January 2010 - Similar stats to December 2009, one fewer goal against, same amount of soft ones allowed, and a lot where he had no chance on. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
This is the fourth of a series of posts looking at all 168 goals that Martin Brodeur gave up in the 2009-10 season. The intent of this series to identify what goals allowed were soft, where Brodeur was beaten, and any other additional information about how the goals got past Brodeur. You can review the past three months consisting of 79 goals (47.02% of all goals allowed) in these three posts: October 2009; November 2009; and December 2009. I've already done the 2010 playoffs with this review back in April, so check that out if you're so inclined.
While Brodeur gave up 34 goals in December 2009, the most in any single month, January 2010 came awfully close with 33 allowed. The big difference between the two, per NHL.com, is that the record suffered. These numbers would look nicer with 10-4-0 rather than what happened in January:
|January 2010 -Martin Brodeur||15||7||7||1||33||2.35||393||359||91.4
It starts to make sense when you look back upon January 2009 as a whole. The team was starting to cool off, show that they started missing some of their injured players, and so inconsistent performances reigned. While they shutout the opposition three times, they also got shutout three times as well. Some nights, the defense would make a critical error here or there, and as such, Brodeur and the Devils suffered. Other nights, a few bad breaks happened and the Devils couldn't make up the difference offensively.
These were some of the things I realized whilst looking back in the 33 goals from this past month. Please set your viewing to "Wide" and continue after the jump to see what exactly I found and what we can conclude from those findings.
As I stated last week, all videos come from NHL.com. Links are provided for your own curiosity and convenience, so if you disagree with me on a certain goal or if I made an error in what I found, you can check it out for yourself.
Also, as a refresher, here's how I'm defining a "soft" goal: I watch how the shot came through Brodeur and determine whether Brodeur really should have stopped the puck. This means he must have seen the shot coming, the shot was not deflected or change otherwise in motion, he was in position to actually make the stop, and whether Brodeur made an uncharacteristic mistake that led to the goal (meaning: it wasn't a difficult shot to stop). If all were true, then I deemed the goal as "soft." Again, I've included links to all the goals against so you can make your own judgment.
Without further ado, here's the chart for all goals allowed by Martin Brodeur in January 2010.
The Chart for January 2010
|Date||GA#||Where Beaten?||Goal Description||Soft Goal?||Video Link|
|1/2/2010||80||Low, just past right pad, one-timer on flank||Belanger takes Zidlicky cross-ice pass. Brodeur dives across in desparation, but Belanger just slides it low past his right skate.||No||Link|
|1/2/2010||81||Middle height, left side, off rebound||Brodeur robs Mikko Koivu on one-timer; rebound goes to slot, Koivu gets it to first and fires it over sprawling Brodeur. SHGA||No||Link|
|1/2/2010||82||Just over Brodeur, into middle of net, off player's helmet||Koivu forces a low shot, Zidlicky tries to jam it, and while Brodeur's down reaching for it; the puck bounces up in chaos. It goes off Andrew Brunette's helmet and into the net. Seriously.||No||Link|
|1/8/2010||83||Middle height, left, deflected off a screen||Foster unloads a slapshot from point, shot is tipped by Downie who was screening Brodeur.PPGA||No||Link|
|1/8/2010||84||Low, past left pad, screened by own teammates||Niedermayer intercepts a pass between TB point-men, but he can't handle it and it goes to Bochenski in high slot. He just rips one past Brodeur. 2 Devils were in front of him at time of shot. PPGA||No||Link|
|1/8/2010||85||High, top left corner, one-timer||Stamkos breaks up Devils defense to get puck to St. Louis and charges to left side of net. St. Louis fires pass across slot for Stamkos to beat diving Brodeur high||No||Link|
|1/9/2010||86||Middle, right side, off rebound from post||Hamrlik fires a wrist shot that goes over Brodeur's right pad and hits the post. Gomez was right at crease, puts the puck already behind Brodeur in the net. PPGA||No||Link|
|1/14/2010||87||Low, through legs, off re-direction||Lombardi re-directs Yandle's pass (shot?) right in front of Brodeur to have it slide through the five-hole.||No||Link|
|1/14/2010||88||Middle, left side, on breakaway||White mishandles puck after faceoff, Mueller takes it and he's off on a breakaway. Brodeur goes down to stack the pads but Mueller's beaten him left side as he does it. Why he went down, I don't know||Yes?||Link|
|1/14/2010||89||Low, right side, off one-timer, on right flank||Fiddler gets puck across from left corner to right side of the crease for Winnik to one-time it low past Brodeur's right pad. No chance for Brodeur.||No||Link|
|1/14/2010||90||High, left side, through screen||Michalek is set up at the middle point, unloads a slapshot, and it beats a screened Brodeur to his left. PPGA||No||Link|
|1/16/2010||91||Low, left side, on flank||Stastny takes puck down below right circle, finds Stewart right at crease, passes it to him for the re-direction past a flanked Brodeur||No||Link|
|1/16/2010||92||Middle, right side, in between arm and body||Galiardi above left faceoff dot, fires a shot that goes off Brodeur's right arm (in between it?) and floats in.||Yes||Link|
|1/18/2010||93||Low, left side, under glove||Moulson gets a rebound, takes a step, and puts a backhander just under Brodeur's right glove.||No||Link|
|1/18/2010||94||High, right side, possibly a screen||Streit slapshot from the left point picks to the top right corner, possibly through traffic. PPGA||No||Link|
|1/18/2010||95||Low, through legs, off re-direction||Bailey re-directs a Hillen shot right in front of Brodeur to beat him 5-hole||No||Link|
|1/18/2010||96||Low, right side, off deflection in front||Galiardi above left faceoff dot, fires a shot that goes off Brodeur's right arm (in between it?) and floats in.||No||Link|
|1/22/2010||97||Middle, past blocker, one-timer||Gomez sets up Pouliot in the slot for a one-timer, and the shot just beats Brodeur's blocker||No||Link|
|1/22/2010||98||Middle, right side, off deflection in front||Gionta takes a long, low shot; Darche was driving to the net, got his stick on it to deflect it past Brodeur's right||No||Link|
|1/22/2010||99||Low, right side, off one-timer||An open Markov in the right circle feeds an open Cammalleri in the slot for a one-timer. Brodeur dives but no avail; the shot was a rocket||No||Link|
|1/23/2010||100||Middle, right side, off one-timer||Okposo one-times loose puck from Tavares (was it even a pass?) in the slot, beats Brodeur's right side PPGA||No||Link|
|1/23/2010||101||Low, middle, off loose puck, own goal||Hillen fires a shot above high slot that beats Brodeur low and off right poost. The puck bounces low, Brodeur reaches for it, Salvador tries to get it, but he puts the puck in. Own goal PPGA||No||Link|
|1/26/2010||102||Low, through legs||Foligno feeds Kovalev in the right circle. Kovalev beats Brodeur 5-hole.||Yes||Link|
|1/26/2010||103||Middle, right, off deflection||Soft giveaway gives Campoli puck at the middle point. He fires it through traffic (read: screens), Michalek deflects it to beat Brodeur to his right||No||Link|
|1/26/2010||104||Low, right, off re-direction||Kuba makes a pass down low (or is it a shot?) above right circle to Spezza, who re-directs the puck under Brodeur's glove and in.||No||Link|
|1/27/2010||105||Low, through legs, off deflection||Roy takes a shot in the slot, Mair deflects it while screening Brodeur at the front of the crease||No||Link|
|1/29/2010||106||High, past glove, off deflection||Gunnarson fires a shot from the left point through traffic, deflects off Pelley's stick, and it hits the either right post and in or it hits the back pipe in right corner.||No||Link|
|1/29/2010||107||Middle, past right arm, on breakaway||Primeau springs Orr on a breakaway with a lobbed pass. Brodeur goes down for some reason, Orr fires it past Brodeur's stick side||Yes?||Link|
|1/29/2010||108||Low, through legs||Giveaway in defensive zone goes right to Ponikarovsky at front of net. He beats Brodeur 5-hole to score||No||Link|
|1/29/2010||109||Low, left side, off rebound||Brodeur stops Ponikarovsky's shot, the rebound is short, Stajan is already at the front of the net to backhand it past a diving Brodeur||No||Link|
|1/31/2010||110||Low, through legs, off loose puck||Brodeur makes one save on Parse, he's still standing at post; but the legs were open enough for Handzus pounds a loose puck through.||Yes||Link|
|1/31/2010||111||Low, through legs (skates?)||Simmonds take puck to right corner, fires a low sharp angle shot and it goes in. Brodeur was hugging right post so it must of went through skates.||Yes||Link|
|1/31/2010||112||Middle height, over glove that was low, through screens||Doughty fires a slapshot at the middle point that goes through traffic, and beats Brodeur just over his glove.||No||Link|
Note: No goals were allowed on 1/5/2010; 1/12/2010; and 1/20/2010. Brodeur shutout Dallas, the Rangers, and Florida respectively. Incidentally, the 1/20 shutout would be Brodeur's last until April 2010.
Yes, this was the month of Brodeur being beaten in so many ways. They didn't come in just losses, the goals against were more spread apart the 12 non-shutout games than last month. However, that shouldn't be so surprising given that a total of 33 shots got past him. What should be some kind of an eyebrow-raiser was how many could be possibly explained by a bad break for Brodeur, if not the Devils. 5 involved screens (Goals #83, 84, 90, 94, 103), 3 involved re-directions of passes or shots (Goals #87, 95, 104) at close range, 6 involved deflections (Goals# 83, 96, 98, 103, 105, 106), and included in both those counts were 2 was off a screening player who deflected the puck (Goal #83). That's 13 different goals (or 39.39% out of this month's totals) that Brodeur had no chance on. More importantly, those 13 could not have happened if the goal scorer didn't get the absolutely perfect direction off the deflection or re-direction or the shooter wasn't able to find the right space to get the puck through bodies in Brodeur's way on the screens.
Of course, you may think that instead of luck, a New Jersey skater should have at least moved bodies in the way or at least not make a stupid error like firing the puck blindly up the middle of the ice (see Goal #103) There's some credence for that on some goals; though not all, like Goal #84 where the screen was by Brodeur's own teammates. Nevertheless, Brodeur had no shot regardless of what the skaters in front of him did or did not do.
On top of that, there were 3 goals were put in on Brodeur's flank (Goals #80, 89, 109), 3 came off rebounds the other team got to first (Goals #81, 86, 109 - and note that #81 was a shorthanded goal against); 1 puck bounced off Andrew Brunnette's helmet and in (Goal #82), and 1 was actually an own-goal by a well-meaning Bryce Salvador (Goal #101). Already, that's 21 goals where it was readily apparent to me that Brodeur wasn't
Considering all this, it shouldn't seem that much of a surprise that I felt Brodeur only gave up 6 soft goals this month, the same amount as December 2009. Given the large quantity of goals against, that's pretty impressive that only 18.18% of all goals allowed were soft. He should not have allowed T.J. Galiardi's shot - which wasn't a hard one, keep in mind - to sneak through his arm and body in Goal #92. Brodeur got caught 5-hole three times where he shouldn't have on Goals #102, 110, and 111. Among the three Goal #111 was the killer since Wayne Simmonds' shot was at such a sharp angle, it was late in the game, and it tied up the game. In fact, among all 15 games, the last one was the one where I felt Brodeur could have done better. Though I would like to note that the game winner (Goal #112) was the one goal that wasn't soft.
Even with the small total of soft goals, I am somewhat unsure on two of them. I felt he made the wrong decisions positionally on Peter Mueller's breakaway (Goal #88) and (I can't believe I'm typing this) Colton Orr's breakaway (Goal #107); so I deemed them as soft. You can make an argument that Brodeur was hung out to dry on both; so I gave those question marks. If Colin White didn't mishandle the puck Mueller doesn't go off to the races; and if the pointman didn't fire a puck right into a Leaf, the whole play to spring Orr doesn't happen. Still, I'm focusing on the goaltender and I felt in both cases, he gave both shooters too much space.
I think that just by looking at soft vs. non-soft goals against, it's clear that Brodeur didn't falter in January 2010 or suffer from some bad slump. If nothing else, the guys in front of him weren't playing as consistently they were in the prior three months and there were several bad breaks for the goaltender, and by extension the team.
Location of Goals Against
All locations are relative to Brodeur himself, not necessarily where the puck goes into the net. It's pretty simplistic, but it'll do for general information.
This month, more shots appeared to go past Brodeur that weren't high shots that picked out a corner but more in the middle in terms of height, as I counted 12 in that category total. Only 4 got over shoulders or into corners in this past month, as the goalscorers found it fit to put the puck over a glove placed low or put the puck past an outstretched arm but not so high to risk missing the net. Still, 17 of the 33 goals against were low - a slim majority at 51.52% - as they either got through the legs or just got into the corner somehow.
In terms of length, after the left side (Brodeur's glove side) enjoyed a plurality last month, the right side (Brodeur's stick side) saw more action. 14 out of 33 (or 42.42%) were scored to Brodeur's right side; with most of those coming in that middle-range of height. Pucks that just beat his blocker or just got him on that side. The most common location remains as the low middle, which is usually the 5-hole. Do note that I only found 3 of those goals soft, though, so it's not as if Brodeur really had a chance on most of those pucks coming in those locations.
I would like to point out that I did deem one goal to be at middle height and to Brodeur's middle. This is a bit of a stretch, but that goal was Goal #82, the one where the puck bounced off Brunette's head and in. First off, the goal was a complete fluke to begin with, it didn't even appear that Brunette tried to move his head to direct the puck that way. It just popped up in a fracas at the left side of the net, hit off Rod Pelley's body, went up higher, and Brunette was just there. Second, the puck definitely went into that middle range of height off the ice. Third, Brodeur was on his stomach the whole time, initially reaching out for the puck. Technically, puck was bouncing in to his right, but since he was on the ground, it doesn't make much sense to say he was beat stick side. The puck went over his back to go in, so for lack of a more accurate location, I decided to say it was "middle middle."
Don't expect too many more of those happening this season, but I'll hold off on any guarantees until I review February (again), March, and April.
I would love to hear your opinions now. What surprised you the most? That Brodeur allowed only 6 soft goals out of 33? That on most of those goals, Brodeur had no real shot at stopping? That 33 goals were allowed at all, given that he allowed 34 at all? That he was beaten through the legs 8 times, but only 3 were truly bad?
If you're sick of that string of "That..." questions, then how about: what didn't surprise you? Do you even agree with the goals I deemed as "soft" or were there others I missed? Would you also think that Brodeur was better in this month than what the numbers say like I posited last month? Please leave me your answers and other relevant thoughts in the comments, and as always, thank you for reading.