Last week, I began the start of a series of posts reviewing and analyzing the goals allowed by New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur from the 2009-10 season. There are links to each video from NHL.com of every goal allowed in October 2009 along with commentary about the goals themselves in this post. If you're interested in the playoffs, I've reviewed all 15 of those allowed from the 5 games series back in April in this post.
Today, I'm covering all of the goals allowed in November 2009. Based on his monthly stats at NHL.com, this was Brodeur's best statistically. Sure, he was excellent in April but he only played 6 games as opposed to 10 games in November. Yet, despite the impressive numbers, Brodeur did not put up a shutout as he done multiple times in December, January, and April.
|Nov. 2009 - Martin Brodeur
Certainly, these are numbers no one can deny as anything less than spectacular. Still, it doesn't mean that Brodeur was perfect. Let's take a closer look at these 18 goals allowed. How many were soft? Where was Brodeur often beat on those goals? Were there any common issues that led to these goals against? Please set your viewing to "Wide" and see the big chart of results after the jump.
Also, here's how I'm defining a "soft" goal: I watch how the shot came through Brodeur and determine whether Brodeur really should have stopped the puck. This means he must have seen the shot coming, the shot was not deflected or change otherwise in motion, he was in position to actually make the stop, and whether Brodeur made an uncharacteristic mistake that led to the goal (meaning: it wasn't a difficult shot to stop). If all were true, then I deemed the goal as "soft." Again, I've included links to all the goals against so you can make your own judgment.
Without further ado, here's the chart for all goals allowed by Martin Brodeur in November 2009.
The Chart for November 2009
|Low, middle, through legs
|Turnover at blueline leads to 2-on-1, Sloan gets pass below right circle; Brodeur faces him standing up, but Sloan sneaks shot low through 5-hole
|High, above glove hand, through screen
|Caps win faceoff; puck kicks out to Fleischmann on point. He fires it hard and high to Brodeur's left. Brodeur screened by Knuble; shot hits top left corner
|High, above left shoulder, through screen/deflection
|After a flurry of saves, Michalek takes shot just outside slot in left circle, possibly deflected by a Devil, and beats Brodeur high to his left
|Low, off glove and trickles in
|Lee takes shot from right boards above circle, Brodeur is in place to grab puck. Only it's mishandled, trickles down and into the net.
|Low, to Brodeur's left, off rebound
|Brodeur stops Ryan's wraparound, Getzlaf jams it, puck goes across to open Perry at crease.Perry's behind Brodeur (left of his position), easy goal for him.
|Low, through Brodeur's left pad, off rebound
|Brodeur dives to stop Crosby's backhand, the rebound is shallow, and Fedotenko literally is at crease jamming at leg. He eventually knocks the puck over line
|Past Brodeur's right through screen; "middle" height
|Fleischmann fires a one-timer from left circle through screen and rockets it past Brodeur's blocker - PPGA
|Low, past Brodeur's right pad
|Perreault with a one timer in the slot, beats sliding Brodeur low and to his right
|Low, right, below diving Brodeur
|Powe takes a point-blank one timer right in front of crease past diving Brodeur.
|Low, right, deflected off Mottau on flank
|Hartnell takes pass from Richards on cycle, to Brodeur's left near crease. He fires it across and the puck bounces off Mottau (on Brodeur's flank) and in. PPGA
|Low, past left pad
|Turnover by Flyers was about to be taken by Salvador, but Brodeur poke checks it up into slot. Van Reimsdyk is there to put the puck past Brodeur. A Marty turnover
|Low, through legs, off rebound
|Brodeur stops Dumont's shot, rebound goes to just outside left circle. Arnott whacks at it and it slides through Brodeur's legs. Should have had it.
|Low, off right post and in, re-directed shot
|Arnott re-directs Dumont's shot in the slot and it goes past Brodeur's right pad, off the post and in.
|Low, past left pad and slides in, on ice, off rebound
|Brodeur slides to make a big stop with pads, Wandell whacks at puck at side of net to get it past (over?) left pad and into net
|Low, through screen, possibly through legs
|Robidas takes hard, low one-timer above left circle and it beats Brodeur, possibly through legs. There was a screen moving in front during shot.
|Low, through legs, off deflection
|Winchester fires a low shot from the point, Michalek right in front of Brodeur deflects the shot to re-direct it through Brodeur's 5-hole
|High, over Brodeur's right shoulder
|Wheeler all-alone at crease to Brodeur's right. Pass comes to him, Brodeur is sliding across, but Wheeler's shot was too hard and high to stop in time.
|High, over Brodeur's right shoulder, top right corner
|Park just unloads a perfectly placed slapshot over Brodeur's right shoulder, and picked the top right corner.
Let's start with the soft goals first. Brodeur didn't just cut down the amount of goals allowed from October to November by a third (27 to 18), but he cut down the number of soft goals allowed from 8 to 4. The first one reviewed, goal #28, I'm only uneasy of calling it soft because the whole play was a result of an awful turnover at the Devils blueline that left Brodeur caught in an impromptu two-on-one. A two-on-one that wasn't well defended at all by White, who was just as surprised at what happened. Still, I felt Brodeur should have went into a butterfly or at least not be caught standing with his five-hole open.
The other soft goals were far more clear-cut. Goal #31 was just a mishandling by Brodeur; Brodeur intercepted a loose puck and knocked it right to James van Reimsdyk on goal #38; and Brodeur had more than enough time on the rebound to get his legs closed but didn't en route to goal #39.
Either way, Brodeur cut down the number of soft goals in this month and that's good even if you do or don't count goal #28 as soft. Since his overall number of goals allowed also fell, the percentage of soft goals for November was 22.22%. Across both October and November, Brodeur's soft goals percentage was 26.67%. This still means the majority of the goals allowed weren't bad goals by Brodeur.
In fact, this month saw the prevalence of screens rising. On four of Brodeur's goals allowed, there was some sort of screen that caused Brodeur to not see or get in the right position for the shot. Goal #29 and #34 were more traditional, guy is standing right in front of Brodeur. Goal #30 was an example of multiple screens, where upon his own teammate may have inadvertently beaten something he couldn't see. Goal #42 was a good example of a moving screen - a player skating into Brodeur's view either right before or during the shot. With goals #29 and #34 brought up here, I can see why a common demand for a defenseman is to "clear the crease." However, such an idea wasn't possible on the latter two brought up.
I've also noticed (my own confirmation bias?) that this month saw more defensive errors leading to goals rather than just well-placed shots. I can name 4 of my own. The root cause of goal #28 was a gaffe in New Jersey's own zone. No one picked up Perry at the crease on goal #32. Who was trying to stop Wandell on goal #41 when he was whacking at the puck? Given that goal #44 was at even strength, there was absolutely no reason for Blake Wheeler to be that wide open to score the goal he did. If there was better coverage or better reactions by the skaters in front of Brodeur, then maybe these four goals against don't happen. In fact, if there was even some better luck, then perhaps the Devils don't deflect pucks into their own net like what possibly happened on goal #30 and Mike Mottau on goal #37 (and before you scream at Mottau, that was also unintentional).
I'm not saying there were no just well-placed shots (e.g. Park's was brilliant in goal #45) or other kinds of goals allowed; but this month just stuck out to me with the variety of goals allowed despite of how many fewer goals there were.
Location of Goals Against
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.
Last month, Brodeur gave up close to as many goals low (10) as he did high (11). Not in November, they tended to get past Brodeur low: 13 on the ice or just a few inches above it as opposed to 4 that went high on Brodeur. Given how the goals were scored, this shouldn't be so surprising. A shot that gets through Brodeur's legs will be low. A few one-timers that beat a sliding Brodeur were just beyond his pads. One of the two deflections (goal #43) and the one goal allowed off a re-direction (goal #40) came in low. All four soft goals beat Brodeur low. These goals add up and result in this disparity.
Interestingly, when it comes to horizontal direction, the goals against remain even: 7 to Brodeur's left, 7 to Brodeur's right, and 4 through the middle. Similar results were found last month, so these two months have yet to reveal a specific direction or spot where Brodeur was often beat other than that they would be low shots.
This was a short month for review, given how well Brodeur played throughout the month. While the next two months will see six less games due to shutouts, Brodeur did allow more than 30 goals in each so expect some pretty long posts in the next two weeks. But worry about that until then, now is the time to discuss November 2009 for Brodeur.
What surprised you about these findings? What didn't surprise you? Is there anything you noticed from my findings that I didn't go over? Is there something I need to explain? Please leave me your thoughts in the comments, and as always, thank you for reading.