then we would expect puckhandling goalies to have a higher save percentage than otherwise, because the power play shots prevented are likely to be high-quality scoring chances.

From what I've seen, this is one of the main reasons that results in fewer shots.

Another less talked about reason, which I just thought of, about the home shot bias. I know Brodeur always talks about how he knows his boards and glass and how he expects to react. This would result in being more comfortable in leaving the crease and anticipating the play. If this is the case, which I strongly believe it may be,
Brodeur has prevented 2.4 shots in his home games since '94-'95 alone. The more I look at the chart the more telling the stat is. Considering that was a lockout year and looks to be an anomaly for most teams. Brodeur has prevented 3.05 shots since '95-'96

Brodeur has not played most of his career at a higher level than Hasek. Very little that Brodeur did pre-lockout was even in the same ballpark as Hasek, and even in the last couple of seasons he hasn't been as good as Hasek was before his first retirement. I do think Brodeur will age better than Hasek, but let's not go overboard. Most stats guys agree with me that even despite Brodeur's longevity advantage, Hasek's career value is still significantly ahead of Brodeur's at the moment.

I meant higher level of competition, while I agree Hasek's peak was higher. I think Brodeur's peak is often underrated. I don't necessarily want to get into a Czech league vs. NHL debate. I just regard the NHL as the superior talent pool of hockey.

Brodeur's consistency and longevity is something the league or hockey has never seen before and may never see again. That is special.


Also, I don't see why I should consider it significant that North American professional leagues play more games per season than Czech leagues do.


Regardless, he played ~ 40 games a season. Around what you'd expect him to play in the NHL in the '80's.

I'm simply not impressed by longevity. Again, I understand why some people think it is important, but it doesn't matter at all to me. I pretty much rate players by how they did in their 10 best seasons and that's it. I don't see the point in giving credit or blame for injury luck or docking players because they played a more injury-prone style, or rating them as better players because they decided to grind out a few more paycheques at the end of their careers or happened to have the league expand in their mid-thirties.

That's fine and we'll agree to disagree on this, I understand why you'd rate peak as greatest. The rest of your statement goes back to selflessness and what I am talking about success. I am more interested in team success not just performance. I weigh that heavily. I just don't think you appreciate Brodeur's style enough. I think it's uniqueness and the advantages that result are not seen in statistics but by the eye. I've seen it over the years and this has shaped my argument and it is what I think has allowed Brodeur to have amassed one of the greatest résumés/careers in all of sports .

Anonymous said...

"I don't see it as putting Brodeur down, although I understand how some would interpret it that way."

Can't see how some would get that idea. I guess the name of this website COULD be misleading, huh?

It's clear to me, CRYSTAL F---ING CLEAR, that you have seen little of his career live or on the tele.

This site mad me mad at first. Now it makes me laugh just to see what you can come up with next in your never ending statistical nonsense.

Anonymous said...

Did I miss something where save percentage is the end-all be-all statistic by which every goaltender who ever played should be measured?

You are so ready to dismiss puckhandling and so eager to over-emphasize save percentage that you forget something. By playing the puck so well, Brodeur PREVENTS shots against. If teams were able to retrieve their dump-ins more often, it would lead to more offensive chances (hence the trapezoid rule). Preventing shots is just as effective as stopping shots when it comes to keeping goals off the scoreboard. By simply comparing the number of shots he faces to goalies like Hasek, Roy or Luongo, you are doing a disservice to Brodeur. He's in another league because he brings a whole new skill and a whole new dimension to the position.

You can hold save percentage as high as you want, but Brodeur has four William Jennings trophies on his mantle that say he's been the best in the league at keeping the puck out of the net. Don't discount GAA, and don't ignore puckhandling.

Anonymous said...

"I'm not convinced that they do hurt his save percentage. Allowing fewer rebounds means fewer high-quality scoring chances against, and thus a higher save percentage. Better communication with the defence means covering guys in dangerous areas, resulting again in fewer scoring chances against and a higher save percentage. Positioning means he is more likely to make the save, and therefore likely to have a higher save percentage. What exactly are the things lowering his save percentage?"

Wow, you're just making this up as you go along, aren't you? Here's how you make a rebuttal: "What you say doesn't go along with my biased opinion, so I'll just say that your argument doesn't make sense when applied to save percentage, which as we all know is the only goaltending statistic that matters."

Marty's stickhandling prevents shots. His rebound control prevents shots. His pokechecking prevents shots. His communication with defensemen prevents shots. And yet, he's still won four Jennings Trophies. So having this low save percentage that you continue to harp on still doesn't add up to allowing the puck in the net more than other goalies. Preventing shots is another way to prevent goals. But prevented shots don't figure into save percentage. Kinda makes you think twice before putting so much stock in one stat, doesn't it?

You can't measure Brodeur by the same standards as other goalies because he plays the position so differently. If that isn't a measure of greatness in itself, I don't know what is.

And seriously, the fact that you have Luongo on your "underrateds" list really shows how much you know. If ever there was a big-padded, overrated goalie who has never accomplished anything, it's that greasy bastard. And Huet? HA! One quick look at your lists and it becomes apparent that you don't give goalies any credit as long as they're on good teams, and give other goalies too much credit if they're on bad teams. C'mon man, give credit where it's due.

The Contrarian Goaltender said...

Preventing shots is another way to prevent goals. But prevented shots don't figure into save percentage. Kinda makes you think twice before putting so much stock in one stat, doesn't it?

I agree prevented shots are another way to prevent goals. But there is one thing you keep ignoring or clearly don't understand the importance of - the type of shot that is being prevented. If the shot prevented is a rebound shot, or a power play shot against, then the goalie is likely to be improving his save percentage by not having to face that shot, since the scoring chance missed is a very high quality chance, 2 or 3 times more likely to be a goal against than for a normal shot.

If shots are all of equal difficulty, then you are correct to say that a shot prevented means that save percentage is underrating certain goalies. In the real world that isn't necessarily the case.

Having said that, I agree that an adjustment needs to be done to save percentage, and I have done that in some of my recent posts. I think it is fair to add an extra shot against per game to Brodeur's record and then recalculate his save percentage. I also think it is fair to include an adjustment to take into account the below average power play shots against and generally easier shot quality he has faced as well, although that number is a little more difficult to pin down.

And seriously, the fact that you have Luongo on your "underrateds" list really shows how much you know. If ever there was a big-padded, overrated goalie who has never accomplished anything, it's that greasy bastard.

If you think Luongo has never accomplished anything, that shows how much you know. And it shows exactly why you think I don't give any credit to goalies who play on winning teams. The fact is that you, and most people, give far too much credit to goalies who happen to have good teammates.

If goalies get too much credit for playing on winning teams, then which goalies are likely to be overrated? Goalies playing on winning teams.

Anonymous said...


I agree prevented shots are another way to prevent goals. But there is one thing you keep ignoring or clearly don't understand the importance of - the type of shot that is being prevented. If the shot prevented is a rebound shot, or a power play shot against, then the goalie is likely to be improving his save percentage by not having to face that shot, since the scoring chance missed is a very high quality chance, 2 or 3 times more likely to be a goal against than for a normal shot.

If shots are all of equal difficulty, then you are correct to say that a shot prevented means that save percentage is underrating certain goalies. In the real world that isn't necessarily the case.

Having said that, I agree that an adjustment needs to be done to save percentage, and I have done that in some of my recent posts. I think it is fair to add an extra shot against per game to Brodeur's record and then recalculate his save percentage. I also think it is fair to include an adjustment to take into account the below average power play shots against and generally easier shot quality he has faced as well, although that number is a little more difficult to pin down.


Well good luck because you'll never be able to conjure up statistics to equate to any of what you are trying to discover. You are on a fruitless journey. Trying to come up with a number that tells you an apple is an orange.


If goalies get too much credit for playing on winning teams, then which goalies are likely to be overrated? Goalies playing on winning teams.



If goalies get too much credit for playing on loasing teams teams, then which goalies are likely to be overrated? Goalies playing on losing teams.

Wow, that was hard.

This is the other anonymous. And again you should look into this...

Another less talked about reason, which I just thought of, about the home shot bias. I know Brodeur always talks about how he knows his boards and glass and how he expects to react. This would result in being more comfortable in leaving the crease and anticipating the play. If this is the case, which I strongly believe it may be,
Brodeur has prevented 2.4 shots in his home games since '94-'95 alone. The more I look at the chart the more telling the stat is. Considering that was a lockout year and looks to be an anomaly for most teams. Brodeur has prevented 3.05 shots at home since '95-'96

Like countless other posters have said you are underestimating his puckhandling ability.

The Contrarian Goaltender said...

Well good luck because you'll never be able to conjure up statistics to equate to any of what you are trying to discover. You are on a fruitless journey. Trying to come up with a number that tells you an apple is an orange.

Thanks for your opinion. My attitude is not quite so defeatist, however. I don't see either adjusting for shot quality or isolating shot prevention effects as some kind of impossible feat. I think we have very good starts already in both of those areas.

If goalies get too much credit for playing on loasing teams teams, then which goalies are likely to be overrated? Goalies playing on losing teams.

Wow, that was hard.


Sure, that is a logically consistent statement, just as mine was. We just now have to figure out whether it is more likely that goalies get too much credit for playing on winning teams or for playing on losing teams. I think a quick look at Vezina Trophy voting makes it pretty clear that shiny win totals usually rule the day.

Like countless other posters have said you are underestimating his puckhandling ability.

Martin Brodeur: 2.17 GAA, 28.8 SA/60
Scott Clemmensen: 2.39 GAA, 29.0 SA/60

Where is it? Where is this huge effect? Maybe I am underestimating Brodeur's puckhandling ability. If so, then prove it. If it is such an important skill, then it has to lead to shot prevention or goal prevention somewhere.

The home shot data is a start, although I think it is far more likely that they are employing a biased scorer than that the goalie reads the boards particularly well.

I could very well be wrong about puckhandling effects, I've been wrong about lots of things before, but my opinion on goalie shot prevention is based on my interpretation of the available evidence, and it will continue to be informed by the available evidence.

Bring some good evidence to the table that proves Brodeur has an effect of more than 1 shot prevented per game, and I'll give him credit for it. Keep telling me I'm wrong just because, and I won't be all that convinced.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for your opinion. My attitude is not quite so defeatist, however. I don't see either adjusting for shot quality or isolating shot prevention effects as some kind of impossible feat. I think we have very good starts already in both of those areas.

For anyone who sits in front of a calculator all day they are starts. Again, if you watch the difference in games they play it almost makes stat sheets irrelevant. I don't think there is a number that can all of a sudden level the playing field and act as the goalies played the same style for the same teams facing the same opposition.

I still don't understand why you have an easier time crediting other Devils for their intangibles which don't show up in the score sheet.

Elias contributes in many more ways than the scoresheet. He combines his offensive strengths with excellent defensive play, and his plus/minus rating reflects his two-way dominance. A recent development in hockey analysis has been the use of the Corsi number, which is the difference between the number of shots directed at the opposition net and the number of shots directed at the player's own net while he is on the ice. Last season, Detroit Red Wing players dominated the Corsi numbers as they were the most dominant outshooting team in the league. The best player in the league in terms of Corsi numbers who did not play for Detroit? Patrik Elias.

come on now what stat is more team dependent than +/-. Why the double standard?

Martin Brodeur: 2.17 GAA, 28.8 SA/60
Scott Clemmensen: 2.39 GAA, 29.0 SA/60

Where is it? Where is this huge effect? Maybe I am underestimating Brodeur's puckhandling ability. If so, then prove it. If it is such an important skill, then it has to lead to shot prevention or goal prevention somewhere.


Of course this comes after the Devils are on the tail end of a heavy schedule and get shelled for 90+ shots in two games. Over the course of the season I expect his SA totals to be lower. Oh and look at his save percentage while getting shelled these past two nights.


The home shot data is a start, although I think it is far more likely that they are employing a biased scorer than that the goalie reads the boards particularly well.

Why? What makes you think that? How come nearly every puckhandling goaltender on that list has a negative influence? There is more logic behind that then some biased scorekeeper.

I could very well be wrong about puckhandling effects, I've been wrong about lots of things before, but my opinion on goalie shot prevention is based on my interpretation of the available evidence, and it will continue to be informed by the available evidence.
Bring some good evidence to the table that proves Brodeur has an effect of more than 1 shot prevented per game, and I'll give him credit for it. Keep telling me I'm wrong just because, and I won't be all that convinced.


There is good evidence in that home shot difference chart. You simply disregard it as bias and if that is the case presenting evidence is useless. There is evidence in the Devils having some of the lowest shot totals since he's been in the league you disregard it as team discipline and defense. There is evidence in the discipline and defense. There is evidence in every statistic besides one. Save percentage. Shocker!

Again provide me with solid evidence that facing fewer than 27 shots over 65 games would allow a goaltender to have a higher save % than if he had faced more shots. Stats for goaltenders who played 65+ games and faces <1750 shots.

Look at Hasek's seasons from 00-02. With a much lighter workload and facing fewer scoring chances and shots over the course of 65 games he posts his lowest save %. By your logic this would not happen.

The Contrarian Goaltender said...

For anyone who sits in front of a calculator all day they are starts. Again, if you watch the difference in games they play it almost makes stat sheets irrelevant.

Stat sheets are by no means irrelevant. You are trying to portray goaltending as some unimaginably complex activity, but it really isn't. Hockey is about scoring and preventing goals, and at the end of the day both of those things are recorded on the stat sheet.

I still don't understand why you have an easier time crediting other Devils for their intangibles which don't show up in the score sheet.

Because skaters are clearly able to impact the play in both ends of the ice. With plus/minus it is also much easier to identify how a team does with a player on the ice and how they do without that player on the ice. There are other metrics that also allow us to assess the competition a player is playing against, and the calibre of teammates he is playing with. If Elias' plus/minus or shot differential was no better than his teammates, then I wouldn't have said that he was a strong two-way player.

What I don't understand is the incredible willingness of Devils fans to credit all kinds of different things to the play of their goalie.

come on now what stat is more team dependent than +/-. Why the double standard?

Wins are more team dependent than +/-, for one.

Of course this comes after the Devils are on the tail end of a heavy schedule and get shelled for 90+ shots in two games.

Heavy schedule? The Devils had three off-days before they played Chicago. If playing the second half of a back-to-back at home after 3 off-days is a heavy schedule, I'd hate to hear what kind of excuses you'd come up with if you were a fan of a Western Conference team.

Having said that, I also expect Brodeur to face fewer shots per game than Clemmensen. Something like 1-2 shots per game fewer. Anything more than that, though, and I would be surprised. And yes, Brodeur did play well the last couple of games.

There is good evidence in that home shot difference chart. You simply disregard it as bias and if that is the case presenting evidence is useless.

You misunderstand what I mean when I say "bias". When I talk about scorer bias, I mean that the scorer in that particular rink differs from the norm in the way they record events. That does not mean the data is not significant, this effect has been documented and there is very good reason to believe it is real, and it probably even resulted in understated save percentages in New Jersey in some seasons.

However, a home/road shot differential does not, in my view, imply that the goalie is preventing shots. That is a separate issue.

There is evidence in the Devils having some of the lowest shot totals since he's been in the league you disregard it as team discipline and defense. There is evidence in the discipline and defense. There is evidence in every statistic besides one. Save percentage. Shocker!

How is there evidence in team discipline? You think Brodeur is responsible for fewer penalties against? I've looked at shot results over multiple seasons, and New Jersey blocks more shots than most of the other elite defensive teams, which is another reason why they finish high in the shot prevention charts.

Brodeur has an effect, I don't deny it, and I estimate that effect to be preventing 1 shot per game. However, the various other numbers (team defensive statistics, results from backup goalies, etc.) imply that the Devils have been a great defensive team. Based on that evidence, I consider a great defence to be more likely to impact shots against than a goaltender.

Again provide me with solid evidence that facing fewer than 27 shots over 65 games would allow a goaltender to have a higher save % than if he had faced more shots.

My position is that save percentage has no relationship with shots against. A goalie would not be expected to have a higher save percentage facing fewer shots, or a higher save percentage facing more shots. If his team was good or poor defensively than that would have an impact, but there is no significant relationship between save percentage and shots against.

Look at Hasek's seasons from 00-02. With a much lighter workload and facing fewer scoring chances and shots over the course of 65 games he posts his lowest save %. By your logic this would not happen.

By my logic, injury-prone goalies usually decline at the age of 35, and Hasek's seasons from 00-02 include his age 35, 36, and 37 seasons. Compare his save percentages to league average and you see a clear decline. If you want to use proof of aging as proof of some save percentage fact that does not show up in any larger data, then go ahead, but I'll still call it cherrypicking.

Besides, I have a much better comparable for you: Patrick Roy. If you really think that it is so difficult for goalies facing few shots per game to record high save percentages, you must really hold Roy in especially high esteem. Playing in a very similar scenario to Brodeur (facing well below league average number of shots against as well as facing fewer than average opposing power plays behind a strong defence), Roy posted some dominant save percentages compared to league average in Montreal in the late '80s and early '90s.

How come Roy was able to do it? Was he just that much better than Brodeur?

Anonymous said...

"Martin Brodeur: 2.17 GAA, 28.8 SA/60
Scott Clemmensen: 2.39 GAA, 29.0 SA/60

Where is it? Where is this huge effect? Maybe I am underestimating Brodeur's puckhandling ability. If so, then prove it. If it is such an important skill, then it has to lead to shot prevention or goal prevention somewhere."

It's right in front of you. Similar save percentage, far superior GAA. Brodeur and Clemmensen played behind the same defense, same system, same everything, and they have a similar save percentage while Brodeur has a much better GAA. It all goes back to what I was saying before ... Brodeur does things to prevent goals that don't show up in save percentage.

You can't have it any more clear than that.

The Contrarian Goaltender said...

It's right in front of you. Similar save percentage, far superior GAA. Brodeur and Clemmensen played behind the same defense, same system, same everything, and they have a similar save percentage while Brodeur has a much better GAA. It all goes back to what I was saying before ... Brodeur does things to prevent goals that don't show up in save percentage.

Your timing wasn't particularly great with this comment, unfortunately. Go check the stats right now, Brodeur is basically tied with Clemmensen across the board. Look, I agree that Brodeur probably prevents something like a shot per game compared to a goalie like Clemmensen. But I really have a hard time believing it is anything more than that, especially when they have pretty much identical stats this season.

Anonymous said...

In the three straight losses to Chicago, Carolina and NYR, Brodeur stopped 120 of 128 shots. That's a save percentage of .938 (Thomas leads the league at .931). High save percentage on a losing team is usually a recipe for a goalie to go on your underrated list.

Anonymous said...

"Again provide me with solid evidence that facing fewer than 27 shots over 65 games would allow a goaltender to have a higher save % than if he had faced more shots. Stats for goaltenders who played 65+ games and faces <1750 shots."

First I find it interesting how Brodeur has the highest single season save percentage ever for a goalie playing 65+ games.

Second I find it hilarious how CG is pretty much going game by game, i.e. wait! after tonights game he is even worse" to make a point. He has a 15 year track record, their is no logical reason for now using a 26 game sample size as any sort of conclusive evidence. It is also unfair at that, seeing as how Clemmenson seemed to basically ride out a hot streak of goal scoring his entire tenure, which masked a lot of his poor play. Yet now that the team has hit their annual late season skid, stopping 46/48 results in a loss, and stopping 34/37, followed by a poor game against Pittsburgh results in people saying "Brodeur is washed up". Most of it seems to be Ranger fans jealous that their own goalie hasnt done so hot all season long, and will always be in Marty's shadow even after he retires, but it is still very interesting to hear all the "what's wrong with Marty" crap going on. I mean his save percentage has been very impressive, yet he is getting losses. So I am starting to think that either the general public are complete and utter idiots, or perhaps there are more important things than just a nice save percentage.

The Contrarian Goaltender said...

First I find it interesting how Brodeur has the highest single season save percentage ever for a goalie playing 65+ games.

He doesn't. He has the highest single season save percentage ever for a goalie playing 65+ games and facing <1750 shots. Why somebody considered those arbitrary defined boundaries to be significant I'm not sure. Remove that shot constraint, and Brodeur's .927 is 5th highest from the official save percentage years (65+ GP). When you adjust for league average, his best save percentage season is 10th among goalies with 65+ games, and he has only one other season in the top 20. That's just since 1983-84, throw in older save percentage results and I doubt Brodeur's best year breaks the top 20 ever compared to league average even with the 65+ games limit.

Second I find it hilarious how CG is pretty much going game by game, i.e. wait! after tonights game he is even worse" to make a point.

I apologize for using this season's stats to counter an argument based on this season's stats. If somebody says that Brodeur has a huge GAA lead over Clemmensen this year when he actually does not, then I'm going to point that out, and why shouldn't I?

He has a 15 year track record, their is no logical reason for now using a 26 game sample size as any sort of conclusive evidence.

If you care to browse this site, I think you'll find lots of examinations of Brodeur's full track record. This season is just a piece of evidence, it is not conclusive proof of anything. It is, however, probably the best piece of evidence we have had, since Brodeur usually plays so many games every season.

It is also unfair at that, seeing as how Clemmenson seemed to basically ride out a hot streak of goal scoring his entire tenure, which masked a lot of his poor play.

Goal scoring? What does that have to do with GAA and save percentage? I agree that New Jersey covered up for Clemmensen's poor play, that is the whole point. He isn't very good, but his stats are good. Therefore, the team must be making him look good. Brodeur plays for the same team. Connect the dots.

I mean his save percentage has been very impressive, yet he is getting losses. So I am starting to think that either the general public are complete and utter idiots, or perhaps there are more important things than just a nice save percentage.

What I don't understand is right now should be showing you exactly the value of save percentage in goalie evaluation, and yet you are still slagging it. Lately Brodeur has been facing a lot of shots, giving up a lot of goals, and losing a lot of games. Has he been playing poorly? I don't think he has been, and you apparently don't think he has been either. I'd say it is fairly obvious that the team is playing poorly in front of him at the moment. What is the only stat that agrees with our viewpoint? Save percentage.

Are you one of those guys who were getting on Luongo for not making the playoffs after playing playing entire seasons worth of 46/48 and 34/37? If so, either you should be getting on Brodeur in the same way, or you should be realizing that save percentage is the key goalie stat. Take your pick.

As far as the general public, they blame the goalie for losses and give him the credit for wins. Always have, and probably always will, and that is the reason why I started this blog and why I continue to post here.

Anonymous said...

Brodeur is horrible, especially in the playoffs. As a Devil fan since 1988, I can not remember a single playoff game in which he stole. Yes, he has had good games, such as game 5 vs. Carolina, but how many did he STEAL? When were the Devils dominated start to finish, outshot something like 42-20, and Brodeur stole them a playoff win? Never. Virtually every other goalie has done it at least once. Lundqvist has done it more than once in this playoff year alone. Brodeur has 0 playoff steals in his career, 0! I'm not talking about good games, or even great games. I can think of 3 great games off the top of my head (Games 5 and 6 vs. Dallas and the above mentioned game). But the team played just as good as the opposition in all of those. What about games where he STOLE it because the team was outplayed badly? 0! Not to mention how he preforms when teams are evenly matched (see his OT record and the Carolina game 7 results.

Please don't talk about playoff shutouts in 2003 or any other year. The backup could have done that. I have seen every playoff game the Devils have ever played. That first and last goal of game 7 against Carolina did not surprise me. Typical of Brodeur in the playoffs. He is not a special goaltender.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous you may be a Devils fan but you probably have not been watching much hockey if this is what you think? 94 He was the primary reason they got to the conference finals. That 4 overtime 0-0 game in Buffalo? 95, same thing. A 37 save 1-0 shutout over Boston in OT? Guess that doesn't count either. Maybe the reason his overtime record sucks is cuz the team averages .45 goals per overtime period. So unless he posts 3 shutout periods in overtime, he normally gets the loss. Maybe the reason he has never had to win games where the Devils are out shot 42-20 is because the Devils are consistently a solid team. Is it his fault his team is good enough not to get out shot significantly most of the time? You want to compare him to Lundqvist? Lundqvist stole 2 games, and completely gave away 3. How does that work out for a team? Brodeur was the reason the Devils even got to a 7th game against Carolina, who completely dominated them for most of the series. His numbers were easily good enough to advance the Devils, however once again their AHL defense got exposed. That and Suter decided to play Pandolfo and Madden for 20 minutes a game, while only playing Parise, Elias and Zajac for 14 or so. You are etiher a bandwagon fan or a Ranger fan trying to once again knock Brodeur.

Anonymous said...

Bandwagon fan?

Easter Sunday, 1988, Chicago Stadium. Sean Burke makes a shorthanded breakaway save in OT. Moments later, even strength, Joe Cirella shoots, Darren Pang, the hotshot rookie goaltender for Chicago makes the save, but a big rebound goes to John MacLean, he slaps it into the net . . . .

Go fuck yourself.

Anonymous said...

Cool, you remember part of a game from 1988. Yet you throw the most significant player in franchise history under the bus because Zach Parise decided to cycle to puck in the defensive zone instead of sending it down the ice with 1:30 left. Or because blind Colin White decides to take a run at somebody leaving Carolina's best player open for a clear shot from the mid circle with 30 seconds left, it's now the goalies fault fault. Sure Brodeur makes that save on Staal 9/10 times, but if you think goaltending was even remotely close to the problem in the series, chances are you were watching the Rangers Capitals series in which 4 games where decided by horrendous goaltending, as opposed the NJ Carolina series in which every game saw both goalies give their teams a chance to win.

Anonymous said...

As a devils fan, and someone who watches 40+ devils games a year. Marty is an amazing goalie, maybe even the best to have ever played. Granted the new NHL rules are very hard on him and he doesn't look as good as he looked years ago. Besides a good defense the 2000 Devils were not a particularly stacked team. Although Niedermyer in Anaheim has shown how valuable he is in the playoffs even at 36 years old. One needs to admit that the current devils defense is second rate at best and the offense must play double duty to clear the puck. Marty's performance at the end of game 7 this year wasn't great, his mind was in the overtime but really the defense is more to blame and Staal like Jagr knows how to beat Marty, not many do but these guys are well aware of his weaknesses. All this talk of Clemmenson is also bunk, he is a much better goalie than he is given credit for and the defense plays differently when Marty isn't playing. Also I think Suter made the right call with Madden and Pando as they were much more effective against the physical play of carolina than the finesse line(Parise, Zajac, Langenbrunner) who they didn't want to get injuries. I don't think the blame is anywhere near Marty, it wasn't his shining moment, the moment of a living legend but he has had plenty of moments and still has some left. The issue really lies with the defense, the goalie is the last line of defense and high percentage shots need to be avoided, the devs couldn't stop the shots, Carolina played defensively better. Additionally Cam Ward should be given the gold star of the series because from what I saw, if it weren't for his excellent play that scrub team would not be competitive in the playoffs. Game 7 was a Cam Ward victory, his play was brilliant the jersey offense couldn't score.

Andrew said...

Wow, there sure are alot of haters out there. I think that you are right on in all your arguments. All the Brodeur lovers simply quote the same statistics which you disproved in this very post (or link in this post). If those people took the time to read and understand your arguments, then I'm sure they would have little to say. While I agree with everything you say, I do find your writing style to be a bit pretentious and, to a slightly lesser extent, snobby. Although I can see that there are times when you probably want to punch some Brodeur defenders in the face repeatedlydue to their stubbornness. Anyways, thanks for the post (even though I am aware that this is coming quite a bit late) and please keep them coming.

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