Martin Brodeur and His New Jersey Devils: No. 1 Overall
Tonight's game between the top two NHL teams was bumped off its regular local radio station thanks to a Giants-Redskins game. And so, on some random station, history was made.
Martin Brodeur made 35 spectacular saves and the Devils scored four goals en route to Marty's record-setting 104th shutout.
At the same time, the Devils defeated the Penguins, earning them control of first place in the NHL—with a few games in hand on Pittsburgh, to boot.
The Devils are putting up one of their best seasons ever, and Brodeur has been superb even at his advanced age. Despite a rash of injuries, the team is poised for another great postseason run. The perennially bashed team ("What a lousy offseason!" and "Everyone else got better!" can be heard every summer) continues to silence its critics, as it does every year.
No Brian Gionta? No John Madden? No problem. And the same has been said about Scotts Gomez and Niedermayer and Brian Rafalski. Some of these guys would certainly help, but the Devils have defied the odds every year, and this one is no exception. Somehow, this team is tops in the league.
But tonight was about Brodeur, a record-setter once again. He got the most wins last year (not long after recording the most wins in a single season), and this year scooped up the most minutes and appearances. Tonight, he surpassed another hurdle, overtaking Terry Sawchuk as the goalie with the most shutouts.
He's had his critics over the years, but this is undeniable. Despite ever-changing defensive cores and coaches, one constant has been Marty Brodeur, always there to shut down the opposition. Perhaps the most amazing feat of all is that he's done this all with one team.
Martin Brodeur is the best goalie ever. Period. He has simply accomplished more than anyone else, and has won a few Stanley Cups along the way.
To Marty, I say congratulations. It's been quite a year, setting all these records, not to mention the birth of another son. May 2010 be even better, with another Cup in the waiting.
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