It only took seven appearances, a 3-3 record with a shutout to boot for one of the greatest goalies of all time to call it a career.
Yes, Martin Brodeur is retiring. As a St. Louis Blue. As a goalie past his prime, but as one who showed that it didn’t matter how you stop the puck.
I’m going to point you to this post in December I wrote when Brodeur was set to make a comeback with the Blues. In it I share how much I hated him as a fan but how I didn’t appreciate him as a goaltender until well into my own playing days because I was trained with the same set of save selections as Brodeur by my French-Canadian goalie coach in high school.
It didn’t click, nor was it mentioned to me, that this was what I was learning. It was more about the hybrid style and that meant something a little different in the late ’90s/early 2000s but I definitely wasn’t looking like Patrick Roy.
For all the young tendies out there, if you want to feel like you’re playing a game and have athletic tendencies—never giving up on a play, always finding a way to make a save—watch plenty of YouTube highlights of Brodeur’s saves. It’s a hell of a lot more fun to be in net being a bit more inventive than trying to create the perfect butterfly sealed against the ice and repeated time and time again the same move.
Not every save is made the same way with Marty. And so if you show up to practice or pick-up and a player says “I hate shooting on you” that’s a hell of a compliment. Players can predict patterns and technical play, but they can’t predict a goalie’s instinct.