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Best GK Ever?

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Best GK Ever?

Unread postby Steve Buffum » Tue Mar 24, 2009 4:02 pm

So ... obviously in the conversation, but ... Martin Brodeur, Best GK Ever?

I mean, I'm not sure there's a reasonable way to compare him to a Terry Sawchuck or even Ken Dryden (in the same way that it's largely pointless to argue Greg Maddux vs. Walter Johnson, if you wanted to do such a thing). Hasek has a better career save pct. But at some point, longevity + excellence trumps simple excellence in terms of defining a CAREER.

I'm not certain what the title MEANS, even, but ... Martin Brodeur has been damn good. And I hate the Devils (but, oddly, never Brodeur ... I did hate Patrick Wah, though).
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Re: Best GK Ever?

Unread postby skatingtripods » Tue Mar 24, 2009 7:05 pm

Tom Kennish and I just ran our top ten active goaltenders on an installment of the Hockey Insider from two weeks ago.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/TheClevela ... ey-Insider

Unanimously, it was Brodeur. And yes, he's the best goaltender ever. People have tried to argue that he is a beneficiary of the system that he plays in. Yes, that's true. But you still have to stop the puck. This guy won a Stanley Cup going through a miserable divorce.

Even if he isn't the best goaltender now, he will probably win 650 games, at least. That's a record that will never be touched. He'll probably have 120 shutouts when it's all said and done, that won't be touched either. His playoff success is remarkable, and he could very well win another Stanley Cup before it's over for him.

Brodeur, and guys like Ron Hextall, changed the game in the sense that goaltenders handle the puck a lot more now. He acted like a third defenseman for many years for those Devils teams and, as a defenseman myself, a puckhandling goaltender is a godsend. Marty Turco is one of the best in the game now.

He also created a hybrid style of goaltending. Most guys are butterfly goaltenders, which mean they essentially wind up going down onto their knees with their pads angled out, like butterfly wings. Others are stand-up goaltenders. J.S. Giguere is one of the best examples of this. Brodeur's style is a hybrid of both, as he realized that neither style is going to be completely adequate.

It's hard to compare because the game really has changed. For my money, Martin Brodeur is the best goaltender ever. Sawchuk set his wins and shutouts record when only 70 games were played a season. Things like the neutral zone trap and left wing lock have only been around the past 20 years or so. Brodeur has been able to play in a system that uses those defensive-minded elements to keep the play in the neutral zone and limit the number of shots faced.

But even still, if I need to win Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Martin Brodeur is unquestionably my guy.
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Re: Best GK Ever?

Unread postby TouchEmAllTime » Thu Mar 26, 2009 12:58 pm

No argument with Brodeur but I would have to say Hasek from the Sabres days deserves a little run, he basically carried that franchise into the Stanley Cup Finals in '99, and made them a perrenial playoff team with limited offensive firepower.
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Re: Best GK Ever?

Unread postby Spin » Thu Mar 26, 2009 11:21 pm

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Re: Best GK Ever?

Unread postby jack_tors » Sat Mar 28, 2009 11:53 am

TouchEmAllTime wrote:No argument with Brodeur but I would have to say Hasek from the Sabres days deserves a little run, he basically carried that franchise into the Stanley Cup Finals in '99, and made them a perrenial playoff team with limited offensive firepower.

I agree with this statement. Hasek was a beast for a long time and deserves his name mentioned as one of the best ever. However, Brodeur's career has proved that he is probably the best goalie ever. Look up the word "consistent" and there is a pick of Marty there. Has anyone put over these kind of numbers, year after year, for so long from the goalie position? Some say Roy but as others here have pointed out. If I am coaching in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals, I am picking Brodeur.
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Re: Best GK Ever?

Unread postby JodyGerutsGhost » Mon Apr 06, 2009 1:22 pm

Martin Brodeur is a good goaltender, but he is one of the most overrated of all time. Here's a guy who benefited from the system he played in New Jersey. When he got his feet wet in the NHL, he was coached by Jacques Lemaire, the man who brought the neutral-zone trap into the NHL. There were seasons Brodeur faced on average of 24 shots per contest, which meant the defense always limited the chances that came at him. While he probably would have decent anywhere else, mainly due to his hybrid style, he would never have achieved the success that he had as a member of the New Jersey Devils.

Look at a goaltender like Dominik Hasek. He lost a good six NHL seasons become of communist rule (and he rejected an offer to be the third highest paid player on the Blackhawks in the mid 80s), and he also lost three seasons to being a backup to the likes of Ed Belfour, Grant Fuhr, and Tom Draper. Yet, once he began, his unorthodox style allowed him to achieve major success in the league. He faced on average of 30 shots per game, even that amount when Lindy Ruff installed a version of the Left-Wing Lock to help him out.

Hasek was also the first goalie to win back to back Hart and Veznia Awards, and was the main reason for the Sabres playoff chances in the mid 90s. I'll admit his controversies, whether with News Reporter Jim Kelley or former coach Ted Nolan, and his departure from the Sabres is something that burns in the memory of hockey purists, he was still one of the best netminders to play the game. He has his cups, two, and two other cup appearances on top of that.

Oh yeah, and to be a smart-ass about Brodeur, look how well Scott Clemmenson played when he was gone. How does a 30-year old career minor league netminder play like that? The system. And Game 7's? I seem to remember the Avalanche beating the Devils in the 2001 Cup Finals, in a Game 7. He didn't play in a Game 7 in 1995 (they swept the Red Wings).
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