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The 4th Line Banger Posted - 01/20/2010 : 23:00:29
If you understand the title of this way, way, way overdue bog, you are old enough to remember rockin out to this classic Cinderella power ballad from 1988. If that is the case, you are also old enough to remember a young, 20 yr old Patrick Roy completely steal a Stanley Cup from Lanny MacDonald’s grasp becoming the youngest Conn Smythe winner in history back in ‘86. That record still stands today. If you are in this age bracket, you also remember Patrick Roy, 25 at the time, do it again in ‘93. This time taking away that sacred Chalice from the hand of the Great One, saving us from a Bruce McNall lead parade through LA. Again, the Conn Smythe Trophy was placed on that crazy keeper’s mantel. He did win another in 2001 but on the best team ever played with, he was not quite the thief we was the other times he took home The Mug and the Smythe.

Well that’s how old I am too. And for this group, I think there are few people who have watched the career of Patrick Roy and specifically those two magical Stanley Cup Finals who would say that Patrick Roy was not the most clutch goalie who ever played. Many would also say he was the greatest ever. At the least in his generation. The funny thing is I never saw it when he was playing. I only truly started to appreciate the genius of Roy’s game after he retired.

Why is it I bring this up??? Well, I am also from the camp that thinks that Patrick Roy is better than Martin Brodeur. However, I am starting to question my logic. Is it that I think Roy is better or is that I don’t appreciate what Brodeur is doing today?? I am starting to lean towards the later.

3 or 4 years ago when the players for the 2010 Olympics were being discussed, one of the most hotly contested arguments was the Canadian goalie position. Was it Luongo’s time to take the torch?? If Brodeur was there, would he be the back up?? Well at that time, I would say the debate was separated in 3 camps. The first was of the opinion that Brodeur would be too old and washed up by that time (of course, he will be a spry 37 when the Games begin) and not make the team. Another group figured Brodeur will be there but not start, again being too old. And then there were the smart fellers (which I admit not being a part of) that had a clue and said that it would absolutely be Brodeur. Well, I guess we know the answer to that question.

It’s quite easy to see that with 18 different NHL records(including the two big one’s being most wins and most shutouts), 3 Cup Rings, The Gold Medal, 4 Vezina’s, 4 Jenning's, the Calder, 10 All Star games, and 1st or 2nd team All Star 7 times he’s got nothing else to prove. He needs a wide angle lens and then some to get a picture of all his Hardware.

Looking at today, a little more than ½ ways through the 2010 season, Brodeur is literally on pace for his best season ever. He is to 30 wins faster than he has ever been before (and he should know, having 30 or more wins for now 13 straight years). He is on pace to beat his own record of 48 wins in a season. He is also on pace for his own personal best of 12 shutouts. He’s played more games and minutes than any other keeper in the league, faced the most shots, 6th in the league in save percentage and is 3rd in the league in Goals against Average.

Oh, ya. I forgot to mention that is also the 2nd oldest goalie in the league today???

Wait. How can that be right? How can a guy who has played over 1,200 combined regular season and playoff games since 1991 be getting BETTER??? He played 10 straight seasons with more than 70 games played, not to mention the 7 different times he represented his Country through his career so it’s not like he has taken a ton of time off. Outside of the first 4 games of his career, he has never had a save percentage worse than .902.

To shoot down the most common peanut gallery comment, it wasn’t the trap or Scott Stevens who stopped over 30,000 shots. It was Marty Brodeur in the cage stopping 23 of 25 shots a game and doing the exact thing that every NHL goalie is supposed to do.

Just win Baby.

So not only did Marty B rightfully win the starting job in Vancouver in a month, but he has won me over too. Something I never thought I would ever say in my life. Marty Brodeur is the best goalie to ever play in the NHL and I am going to appreciate his game while he is still playing. I won’t make the same mistake I made with the 2nd best goalie to ever play and wait until he’s retired to realize what is right in front of my eyes.

Have an opinion on The Fourth Line Banger's article? Let us know. Just hit reply below and post your thoughts. Anything goes...but keep it clean.
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n/a Posted - 01/21/2010 : 10:52:55
I often disagree with the Banger, but here, you are right on.

I was also of the Roy 1a, Brodeur 1b all-time . . . and am also starting to change my mind. He is showing us all that he still has loads of game left, and will pad his records quite a bit before it's all over.

I didn't want to add a "but" in here, but if if there is a small glint of doubt, it's this: clutch playoff wins, and winning a series on his own. Maybe with the club he has in front of him - with a total no-name defence that plays a solid system but lets through an average amount of shots - maybe this is the club where he can finally prove it, once and for all. Yeah, an Olympic gold medal while keeping the Russians to below four goals would be nice (lol), but for most, I think it has to be proven in the NHL playoffs.

If Jersey can make it to the third round on Brodeur's strong play, I think most people will be changing their minds on the greatest goalie of all time.

"Take off, eh?" - Bob and Doug

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