Martin Brodeur realized he had a good chance of catching Terry Sawchuk, and his teammates helped make sure he finished with a shutout.
Brodeur tied Sawchuk’s NHL record with his 103rd shutout, leading the New Jersey Devils to a 3-0 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Monday night. List of All-Time NHL shutout Leaders from sportscity.com.
“Right after the second I was thinking, ‘Well, I’ve got this chance now,”‘ Brodeur said. “My goal was (get to) nine minutes, then take baby steps towards it.” (Source-TSN-The Canadian Press)
We would like to extend our congratulations to Martin Brodeur for accomplishing what many would have thought impossible at one point in time. Terry Sawchuk’s shutout record of 103 seemed untouchable, especially in the 70’s and 80’s when teams were scoring at a crazy rate.
It’s unfortunate in a way that Brodeur has set his records in New Jersey, although it can be argued that he wouldn’t have set any records without the trap that the Devils are famous for, a lot of hockey people feel that it’s solely because of the trap that Brodeur has had such amazing personal success. I tend to disagree with this opinion.
If you make an exception for last year, when Brodeur was out for a large portion of the season with an elbow injury, he has been remarkably durable, and the foundation on which the Devils trap was built. Without Brodeur and his superior puck handling the trap would never have been efficient enough to become a team philosophy.
Every so often a player comes along in hockey that causes the game to evolve, to create a need for teams to alter their playing styles in order to compete with them. The trap offered a chance for a small market team, with a low payroll, to compete with the high-flying, talented teams.
In recent years, the NHL has made a series of rule changes to battle the trap and open up the scoring. Removing the red line on 2 line passes, the trapezoidal area behind the net where a goaltender can play the puck (but only in that area) and all the obstruction calls were intended to beat the trap.
This is a huge compliment to Brodeur and the Devils, who have recorded at least 100 points in all but one season since the lockout (99 points in 2007-08), and the birth of the “New NHL”. In that same time frame, Martin Brodeur has recorded 28 shutouts and counting…Amazing really.