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Martin Brodeur #1 For Twenty Years

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

The Garden can undergo all sorts of transformations, but no matter what, then, now and seemingly for always, there is Martin Brodeur leading the Devils onto the ice from the Zamboni corner entrance at 33rd and Eighth.

There’s been more than 20 years of it, from the time as a 19-year-old Brodeur started Game 5 of the 1992 first round, to the epochal 1994 conference final, to his 23-game unbeaten streak against the Blueshirts beginning in 1997, to the stunning Battle of the Hudson victory two years ago … to Tuesday night’s 3-2 victory over the Rangers at 41 years and 190 days of age.

“Twenty years as a goaltender; it’s amazing and will never be done again,” Jaromir Jagr told The Post. “Think of it, 20 years as a No. 1; that kind of thing doesn’t happen in sports.

“Who could do that? Maybe [Peyton] Manning as a quarterback. But that’s it,” No. 68 said. “For me, if I’m not the No. 1 right wing, I still have three other chances to be on the team, but Marty as No. 1 for 20 years? No one else can do that and no one else will do that.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: martin+brodeur

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It helps if you play for a consistently good-to-great team for most of the first 2/3 of your stay and your team makes no effort to draft, trade for, or otherwise acquire any other goalie with more than backup-quality (and often not even that) ability until you’re in your 40s.

What Brodeur has accomplished is impressive, but does anybody think he’d have 20 uninterrupted seasons as an NHL starter if he had been drafted by, say, Philadelphia?

Hall of Famer for sure, but I still see his career counting totals as more a reflection of good teams and smart coaching than consistently elite talent from Brodeur. Hasek, for example, had a much better prime, was better at every age, was better for longer (Brodeur has for the most part been a below-average NHL starter since age 38; Hasek didn’t really dip below that level until 42 or 43). If Hasek had, say, defected to Canada in the mid-80s, played major junior hockey, and actually gotten a chance to be an NHL starter in his teens or early 20s instead of at nearly 28, there would be no doubt at all who the GOAT is.

These constant “Brodeur is the greatest ever” stories just kinda grind me. Brodeur is a HOFer and probably a top-15 goalie all time but I don’t want to commit to more than that. Given the choice I would take Hasek or Roy over him every time, and I don’t think it’s close.

Posted by Sven22 from Grand Rapids on 11/13/13 at 01:07 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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