Saturday, January 21, 2017

Martin Brodeur Net Fusions Card

Hopefully, I'm not walking down a dangerous path by making an exception for Martin Brodeur - something I've accused the NHL of doing time and time again by awarding him four Vezina trophies when he deserved one at best - by featuring him on a card that is neither signed nor one including a swatch/patch of some kind.

Instead, the Glove-Side Net-Fusions card features a pretend glove netting filling the space between the goal posts:
That's card #12 from Pacific's 2000-01 Paramount set, showing him wearing the New Jersey Devils' red (then-away) uniform. I've seen it selling for $12-15 on Ebay, however, and it's tempting to not shit on it too much so I can pass it on to someone else.

Now you've heard me attack his Vezina Trophy record, but one thing that led to those awards as well as his three Stanley Cups was the Devils' defensive system devised by Jacques Lemaire, which was so effective that not only did it bring about the Dead Puck Era, but gave the team five Jennings trophies, which reward the goalie(s) from the team with the lowest goals-against average - which he's shared with the likes of teammate Mike Dunham but also Philadelphia Flyers goalies Roman Cechmanek and Robert Esche. Ties in this category are uncommon but do happen, as was the case with the Montréal Canadiens (Carey Price) and Chicago Blackhawks (Corey Crawford) sharing it in 2014-15.

Is Brodeur Hall Of Fame material? Of course he is.

Should he be considered on the same plane as Dominik Hasek and Patrick Roy in his era, and Terry Sawchuk, Jacques Plante, Georges Vezina, Ken Dryden or Tony Esposito in the broader spectrum of NHL history? Absolutely not. He did not dominate at any point, hidden between the defensive fortress of Scott Stevens and Ken Daneyko, although he was the best at moving the puck in his time, even forcing the NHL to change its rules bout goaltenders leaving the crease to play the puck. But as far as him being the stopping force that brought his team to the promised land, despite three Cups, he has no Conn Smythe to his name; also, the only time he faced Roy in a Final, he lost while watching Roy get the shut out, which should have been the ultimate mic drop.

And with Team Canada, he was sad to look at in the 2010 Olympics when Roberto Luongo was forced to take over.

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