It is certainly hard to argue with success, which is what Martin Brodeur of the New Jersey Devils has had throughout his career in the NHL. When he finally hangs up his pads, the 40-year old goaltender will enter the Hall of Fame.
It is not a question of if, but when. During his tenure with the Devils, the accolades have been numerous.
However, is he simply the best goaltender to ever play the sport?
Devils captain Bryce Salvador stated prior to yesterday’s must-win game against the Carolina Hurricanes that Brodeur was a “presence in net.”
In his month-long absence, the team went 3-8-2 in front of backup Johan Hedberg. Brodeur hit the ice and didn’t appear to miss a beat, keeping the Hurricanes scoreless for two and a half periods and getting the scoring going himself with his third career goal.
That’s a record he now owns exclusively (he used to share it with Ron Hextall). It is just one of many that the Devils’ No. 1 pick in the 1990 Entry Draft has amassed in his 21 year stint in the NHL.
In addition, he has backstopped the Devils to five trips to the Stanley Cup Finals, three resulting in rings. His name is engraved on four Vezina Trophies, five Jennings Trophies as well as a Calder Trophy which is awarded to the league’s best rookie.
Brodeur has also been a 10-time all-star and a two-time gold medal winner with the Canadian Olympic Team.
When you look at goalie records, the name Brodeur comes after many of them including most wins, most shutouts and most career saves. He is also the only goaltender to be credited with a game-winning goal.
The Devils started this lockout shortened season where they left off last June, hot. Yet, when Brodeur went down with an injury, the team hit the skids with a six-game losing streak. Brodeur returned last night amidst media talk of being superman and the team’s savior. He is expected to not only strap on the pads but the cape as well to carry the Devils back up the ladder and into the playoffs.
Is he simply the best?
You be the judge. His record stands for itself.