Andy Greene, you were doing it wrong here. Martin Brodeur wished you weren't doing it wrong. Only Colin Fraser appreciated you doing it wrong. (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)
Welcome to the second month of Martin Brodeur's 2010-11 season. In October, Brodeur appeared in every game, started all but one of them, and promptly got lit up for 31 goals. However, upon review of each of these goals, 25 of them really can't be faulted on Brodeur, they were not soft goals. His statline for October made him look worse than he actually was - one of the reasons why I'm doing this series of posts.
It's funny how age can obfuscate how we view a player. While we see Brodeur hung out to dry, we look back at this season, see his low save percentage of 90.3%, recall that he's now 39, and conclude that he can't do the job anymore. Sure, Brodeur's not getting younger. I understand that Father Time always wins this battle. However, the video evidence shows that it doesn't really matter how old you are when players in front of you are faltering. A fluke goal finds it's way in without asking the goaltender their age. Age is only a number when the opposing player is wide open on your flank from a pass; or right in front of you for any rebound of any kind.
My point: let's focus on the facts and the video of goals against the goalie and not his age.
|November 2010 - Martin Brodeur||5||249||1||3||0||10||2.65||99||88||.889||0
Brodeur didn't play through most of November due to injury. He left early in the November 3 game in Chicago after a puck struck him in his right elbow. He was out for two games, came back for three more starts, and had to be pulled out during the November 18 game in Toronto with another right elbow injury. So this month was short, and considering the Devils were still playing miserable hockey, Brodeur's stats look poor. As with last month, does this mean that Brodeur himself just made a lot of mistakes that led to goals against? Or should we consider other sources that led to these 11 goals against Brodeur in November? Let's review this month's videos after the jump.
About the Review
The main thing I'm looking for in this review are "soft goals," those goals against that should have been stopped by the goaltender. Here's how I am defining a soft goal. The goalie must have seen the shot coming; the shot was not deflected or change otherwise in motion; the goalie was in position to actually make the stop; and the goaltender made an uncharacteristic mistake that led to the goal. If all were true, then I deemed the goal as "soft." In fact, the very last bit alone can make the difference between a soft goal or not.
I also want to highlight the last column in the following list: Skater Error. Did askater do something seriously wrong on the play that led to the goal? If so, their name (or names) end up on the chart. I could be picky and call them out for every goal, but I'm only highlighting who's actions or lack thereof contributed to the goal against. There will be goals where multiple skaters screw up, so you may see more than one name. I'm tracking this to see who was commonly at fault, assuming it means anything. As with the goals against themselves, feel free to discuss this too.
Lastly, I have provided links to the video I looked at for each goal from NHL.com. These links will auto-play the video, so be forewarned.
The 11 Goals Allowed by Martin Brodeur in November 2010: A Chart
|Date||GA#||Where Beaten?||GA Description||Soft Goal?||Video Link||Skater Error|
|11/1/2010||32||High, above blocker||Taormina turnover at net, Malhotra finds Torres in the slot, he one-times it under the crossbar||No||Link||Taormina|
|11/1/2010||33||Low, past right pad||Raymond finds Kesler in front, Kesler's first shot is stopped, but he backhands the rebound through Taormina screen||No||Link||Taormina|
|11/1/2010||34||Low, past left pad||Henrik Sedin dekes around Brodeur, slides it in past his left pad PSGA||No||Link||White|
|11/12/2010||35||Just past the glove||Eberle blows by Volchenkov, a loose puck in the slot ends up on Fraser's stick, Fraser goes right, gets stopped once, bats in own rebound at right post||No||Link||Volchenkov
|11/12/2010||36||Blocker side||Magnan bats down a puck in front of him, Fraser takes it, curls around the bodies in front of him, and fires a rocket from right dot short-side||No||Link||Magnan|
|11/12/2010||37||Low, past left side||Bad change gives Oilers 2-on-1, Tallinder stops it, but never gets support. Brodeur makes two stops, but can't stop Gagner on the second rebound at the crease||No||Link||Taormina|
|11/15/2010||38||Low, past right pad||Ryder from a sharp angle catches Brodeur off the post - 5-on-3 PPGA||No||Link|
|11/15/2010||39||Low, through legs||Horton fires a shot from above the left circle and it beats Brodeur||Yes||Link|
|11/15/2010||40||Low, through legs||Wheeler elects to shoot in a 2-on-1 at top of right circle, gets it in 5-hole||Yes||Link|
|11/18/2010||41||Just past the glove||Kulemin's shot is stopped, big rebound goes to the high slot for Grabovski to slam past Brodeur's glove PPGA||No||Link||White|
|11/18/2010||42||Low, through legs||Kessel is found wide open on Brodeur's right side, had him at his mercy, and slid it in low||No||Link||Magnan|
In November, I counted exactly 2 soft goals out of all 11 goals against Brodeur - a percentage of 18.18%. Proportionally, it's not too different from last month; where Brodeur allowed 6 softies out of 31. Compared to last year, this is a better percentage; though Brodeur played much more in November 2009. As I've noted during most of the monthly reviews of goals allowed (GAs) by Johan Hedberg, short months are difficult to properly evaluate just due to the lack of games played. One bad game can offset everything else. However, we can't create our own reality, we must deal with what we have.
Let's briefly go over the two soft goals. They came on the same night, November 15 against Boston. This wasn't a good game for Brodeur. He just should have had Nathan Horton's shot that became GA #39; and Blake Wheeler caught with his legs open on GA #40. You may think that the first goal he allowed in that game was soft as well; but I decided against it. It was a 5-on-3 power play for Boston and Brodeur was in a no-win situation. Michael Ryder was at a sharp angle but knew he had the lane if Brodeur left the right post; but if Brodeur hung out at the post, Ryder had an open lane to pass it to two Bruins right at the crease. There wasn't any "right" decision for Brodeur, so when Ryder went shortside on Brodeur, I didn't count it against Brodeur. Still, it wasn't a good night at all.
As for the rest of his November, look no further to the defenders in front of him which hurt the team overall in those other 4 appearances. Seriously, the other 8 goals Brodeur allowed had featured some kind of error on the goal itself. Colin White created another penalty shot situation, which became GA #34. Matt Taormina had some notable errors with a heinous turnover that became GA #32 and getting caught on rebounds on GAs #33 and 37. Olivier Magnan-Grenier, also known as Olivier Magnan, had two spectacular goof-ups when he batted a puck in mid-air in front of him which helped create GA #36 for Colin Fraser; and he left Phil Kessel - Toronto's top forward - all alone on the right side of the zone to have Brodeur at his mercy on GA #42. While November featured just over a third of the goals allowed that beat Brodeur in October, it was still pretty hard to watch defensive gaffes over and over again. Interestingly, all of the skater errors I noted in this month come from defensemen. I think that's just coincidence given the small number of GAs; but don't worry, forwards make their presence enraging
Location of Goals Allowed
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.
For a second straight month, going low yielded the most success against Martin Brodeur. Both soft goals were low, the penalty shot goal by Henrik Sedin was low, two of the four rebound goals against were low, and two from Brodeur's right side came in low (though, one of those two got through the legs). At least he didn't get victimized with high shots like a fraction of last month's goals.
It was a short month and so there weren't so many goals scored. While Brodeur's stats from this month are poor, he really only had one bad appearance, where he gave up his only two soft goals of all of November. It's definitely an arguable point he was let down elsewhere; further suggesting that Brodeur may not have been as bad as a 88.9% monthly save percentage would indicate. That's my take; but I want to hear what's yours. Do you agree with what I called out as a soft goal and/or as a skater error? Do you agree with my conclusions on the other 9 goals from this month? Please give me your answers and your general take on how Brodeur did in November 2010 in the comments. Thanks for reading. December awaits tomorrow.