Friday, October 2, 2009

Brodeur Ready for Another Record

This article was first published in the October 2nd edition of Main Street Week and is reprinted here with permission from the editors. Drop by to have a look at a great community newspaper or sign up and have Main Street Week delivered right to your inbox every Friday.

Brodeur Ready for Another Record

The puck dropped Thursday evening on another season of NHL hockey as teams hit the ice in several cities in Canada and the United States. The Montreal Canadiens visited the Air Canada Centre in Toronto to renew their rivalry with the Maple Leafs, while Detroit, Chicago, St. Louis and Florida start their quest for the Stanley Cup with two games in Sweden and Finland on October 2nd and 3rd. With a two-week break for the Vancouver Olympics in February, NHL teams will play more back-to-back games this season, which will test the endurance and desire of every player in the league.

As the league enjoys a rise in popularity with many young stars entering the NHL in recent years, one veteran player is preparing for another record setting season. New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur will be protecting the net on opening night for a record 15th consecutive season with the same team; one of the many goaltending records the Montreal native already holds. Brodeur has the record for most wins in a season with 48; he has 12 consecutive seasons with at least 35 wins and the four-time Vezina Trophy winner holds 30 franchise records in the Devils organization. Brodeur and former Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Ron Hextall are the only two goalies in league history to score a goal in the regular season and the playoffs.

After surpassing Patrick Roy’s all-time record for career victories in the regular season last year, the 10-time all-star now has his eyes set on Terry Sawchuk’s record for career shutouts. Sawchuk’s career mark stands at 103, while Brodeur enters the season with 101. A standout in nets for Detroit, Boston, Toronto and Los Angeles, Sawchuk was a four time Vezina winner himself and many believed his shutout record would be untouchable. Many attribute Brodeur’s shutouts to the defensive style employed by the New Jersey organization but he has continually led the league in several categories regardless of the players on the ice in front of him.

When the Devils start their season October 3rd against Philadelphia, Brodeur will join Patrick Roy as the only goaltenders to play 1,000 regular season NHL games; St. Patrick played in 1,029 games with Montreal and Colorado during his Hall of Fame career. He will also surpass Roy’s career mark for minutes played; Roy has the record with 60,235 and Brodeur is second with 59,021. With an average of over 3,900 minutes per season, barring injury, Brodeur should catch up to Roy in November or early December.

Under contract until the end of the 2011-2012 season, many records in the NHL will have Brodeur’s name next to it when his career finally ends. At 37 years of age, the future Hall of Fame goaltender hopes to add another Olympic Gold medal to his list of accomplishments this season. A winner in 2002 at the Salt Lake Games, Brodeur and Roberto Luongo will share the net minding duties in Vancouver for Team Canada in 2010.

When his career does finally end, Martin Brodeur's name will be at the top of the list of nearly every goaltending record in the NHL. A Stanley Cup champion, an Olympic champion and a future member of the Hall of Fame, Brodeur is certainly one of the greatest in the history of the league and he has earned every record and accolade. Have a great sports day everyone.

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