Friday, January 26, 2007

A Special Opportunity

“You don’t need a reason like an NHL All-Star Game to tune in to see Marty Brodeur play. Any chance you have you see this guy in action – especially in person – take it.” Good call, FoxSports.

First of all, the All-Star Game is not real hockey, so it is difficult to say anything very serious about the glorified, contact-less shinny that they play. One thing it does show is how very dependent goalies are on their defence. The best goalies in the league get killed repeatedly in these games, simply because nobody is backchecking or trying in the defensive zone. And nobody got lit up on Wednesday night worse than Marty Brodeur.

I did take advantage of the very special chance to watch Brodeur in action, and observed him getting scored on 6 times on 16 shots in one period of play. This was especially amusing considering the stream of accolades that the announcers were pouring down upon him even as the Western shooters were running up the score. It was of course the All-Star Game, and a few of those goals were pretty much unstoppable, but a few of them were downright ugly, including the Yanic Perreault deflection between Brodeur’s legs and a pair of long-range Rolston slapshots, one of which knocked Brodeur’s broadcasting microphone off on its way past him. Brodeur's excuse for his performance: He was just trying to avoid injury.

Brodeur did make made one impressive looking save. He stacked the pads on Cheechoo and made a glove save. A butterfly goalie like Luongo or Kiprusoff would have come across in the butterfly slide and made a routine save off of the chest or shoulder, but not Marty. Brodeur’s unique, highlight-reel friendly style is another reason why many people who never watch the Devils play consider him to be the best in the league.

But it's just the All-Star Game, and it doesn't mean a whole lot. After all, Patrick Roy holds the record for the most goals allowed in his All-Star Game career. Although based on this year's results, it looks like maybe Brodeur will soon be taking that record away from him as well.

If you haven’t seen them, you can watch all the goals (and Brodeur’s “big save”) on