Is there anyone better? The answer is no. Marty Brodeur recorded the 104th shutout of his career last night en route to another Devils’ whitewashing of the Pittsburgh Penguins in Mellon Arena last night.
Every notable goaltending record is now in Brodeur’s possession. Career wins? Check (580). Games? Check (1032). Minutes? Check (60961). Now the shutout record. Unfathomable numbers. Brodeur has certainly been aided by a Devils franchise that preaches defense first and the doubters will point to Scott Clemmensen’s stellar run with New Jersey last season as Marty being a product of the “system.” But that is not the reason Brodeur stands unmatched this morning.
“This record was held for so long by Terry Sawchuk and when you do break records and you see how long they’ve lasted, it’s pretty cool,” Brodeur told Tom Gulitti of The Record.
Quite simply, he is the perfect fit for the Devils. The Devils would not have won one Stanley Cup, let alone three, with Clemmensen. The best goalie in history just happens to play in one of the best run organizations in the league. Hey, sometimes things just work out.
Lost in the aftermath of the shutout was the continued dominance of New Jersey over Pittsburgh. After two convincing 4-1 victories earlier this season against a depleted Penguins team, Pittsburgh had an excuse for their poor showings. Not last night though.
“This was a big game for us so far,” captain Jamie Langenbrunner told Gulitti. “You look at the standings and it was in their building and a team that’s obviously playing pretty well, the defending champs. It was a measuring-stick game for us. They had pretty much their full lineup playing if not the full lineup. We’d seen them a couple of times already this year, but they were missing a couple of guys, so it was good to beat them in their rink under full strength.”
Another thorough domination from start to finish of the Stanley Cup Champions should not be taken lightly. Many of the Devils’ critics this season have said that this team could not match up with the Capitals and the Penguins in a seven-game series. What more evidence do you need? The Devils’ record is 3-0 against both teams and for a team that never seems to slump, there is no reason to believe that this is one of the best teams in the NHL. They just manufacture one win after the other. Remarkable.
They now head into the Christmas break with the most points in the NHL, 53. They’ll resume play with another showdown against the Capitals on Saturday night. Take a load off, Jacques. You and your boys deserve it.