Reviewing the Goals Allowed by Martin Brodeur: March 2010

Martin Brodeur - Another month, another set of games where he got shelled but weren't mostly his fault. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

This is the sixth of a series of posts looking at all 168 goals Martin Brodeur gave up in the 2009-10 season for the New Jersey Devils.   The intent of this series is to go beyond the stats and attempt to identify how Brodeur has been beaten, what goals were soft, and whatever information that can be found.  

This is the next-to-next-to-last part of this series as it is the last "full" month of regular season games for Brodeur as well as the 09-10 season.  A short review of April will be the penultimate post; followed a big summary post.  If you're interested, you can review the past five months, or 130 goals (77.38% of all goals allowed), in these posts: October 2009; November 2009; December 2009; January 2010; and February 2010.  I've already done the 2010 playoffs with this review back in April, so check that out if you're curious about the postseason.

March 2010 was an up-and-down month for the team as a whole.  As a result, Brodeur's numbers suffered along with the inconsistent performances of the team.


GP W L OTL GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
March 2010 -Martin Brodeur 13 7 4 2 32 2.50 349 317 90.8%
0

The stat-line was better than it was in February; but a save percentage of less than 91% isn't usually something to brag about.  Of course, that's a reason why these reviews are so illuminating.  We use stats because they provide a cold analysis of a player's performance without having to witness all of the events that led to the actual value.  In looking at each goal, the stat has a lot more context and so the numbers may look worse than the actual goals allowed. 

So let's jump right to looking at each of the goals Brodeur gave up in March 2010.  Please set your viewing to "Wide" and continue after the jump to see them for yourself:

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.  

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.

That all, said, here's the chart for all goals allowed by Martin Brodeur in March 2010.

The Chart for March 2010

Date GA# Where Beaten? Goal Description Soft Goal? Video Link
3/2/2010 131 Medium height, below blocker Setoguchi open in the slot, Brodeur comes across to face him, Setoguchi beats him blocker side.  No Link
3/2/2010 132 Low, right side, off loose puck Blake's shot hits a skate and careens wide to right circle. Setoguchi is alone and fires it low past a diving Brodeur.  PPGA No Link
3/2/2010 133 Medium height, past left side Pavelski is right at the crease, Brodeur's already low to play a wraparound, Pavelski lifts it past him glove-side. Yes? Link
3/5/2010 134 Low, through legs A puck hits a Devil, bounces out to Langkow, who does a turnaround backhand to beat Brodeur 5-hole. Yes Link
3/5/2010 135 High, just under the crossbar, breakaway Curtis Glencross steals the puck from Kovalchuk at the point, goes off on a breakway. He scores. SHGA No Link
3/5/2010 136 Low, left side, on flank Devils giveaway is taken by Nystrom, he goes to the net, slides puck under Brodeur's left pad, and Nystrom beats Brodeur on his flank with backhand No Link
3/5/2010 137 Low, through legs, off rebound Brodeur stops the first shot, the rebound goes out to the slot, Stajan fires it low and it beats Brodeur 5-hole Yes Link
3/5/2010 138 Low, past right skate, off rebound Hagman's shot is stopped, drops down to Brodeur's right, Moss stashes it in past unaware Brodeur's skate No Link
3/7/2010 139 Middle height, under right arm, off one-timer O'Sullivan feeds Brule in the slot, Brule one-times the puck under Brodeur's right arm and in. No Link
3/7/2010 140 Middle height, past right side Pouliot takes Nilsson pass just inside the right circle and he one-times the puck past a laterally moving Brodeur. No Link
3/10/2010 141 Middle height, left side, on flank Jokinen feeds Gaborik, who sees Prospal wide open on Brodeur's left flank at the left post. Gaborik gets it to Prospal, who just smashes it home easily. No Link
3/10/2010 142 Top right corner Christensen dekes past a Devil (Elias?), drives to the net, avoids Brodeur's stick, and roofs the shot to the top right corner No Link
3/10/2010 143 Just over the blocker, off rebound Fraser coughs the puck up to the middle of the ice; picked up by the Rangers. Brodeur stops the first shot by Shelley, but Prust puts it high on the rebound. No Link
3/12/2010 144 Low, through legs Crosby and Kunitz go in on a 2-on-1; Crosby fires a shot through 5-hole and scores. Yes Link
3/15/2010 145 Low, past left leg, re-directed Wheeler re-directs a low, sharp-angle shot by Stuart at the top of the crease past Brodeur's left leg. No Link
3/15/2010 146 Low, past right skate, deflected Bergeron deflects Seidenberg's shot right in front of Brodeur, past Brodeur's right skate. No Link
3/17/2010 147 Middle, under right arm, off rebound Brodeur stops Guerin's sharp-angle shot and the rebound sails into the high slot. Kunitz takes it and fires a shot under Brodeur's right arm and in. Yes Link
3/17/2010 148 Through a screen, low, likely through legs Fedotenko fires a shot from the left circle through traffic and it beats Brodeur. Likely though 5-hole No Link
3/20/2010 149 High, over glove hand, top left corner Steen gets puck while Devils are on a line change, takes a slapshot at the top of the right circle, beats Brodeur above glove No Link
3/23/2010 150 High, over glove hand, top left corner Vermette fires a one-timer slapshot at the middle point, beats Brodeur's glove and picks the corner. No Link
3/23/2010 151 Low, past left skate, one-timer Brassard finds Voracek wide open in the slot, Voracek fires a one-timer past a sliding Brodeur No Link
3/23/2010 152 Low, on Brodeur's right flank, off rebound Vermette jams the puck at the crease, Brodeur stops him, puck goes out wide to Huselius who beats Brodeur's right flank No Link
3/25/2010 153 Low, through legs, through screens Dubinsky fires a low shot in the right circle; goes through two screening players; and beats Brodeur 5-hole. PPGA No Link
3/25/2010 154 High, over Brodeur's left shoulder Prust beats two Devils to loose puck in corner, dishes it to Anisimov in the slot, he dekes Brodeur, gets him low, fires it high to top right corner. No Link
3/25/2010 155 Over left pad, under glove, off one-timer Christensen makes a blind pass into slot; Drury gets it right at Brodeur's crease and one-times it over his left pad and under the glove. No Link
3/27/2010 156 Low, past left pad, off one-timer Gomez feeds Kostitsyn, who one-times it just inside the right circle low past Brodeur's left pad No Link
3/27/2010 157 Low, on Brodeur's right flank, re-directed off skate Kostitsyn sees Plekanec right at the crease on Brodeur's right flank,the pass hits Plekanec's right skates and goes in. No Link
3/28/2010 158 Low, through legs, through screens Carle fires a shot in the high slot through traffic and it sneaks through the 5-hole No Link
3/28/2010 159 Low, through legs, off rebound Brodeur stops Briere's pass, but Leino is at the crease and puts a rebound through the 5-hole Yes? Link
3/28/2010 160 Middle height, past left side screen Timonen fires a slapshot from the right point, beats a screened Brodeur's left side, off the post and in. PPGA No Link
3/28/2010 161 Low, past left pad, off deflection Kraijeck fires a shot from the right point, shot hits Greene, goes low, and beats Brodeur's left pad No Link
3/30/2010 162 Low, on Brodeur's right flank, off rebound Recchi tips a Stuart shot right in front, but Brodeur stops it. Rebound goes right, and Bergeron puts it in wide-open net on Brodeur's right flank. OTGA No Link

 

Commentary

Just like December and January, most of the goals allowed by Brodeur were not his fault.  I've counted 6 that were soft, and I'm a little skeptical of my own decision on two of those.  On Goals #134, 137, and 144, the shooters just caught Brodeur's 5-hole being too wide.  Brodeur just didn't close his legs fast enough, those could have been stopped in my opinion.  On Goal #147, yes, Chris Kunitz shot the puck off a rebound; but it was a long rebound, it wasn't as if Kunitz fired a laser at Brodeur; and Brodeur was in position to make the stop, but he got caught with a big hole under his right arm.  Therefore, I saw that as "soft."

As far as the other two go, I saw Brodeur put himself in a non-ideal position on both goals against.  I felt that on Goal #133, Brodeur put himself in a bad spot by crouching against the post, deep in his net, making it easy for Joe Paveklski to score his goal.  If he was standing or even out a little bit, he would have had a better chance to stop it.  Brodeur also put himself in a bad spot on Goal #159; where he stretched out to block Daniel Briere's pass. He stopped the pass, but the puck went right to Leino, who just put it home easily.  Again, feel free to disagree on both; but I felt because Brodeur put himself in "no man's land," those were avoidable goals against.

Still, 6 out of 32 being soft, or 18.75%, isn't too bad.  An increase over February (2 out of 16); but the same total that I found in January and December, the other two months where Brodeur allowed 30 or more goals. I don't think it's fair to say Brodeur flopped as the season went on. Besides, there was no cluster of soft goals occurring in a specific time frame. It'd be one thing if they all came at the end of the month or the beginning, like 10 allowed in the first three games of the month; but the soft goals happened more sporadically.

Moving onward to the rest of the goals, while this month wasn't as deflection-happy with only 2 goals off deflections (Goals# 146, 161) and 2 goals off re-directions (Goals #145, 157) there were 5 goals on Brodeur's flank (Goals# 136, 141, 152, 157, 162) and 4 off of screens of sorts (Goals# 148, 153, 148, 160). 

However, and I didn't necessarily write this down for every goal, what struck me the most was how often Brodeur was hung out to dry.  I'm not going to harp on every goal against that was "helped" by poor defending, but here are a few examples.

On Goal #131, there was no Devil in a 5 foot radius of Devin Setoguchi outside of Brodeur in the slot.  Heck, Goals #132, 138, 140, 141, 151, and 162 all featured the goalscorer uncovered in some way, much to Brodeur's (and the Devils') detriment. There was also Ilya Kovalchuk got stripped by Curtis Glencross - Curtis Glencross - at the point, leading to a shorthanded breakway, a.k.a. Goal #135.  That was a notable error; but some of these faults were group efforts.  While I termed it soft, Goal #144 was a two-on-one thanks to a neutral zone turnover leaving four Devils to chase the play. Goal #149 came to be because the Blues caught the Devils on a line change.  Not once, but twice did Brandon Prust - Brandon Prust - make the Devils defense look silly in some way en route to Goals #143 and 154.  Speaking of Rangers, I'm still miffed that Eric Christensen somehow deked Patrik Elias right out of his skates and no one came to help as Christensen skated in a direct, straight line to the net.  

My point is that if the defense made better decisions in these situations, some of these goals don't happen. However, much like the inconsistent performances in general, they didn't.  In short, to put the blame solely on Brodeur doesn't match with the reality of how these goals were scored.

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.

Location Count % Total
Low Left 5 15.63%
Low Middle 7 21.88%
Low Right 6 18.75%
Middle Left 4 12.50%
Middle Middle 0 0.00%
Middle Right 5 15.63%
High Left 4 12.50%
High Middle 0 0.00%
High Right 1 3.13%

 

Goals coming in low took charge this month.  18 of the 32 goals allowed, or 56.25%, came in low to beat Brodeur. Most of them went through the five-hole (low middle); but Brodeur was beaten to his sides quite a bit.  If not low, then definitely with elevation above the pad but just below the arm for that "middle height."   

There were a few high goals, they tended to beat Brodeur glove-side.  Despite the disparity in which side the high shots beat Brodeur, goals coming to his left and right were close to even. 13 beat him to his relative left, and 12 beat him to his relative right. Given that a couple of goals were on his flank, not to mention a few one-timers here and there, an big jump in both sides shouldn't be surprising.   At least, it didn't surprise me.

Your Take

Now it's your turn to have your say.  Was there anything I missed?  Were you surprised that I only found 6 goals to be soft?   Was there some other pattern among the goals allowed that you noticed?  Does this not further refute that Brodeur's performance fell over time given this casual qualitative analysis?   If not, why not?   Please leave your answers as well as other relevant thoughts and questions in the comments. Thank you for reading.

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