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Karine's Thoughts

From one Goaltender to Another

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They say records are made to be broken…It was true for Patrick Roy when he won his 448th game to overtake Terry Sawchuk in the all-time wins category and it is still true today, after Martin Brodeur signed his 552nd win to become the winningest goaltender in the history of the NHL. Yes, last night on the 17th March 2009 Brodeur managed yet another great win and just like that he marked history forever. Fans in New Jersey aptly renamed St. Patrick’s day St. Marty’s day as they celebrated late into the night the pride of New Jersey.

Native of Montreal in Québec, he grew up watching and idolizing Roy as he had already started racking up the wins for the Canadiens by the time Brodeur turned 15. A Montreal Canadiens fan, Brodeur appreciated Roy’s play but as a goaltender he never adopted Roy’s trademark butterfly style. Even when he attended the hockey school of Francois Allaire (Roy’s goaltending coach for many years) he refused to become a butterfly goalie. While he was rooting for the Habs, the young Brodeur was also admiring other goalies one of which had a particular influence on his career. Have you ever noticed how much Brodeur likes to handle the puck? Well the root of this habit comes from years of watching Ron Hextall in the Philadelphia net acting like a third defenseman for his team. This was an aspect of his game that Brodeur decided to adopt quite early on and no one can say it didn’t serve him well. As for his style in between the pipes, well he can only be qualified as a “hybrid” goaltender; he relies heavily on his lightning fast reaction to make saves and does not feel the need to go down in the butterfly that often.

Now in the 15th year of his NHL career, Martin Brodeur is truly rewriting the record book. Not only is he now the winningest goaltender in NHL history but he is also only 3 shutouts away from joining Mr. Zero Terry Sawchuk for the most shutouts in regular season games. He also has the record for the most consecutive seasons with 30+ wins (12), the most wins in a season (48), most minutes played in a season (4,697) and the most shutouts in a single playoff year (7) to name a few. Without a doubt quite a resume! What’s next for Brodeur? I personally wouldn’t bet against him catching up to Sawchuk before the end of the season and considering that he is very well rested this year, I would say the Devils are strong cup contenders. A fourth career cup would truly be the icing on the cake for “Marty” in this very special year.

From a hobby standpoint, his new title as NHL winningest goaltender might very well have an influence on the value of his cards and on their selling price. Bad news you say? Not really, I personally think he is worth it. But definite good news is the announcement by In The Game that they will be launching the “Martin Brodeur Record Breaking Super Box”. This is not a product solely dedicated to Brodeur however but a box which will include: 30 packs in total (10 from each of the last three years edition of their popular Between the Pipes product) and more importantly, a 1/1 special insert card. Most of the special inserts cards are cards which have been previously released by ITG but this reissue includes a gold stamp commemorating Brodeur’s record breaking night. ITG also created 40 1/1 Milestones Game-Used Memorabilia cards which also feature the same gold stamp. Each of those boxes will be sold for $159.95 and you can buy them directly from the ITG store which is found here: http://itgestore.com/catalog/index.php . Hurry up though as a limited number of boxes will be produced, this makes sense considering the low numbering of the special insert cards. For the full checklist of insert cards, consult ITG’s product information: http://www.itgtradingcards.com/produ...deur_info.html.


Will his record ever be broken? Never say never, after all, as I said earlier records are made to be broken…But for now, we can all marvel at Brodeur’s incredible accomplishment. As I watched the closing moment of his record breaking game, I couldn’t help but think how lucky the hockey world is that when a 7 year old kid from Montreal was asked if he wanted to play forward or in net, he opted for the later option. Thankfully, Brodeur still has another three years to run on his contract so the sky is the limit right now for Marty. Even though Roy will always be my favourite goaltender, I’m glad that Brodeur was the goaltender to take the record away from him. He is without a doubt, another goaltending king from Québec and right now, the whole province is rejoicing.
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  1. wolf1bh's Avatar
    interesting stuff. thanks for the article!