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Reviewing the Goals Allowed by Martin Brodeur: October 2010

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Last summer, I took on the large task of reviewing every single goal allowed by Martin Brodeur both in the 2009-10 regular season and playoffs.  I wanted to see what goals allowed were really his fault, and which ones were not. I wanted to see where he got beaten. I wanted to get an idea of how pucks were getting past Brodeur.   The summary of my findings can be found right here.  Ultimately, I came away with more knowledge about what to expect. That a goaltender can make mistakes, but they aren't as often as we may think it to be.

On that note, I wanted to see how it turned out with this past season - a very poor 2010-11 season for the New Jersey Devils.  They did not make the playoffs and they allowed 21 more goals in 10-11 than in 09-10.  What went wrong? Were these goals any different? Given that Martin Brodeur didn't play the majority of this past season, I started by looking at the 68 allowed by Johan HedbergIn that summary, I came to a similar conclusion - the vast majority of goals Moose allowed weren't his fault.  By including an additional count of skater errors, I actually found there were more goals allowed where someone in front of Hedberg messed up as opposed to goals allowed where Hedberg alone made a bad play.

This leaves me with the 127 allowed by Martin Brodeur.  The same questions abound for a goaltender who isn't getting any younger, suffered some injuries, and put up some pretty ugly numbers.  Hedberg actually was the statistically better goaltender on the Devils last season, but was Brodeur truly getting worse?   As done with Hedberg earlier this summer and Brodeur last summer, I am taking another look at each of the 127 goals allowed in 2010-11 to get a more detailed answer.

October 2010 - Martin Brodeur 12 670 3 7 1 31 2.78 325 294 .905 2

I'm starting with October, where Brodeur gave up the most goals out of any other month he played in last season. That's a lot of failure, but how much of it can really be put at Brodeur's skates alone? Let's find out after the jump.

About the Review

The main thing I'm looking for in this review are "soft goals," those goals against that should have been stopped by the goaltender.  Here's how I am defining a soft goal. The goalie must have seen the shot coming; the shot was not deflected or change otherwise in motion; the goalie was in position to actually make the stop; and the goaltender made an uncharacteristic mistake that led to the goal.  If all were true, then I deemed the goal as "soft." In fact, the very last bit alone can make the difference between a soft goal or not (e.g.  first goal against by Hedberg).

I also want to highlight the last column in the following list: Skater Error.  Did a Devils skater do something seriously wrong on the play that led to the goal? If so, their name (or names) end up on the chart. I could be picky and call them out for every goal, but I'm only highlighting who's actions or lack thereof contributed to the goal against.  There will be goals where multiple skaters screw up, so you may see more than one name.   I'm tracking this to see who was commonly at fault, assuming it means anything.  As with the goals against themselves, feel free to discuss this too.

Lastly, I have provided links to the video I looked at for each goal from  These links will auto-play the video, so be forewarned.   Now enjoy an incredibly long list because 31 goals allowed in a month is quite a lot.

The 31 Goals Allowed by Martin Brodeur in October 2010: A Chart

Date GA# Where Beaten? GA Description Soft Goal? Video Link Skater Error
10/8/2010 1 Low, past right pad Ribiero takes puck in transition, threads pass across slot to Morrow for one-timer. Brodeur slides in desparation, but the shot goes in far post No Link
10/8/2010 2 Low, over his glove Brodeur stops Neal shot, Eriksson is at the crease all alone with rebound and chips puck over Brodeur's outstretched glove. No Link Tallinder
10/8/2010 3 Low, past right pad Turnover by Greene leads to Neal, he throws it into the slot for Richards to one-time it past Brodeur's right pad. No Link Greene
10/8/2010 4 High, over glove Greene turnover creates 2-on-1 rush led by Eriksson. He takes it to left dot and fires it high shortside over Brodeur's glove. OTGA No Link Greene
10/9/2010 5 High, over glove Carlson fires a laser to the top left corner using Fraser as a screen from 50' away Yes Link
10/9/2010 6 High, over blocker Fleischmann alone to left of slot on cycle, one-times Semin's pass short-side No Link Urbom
10/9/2010 7 Low, past right pad Ovechkin powers into middle of ice, fires a shot that bounces past right pad (possibly hit Fraser first?) No Link
10/9/2010 8 Under right arm Chimera comes out of the box, gets a one-on-one with Brodeur, fires it under Brodeur's right arm from left dot. No Link Arnott
10/9/2010 9 Off glove and into the net White's pass gets picked off at point, and he hauls Ovechkin down on a breakaway for the penalty shot. Ovechkin fires it off glove hard and it goes in.  PSGA No Link White
10/11/2010 10 Off glove and into the net Goligoski takes puck to top of right circle and fires a slapshot. Brodeur reaches but only got a piece of it with the glove and it goes in. Yes Link Kovalchuk
10/11/2010 11 Low, through legs Letang fires a slapshot at the right post, Brodeur stops it, but the puck bounces to Letestu at crease for the put back No Link
10/15/2010 12 Low, through legs McLeod fires a shot that is tipped up by Brodeur's stick and goes through his legs.  PPGA Yes Link
10/15/2010 13 High, past glove Brodeur stops Stewart shot, Galiardi is first to the rebound, and he roofs it past Brodeur's glove to the top corne. No Link White
10/15/2010 14 Middle, past glove Stewart fires a slapshot above left circle and it beats Brodeur glove-side Yes Link
10/16/2010 15 Low, under right pad Brodeur stops Boychuk shot, rebound goes right to Caron, who sweeps it around Brodeur's right side. No Link Arnott
10/16/2010 16 High, past glove into corner Seguin feeds Ryder into the high slot, Ryder blazes a one-timer collects and fires past Langenbrunner as a screen and past Brodeur's glove, who was sliding in desperation
No Link Langenbrunner
10/16/2010 17 Under right arm, far post Thornton gets space in left circle, fires it through Zajac and Taormina to beat Brodeur far post No Link Zajac
10/16/2010 18 Medium, on right flank Lucic alone in front of the net and beats Brodeur on his flank with a one-timer No Link Urbom
10/23/2010 19 Low, on left flank Roy finds Vanek wide open at the crease on Brodeur's left flank, Vanek taps it in  PPGA No Link Zajac
10/23/2010 20 High, over body Vanek takes a turnover, drives to the net, gets stopped once, but puts rebound over diving Brodeur No Link Corrente
10/24/2010 21 Low, through legs Long rebound bounces to Rozsival, who fires a slapshot that hits Greene to change direction and beat Brodeur 5-hole No Link
10/24/2010 22 Low, through legs Dubinsky fires a shot below right dot, Callahan re-directs it right in front of Brodeur PPGA No Link
10/27/2010 23 Past glove, near post Taormina mishandles puck, Sharks take over, and Thornton fires a shot that hits Taormina's stick and goes in No Link Taormina
10/27/2010 24 Low, under left pad Thornton wins puck on back boards, feeds an in-motion Marleau who wraps around and tucks the puck under Brodeur's left pad Yes Link Magnan
10/27/2010 25 Low, past his left side Brodeur stops a slapshot, falls down and gets tangled up with Thornton. Marleau puts rebound towards net for Thornton to tap in No Link
10/27/2010 26 Behind net when the puck bounced in front Clearing attempt by Brodeur is blocked by Heatley, who dumps it in. Brodeur goes behind net but puck bounces out front off the corner - making it easy for Thornton Yes Link
10/27/2010 27 High, on right flank Thornton threads a pass to an in-motion Heatley; who one-times it in on Brodeur's right flank No Link
10/29/2010 28 Low, past right side An open Blake gets pass dow low to Brodeur's right, Blake curls around, gets stopped once but puts rebound far post No Link Magnan
10/30/2010 29 Low, past right pad Williams pulls and drags the puck past Eckford, fires a shot through traffic that gets in No Link Eckford
10/30/2010 30 Under left arm Brodeur stops Stoll's slapshot , Handzus wins puck right in front and bats the rebound in  PPGA No Link
10/30/2010 31 Low, past right pad Scuderi shot goes off boards, Greene tangles up with Brodeur, Stoll backhands shot past sliding Brodeur No Link Greene


I'll admit, I've delayed in starting this review earlier because sitting down and just watching 31 goals against is pretty difficult to voluntarily do.  Spending part of an evening reviewing goals and trying not to scream at the computer because a Devil made a mistake wasn't easy.   However, you really should not and probably do not care about that; so let's talk about these goals allowed (GAs).

Out of the 29 goals Brodeur allowed, I counted 6 actual soft goals.  That's just under 20% of all goals this month, 19.35% to be more precise. Believe it or not, it's actually a better soft goals percentage than in October 2009.  I find that to be interesting, but I'll make more of a point of it at the end of this series of posts.  Nevertheless, let's quickly go over those 6 goals I thought were soft.  

The first one I labeled as soft was GA #5.  While I did note in the description that Mark Fraser was being used as a screen by John Carlson's shot, it was still a very long shot and Fraser was high enough that I think Brodeur still should saw it and got his glove on Carlson's excellent shot.   GA #10 featured an error by Ilya Kovalchuk, his only one in this month, but Brodeur really should have stopped Alex Goligoski's shot as he did get a piece of it.   The first and third goals allowed on October 15 against Colorado were both stoppable; GA #12 was just Brodeur caught in a bad position and GA #14 was just a whiff.  The last two in October came against that nightmare game against San Jose on October 27. Brodeur was caught unaware on the wraparound that led to GA #24 and GA #26 was created by a failed clearing attempt and ended with Brodeur behind the net as the puck took an odd bounce off the boards.  The latter was a Hedberg-esque failure combined with a bad break.  I'll admit I was on the fence for determining GA #5 and #26 as being soft, but I decided to err on the side of faulting the goaltender. Of course, feel free to argue otherwise in the comments.

Still, the majority of these goals against were not his fault.  You'll notice that many of these GAs have skating errors associated with them.  12 did not, including 5 out of the 6 soft goals allowed this month, but that's still a majority of problems.  They range from turnovers (e.g. GA #3, 4, 20) to failing to get to a short rebound (e.g. GAs #13, 15) to failing to make a defensive move (e.g. GA #16) to a simple "oops" with respect to just handling the puck (e.g. GAs #23, 29). There was even a penalty shot created by Colin White en route to GA #9, not that I would immediately label giving up a breakaway goal to Alexander Ovechkin as soft.  This month sure had it all when it came to mistakes!  I don't think I would be spoiling much by suggesting it doesn't get too much better under the rest of the John MacLean era.  

I will point out that a majority of the skater errors in October came from defensemen, 17 out of 23 skaters named to be exact.  This shouldn't be news to anyone who recalls the horrid month of October for the New Jersey Devils.  Rookie call-ups played like players who didn't belong in the NHL because they didn't at the time.  Veterans were either getting acclimated to a new partner out of need or coaching decision, and so communication broke down and players were out of position.  I'm not bringing these up as excuses, but as some reason as to why there were so many screw-ups.  Unfortunately, I can't claim it got better over the next two months.

Nevertheless, Brodeur's poor statline had a lot of contribution from being hung out to dry and not getting competent defensive support regularly. Throw in the fact that the offense struggled mightily to score, and it's a recipe for losses.

Location of Goals Allowed

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.

Location Count % Total
Low Left 4 12.90%
Low Middle 4 12.90%
Low Right 7 22.58%
Medium Left 4 12.90%
Medium Middle 1 3.23%
Medium Right 4 12.90%
High Left 5 16.13%
High Middle 0 0.00%
High Right 2 6.45%


Plenty of opposing players found success to go low against Martin Brodeur in October.  Some of these 15 low goals came off rebounds, others came from other plays where they just found Brodeur sliding and were able to exploit that, particularly to Brodeur's right side. That will happen when forced to do something out of desperation.   Opposing players were able to beat him with elevation, going high glove-side on Brodeur was shown to be successful; while many of those "medium" height shots came on one-timers.  Incidentally, Brodeur didn't develop a hole in his body for one goal against this month; the "medium middle" goal was GA #26, where Joe Thornton put the puck just about right into the empty net Brodeur was behind. 

Your Take

I know it's a lot to take in, after all it is 31 goals allowed in one month.  Feel free to peruse the list of goals allowed, review some video, and come up with a confirming or dissenting view on any of them in the comments.  What do you make of the findings for this month? Were you surprised that I called out only 6 out of 31 goals allowed as being soft? Did you expect more or less skater errors?  We know Brodeur's stats will get worse in November and December, but do you think he would also give up more soft goals in those months?  The last question will be answered soon enough; but please give me your answers and your general take on how Brodeur did in October 2010 in the comments. Thanks for reading.