Martin Brodeur NHL Goalie Greatness
New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur is on the verge of breaking the most significant of all goaltending records:
Patrick Roy's 551 career NHL regular-season victories.
Brodeur is also about to eclipse Terry Sawchuk's record 103 regular-season shutouts.
Brodeur's achievements will rank among the greatest records in NHL history -- including the 894 goals, 1,963 assists and 2,857 points by Wayne Gretzky and the 1,767 games-played by Gordie Howe.
They also compare with lifetime achievements in other sports -- the 38,387 NBA points by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the 18,355 NFL rushing yards by Emmitt Smith, the 511 wins by Cy Young and the 4,256 hits by Pete Rose in Major League Baseball.
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Martin Brodeur made 26 saves to earn career victory 550 with a 5-2 home-ice win against the Phoenix Coyotes (March 12). The victory gives Brodeur the opporunity at tying Patrick Roy's career wins record Saturday in Montreal versus the Canadians. The Canadians recently retired Patrick Roy's number.
"I'm happy that we won tonight, I'm happy that I'm going to have a chance to tie him up in Montreal," Brodeur said. "It just adds to the story. You couldn't ask for a better script."
Martin Brodeur returned to action this season on February 26 after being out since November 1st with a torn bicep tendon that required surgery.
Brodeur has recorded six victories in his seven starts since -- including two shutouts -- to pull within one victory of eclipsing Patrick Roy's NHL career goaltending wins record of 551 (and within four shutouts of breaking Sawchuk's NHL record 103).
Martin Brodeur on the chance at tying Roy's record in Montreal:
"It's definitely going to be a different atmosphere, but I expect that there I'll try to be the same. We'll definitely have to monitor what I have to do, and not make it too open for me to be distracted as much as possible. At the end of the day, it's still just a game. It's about me winning a game, and our team winning a game. If we do that, then I'll write a story in the books with that win. It's normal that people put a lot of attention on it, it's just a matter of managing everything. This organization has been good about doing that, and it won't be different for Saturday."
NHL All-Time Victories Leader
Patrick Roy set the career wins mark on Oct. 17, 2000. Roy's 448th NHL victory that night at Washington - a 4-3 triumph in overtime - moved him past Terry Sawchuk. Roy retired following the 2002-03 season with 551 victories.
Patrick Roy, on NHL conference call Oct. 16, 2000:
Q: I wanted to know, this 447 wins, do you feel that there is anyone currently playing who has a chance of reaching that total or who might challenge that record one day?
Certainly there will be some guys one day who will challenge that. Thirty years ago, everybody said that nobody would challenge Terry Sawchuk's record and I was in that position the other day to tie it.
Of course I cannot look behind me and think that I have to do this for that or play extra years for that. Right now, I think it's important for me to continue to play because I enjoy the game. Right now, I'm having a lot of fun and our team is doing extremely well, you can see that we've had a really good start. This is where my focus is.
After I'm done, somehow I'll wish good luck to the other guys and if someday a guy beats it, I'll be happy for him.
NHL All-Time Shutouts Leader
Terry Sawchuk set the career shutouts mark on Jan. 18, 1964. Sawchuk's 95th NHL shutout - a 2-0 victory at Montreal - enabled him to pass George Hainsworth on the all-time list. Sawchuk retired following the 1969-70 season with 103 shutouts.
Notes and Miscellany
Brodeur stopped all 12 shots he faced in one period of play in his NHL All-Star debut in 1996 in Boston.
Brodeur was voted an All-Star starter in 2008 for the fourth time in his career (also in 1996, 1999 and 2004).
On the back of his goalie mask, Brodeur has the initials of his children (Anthony, twins Jeremy and William and daughter Anabelle) as well as the team trophies he has won - the Stanley Cup (three) and the Gold Medal from the 2002 Olympics with Team Canada. The flames painted on the side of his mask represent his "desire to stay hot."
Brodeur has started 973 of his 984 career regular season games (just 11 relief appearances). He has dressed but did not play 134 times. He had been out of the lineup completely just 14 times before missing 50 games this season.
On Nov. 9, 1996, Mike Dunham replaced Brodeur for 41 seconds of a 4-0 shutout of the NY Islanders. Brodeur therefore did not get credit for a shutout.
Though he made his NHL debut and played in four games as an emergency injury call-up late in the 1991-92 season, Brodeur played all of 1992-93 in the AHL for Utica. His first full NHL season was 1993-94, during which he split time with Chris Terreri until emerging as the No. 1 goaltender heading into the playoffs.
The games-played totals for all Devils goaltenders since the start of the 1993-94 season and through Tuesday, March 10:
Aware that the Calgary Flames rated Trevor Kidd higher than Brodeur entering the 1990 Entry Draft and fairly certain no other team would select a goaltender in the first round, the Devils made a deal to move down in the first round to add a second-round pick. The Devils traded the 11th overall pick and their second-rounder (No. 32 overall) to Calgary for the Flames' first-rounder (No. 20 overall) and two second-rounders (Nos. 24 and 29).
Calgary indeed used the 11th pick to take Kidd, who went 72-66-26 with a 2.83 goals against average in 178 career games for the Flames. With the second-rounder they acquired from the Devils, the Flames chose LW Vesa Viitakoski, who scored two goals with four assists in 23 games for Calgary over three seasons.
After using the 20th pick to select Brodeur, the Devils chose D David Harlock (24th overall) and RW Chris Gotziaman (29th overall) with the two second-rounders they acquired from Calgary. Neither Harlock nor Gotziaman ever appeared in a game for the Devils, though Harlock played 212 NHL games over eight seasons (two goals, 14 assists, 188 PIMs) with Toronto, Washington, the NY Islanders and Atlanta.
Lone Ranger-stopper: Brodeur in the Battle of the Hudson
Martin Brodeur has played more games against the New York Rangers (142 regular season, 22 playoffs) than any other opponent. Pardon Rangers fans if they feel like they've never seen another man in the Devils' net - since Boxing Day 1993, they rarely have.
Brodeur made his NHL playoffs debut in Madison Square Garden on Apr. 27, 1992 - he allowed three goals in 32 minutes in relief of Chris Terreri in an 8-5 loss in Game 5 of the Patrick Division Semifinals.
He made four starts against the Rangers during his rookie season (1993-94) and was pulled from all four - all losses.
Beginning with his start in the Garden on Dec. 26, 1993, Brodeur was New Jersey's starting goaltender for a staggering 56 straight Devils-Rangers games - 68 straight, counting playoffs. After missing two games against the Rangers on Nov. 3 and 5, 2005, because of a knee injury, Brodeur started the next 21 - 30, counting playoffs.
That's 77 out of 79 regular-season matchups and all 21 playoff games between the teams from Dec. 26, 1993, through Oct. 13, 2008. What's more, after those initial four yankings, Brodeur played every minute of every one of those games with only two exceptions: He was relieved by Jeff Reese for the final 39 minutes on Oct. 30, 1996 (6-1 loss at NJ) and by Mike Dunham for the final 10 minutes on Jan. 12, 1997 (3-0 loss at MSG).
Beginning with longtime rival Mike Richter, whom Brodeur faced 31 times in the regular season and 13 times in the playoffs, these are the Rangers' goaltenders Brodeur has opposed:
- Mike Richter 31
- Henrik Lundqvist 19
- Mike Dunham 9
- Glenn Healy 5
- Dan Cloutier 4
- Kevin Weekes 4
- Kirk McLean 3
- Dan Blackburn 2
- Jussi Markkanen 2
- Jason Muzzatti 1
- Guy Hebert 1
- Steve Valiquette 1
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