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Martin Brodeur makes Wild look like offensive juggernaut

Dec 2, 2011, 8:51 PM EDT

Martin Brodeur AP

How long does it take to score three goals on Martin Brodeur? For about a decade, the answer was often “More than one game.” In this case, the Minnesota Wild booted him out of the New Jersey Devils’ net by scoring three goals in just 8:17 of game time.

That’s the second shortest* start of his Hall-of-Fame career, according to the Minnesota Wild. Brodeur stopped one of the four shots he faced.

After a brief lull, this brutal outing might rev up the Brodeur career death watch once again. He came into Friday’s match against Minnesota on a two-game losing streak in which he allowed nine goals, so this makes it 12 tallies in less than seven ugly periods.

At this point, the Johan Hedberg vs. Martin Brodeur debate is getting a little ridiculous. Here’s a stat comparison between them that factors in games from before tonight’s debacle.

Hedberg: 7-4-1 record, 2.24 GAA and .920 save percentage.
Brodeur: 5-6-0 record, 3.09 GAA and .887 save percentage.

Looking at those numbers, it’s absurd to doubt Hedberg’s current superior merit. The bigger question is: should Brodeur consider hanging up his pads after this season? He owns just about every major goaltending record at this point and plenty of team-based glories, so aside from fattening up his bank account and delaying the prospect of living a normal life, there isn’t much to prove. (Even the bank account argument is subdued by the fact that his contract expires after this season.)

So, let me ask: do you think Brodeur should retire after the 2011-12 season?

* – In case you’re wondering, the shortest game was against the Carolina Hurricanes on Jan. 1, 2011. He lasted eight minutes in that one. Of course, he doesn’t have a possible New Year’s Eve party excuse to lean on tonight, though.

  1. goalie007 - Dec 2, 2011 at 9:16 PM

    I hate to say it, but Marty probably should have retired after last season. It’s inescapable, nobody can play forever. There’s certainly no shame in that. He’s an obvious hall of famer. I always hate to see somebody hang around too long, but I’ll certainly never forget how great he was for many, many years.

  2. charlutes - Dec 2, 2011 at 9:47 PM

    No. He should retire 2 years ago.

  3. lsxphotog - Dec 2, 2011 at 10:21 PM

    Marty should indeed consider retirement. Sadly, he decided it was worth risking a tarnished ending to a spectacular career. Hedberg has been solid all season, no much to consider on who should get the start, IMO.

    • stakex - Dec 3, 2011 at 12:15 PM

      Well, he can’t really tarnish what hes accomplished. Playing poorly for the last year or two of his career does not take away any of the things hes done over the years… all it will do is make his career stats a little worse.

  4. barkar942 - Dec 2, 2011 at 10:53 PM

    Yes, Marty is coming to the end of his playing days. He will go down in the history of the game as one of the greatest goaltenders of all time, and deservedly so.
    Let us not forget, however, that he backstopped the team that defensively perfected the trap to a tee for so many seasons. I am sure if you go back and look at all of his saves and where the opposing players were forced to shoot from, there would be probably the lowest percentage of high quality scoring chances of any goalie with the massive help from top quality defensemen playing in front of him.
    Just in case any of you haven’t noticed, Niedermayer, Stevens and Danekyo have all retired. Perhaps the new NHL rules and the new defensive core in front of him might just possibly have something to do with his current performance???

    • James O'Brien - Dec 2, 2011 at 11:39 PM

      Sounds like you should visit, then. :-)

      • Tristan - Dec 3, 2011 at 2:06 PM

        I clicked on that link thinking it would be good for a laugh, and found myself slowly nodding in agreement at a lot of those posts. I suddenly feel a lot of empathy for people who get converted to Scientology.

    • stakex - Dec 3, 2011 at 12:29 PM

      There is little doubt that Brodeur had the advantage of playing behind one of the best defensive teams in NHL history. Anyone who remembers the Devils in the 1990’s and early 2000’s knows they were a team that would was extremely hard to beat when they took even a one goal lead. If Brodeur would see 20 shots a night and a handful of good scoring chances it was a lot, and a quick look at his save percentage over the years confirms that while solid in net…. he was certainly not the brick wall hes played up to have been.

      Was Brodeur good? Obviously. However would he have been as good if he was playing in front of a team with a more average defense? Probably not.

  5. killabri - Dec 3, 2011 at 4:09 AM

    Frankly, Brodeur should not even start in NJ anymore as you point out James. Statistically, it isn’t even a debate. But, this is the 2011 version of one of the longest running questions in sports: How do you handle a legend that doesn’t have it anymore? As of this writing, the Devils find themselves a mere point out of a playoff spot. Do you continue to put Brodeur out there, even though it’s probably hurting your team on a nightly basis? Damn tough call to make when you’re dealing with one of the best goalies ever to play.

    Unfortunately, however, it appears as though Brodeur’s body isn’t able to respond to the mind’s commands. It happens to every athlete, great or otherwise, and that’s when it’s time to start lining up that post playing career. Through chance or otherwise, I got the opportunity to see Brodeur play many times in Tampa during the years, and I’m thankful for that. I, like many other fans, will remember him at his peak instead of where he is now.

  6. gallaghedj311 - Dec 3, 2011 at 9:35 AM

    If Philadelphia were to throw any rival athlete a retirement party, it would be Marty.

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