Tuesday, September 13, 2005


Michelin Men

One anonymous commenter took me to task for my comments on Martin Brodeur and his Symphony of Destruction.

Me: "Martin Brodeur won't have his big padding to help him stop pucks"

Anonymous Poster: I like reading your blog and all.. but that was pretty dumb. He has consistently had some of smallest (if not the smallest) goalie gear in the league. His pads last year were BELOW the upper limit for this year. I would be more worried for your hero Luongo.

Well, I never claimed to be a Rocket Surgeon, but I do trust my own eyes. I do not know the exact measurements of his pads (nor do any of us), but I see a goalie with a puffed up chest and a big enough sweater to house a family of four.

Let's examine some photographic evidence

He's as big as a house!

Martin Brodeur is the suck

OK, I'll acknowledge that his glove/trapper looks pretty small (and it doesn't have a cheater), but his chest and sweater look way too big to me. How many pucks have been lost in that mass of clothing and upper-body padding? If I were to make a small wager, I'd bet that Brodeur has one of the three biggest sweater-to-body mass ratios in the NHL.

Let's contrast that to a goalie I've known for years, Roman Cechmanek, to have very thin padding and a more tight-fitting shirt.


Cechmanek is a big (6'3") goalie and he's not a very slim man, but his pads and the way he wears his equipment has always made it look like he has more holes than the average NHL goalie. When you go to the net against a Brodeur, you can't see anything except the extreme corners and a small five-hole. With Cechmanek, you can often see a few holes here and there.

Of course, the master of big padding is generally known to be Mr. J-S Giguere.

Now, Mr. Giguere does have goaltending guru Francois Allaire around to help him with his game. At the same time, Giguere hasn't been so great since his white-hot playoff run a few years back and the reduced equipment may hurt him the most.

As for Mr. Luongo...

He's always had exceptional reflexes and ability and I doubt he'll be hurt very much by equipment restrictions. I'd be more worried about the Panthers defence continuing to give up 40+ shots a night.

Wow, a topic just for me.. i feel special

Yeah, I would be the anonymous guy who wrote the exchange above. I have to agree, his shirt is a little bulky. However, I would have to call it average, whereas the rest of his gear is smaller than average.

Like my last post, I tried to find some articles to back my position of brodeur having some of the smallest gear in the league, and like last time, I had a hard time finding it.

I did find this though... but it's literally from the horse's mouth, so it's certainly up for debate.

Brodeur blasts brethren over pad issue

Canadian Press


MONTREAL (CP) - Martin Brodeur of the Stanley Cup champion New Jersey Devils has taken his fellow goaltenders to task for complaints about new restrictions on the size of their equipment.

Brodeur, in his new weekly column in Le Journal de Montreal on Tuesday, said complaints mainly made by goaltenders from Quebec that the new rules left them vulnerable to injuries were unfounded.

"The limit for the height of goaltender's pads is 38 inches (96 cm), so?" said Brodeur, a three-time Cup winner. "Mine have always been 34 inches (86 cm) and that's enough.

"I've always preferred less bulky equipment so I could move around easier. Certain goaltenders have really gone too far in the last few years and I can understand why the league wants to stop it."

New York Islanders goalie Garth Snow was thought to have had the tallest pads last season and the chief reason why the league took action.

"Garth Snow keeps adding pieces to his pads," said Brodeur. "And his shoulder pads are so big he looks like Goldorak, the robot I watched killing the bad guys on TV when I was a kid."

Some goalies complained that a ban on extra pieces of padding on the knees would lead to injuries, but Brodeur said he suspects they are more concerned with leaving openings for pucks to trickle between their pads.

"I have to point out that I don't use the butterfly style, unlike most Quebec goaltenders," Brodeur said. "With plastic foils attached to their pads, butterfly goalies could completely close the space between their legs.

"I can understand why forwards complained they can't score when they shoot for the five-hole. Jean-Sebastien Giguere was the target of such complaints last year."

Brodeur allowed that while he didn't buy the goaltenders' complaints, it was important that goalies be well protected, especially with modern-day players shooting the puck harder with lightweight composite sticks.

"A few years ago, Mats Sundin would never take a slapshot until he got to the top of the faceoff circle," Brodeur said of the Toronto Maple Leafs captain. "Now, with the new composite sticks, he can fire a bullet from the blue-line - and beat me from time to time."

Thanks for addressing the topic though.. I still don't understand all the hate for the devils (detroit,dallas,anaheim fan???) but at least you can back your arguments up.

Keep up the good work.

Tony, The anonymous Devils Fan
"Let's contrast that to a goalie I've known for years, Roman Cechmanek...."

Ahhhh.. Flyers fan.. now I understand the hate.

Trust me. Team-wise, the feeling is mutual. :)

Oh, I wouldn't cheer for the Wings or Stars if my life depended on it/...and the Ducks? ewww :)

My Brodeur dislike comes more from the Derek Jeter-like worship he gets from the media and some fans...he's not a bad goalie, but I don't think he's even close to being one of the all-time best despite his WINS and Stanley Cups (superficial numbers). Comparing him to other goalies using more in-depth analysis shows that he's not on the same level as guys like Hasek and he's never really been the top guy in the league at any one point.

I thought I recalled Brodeur complaining about the proposed, changes, but I couldn't really find anything.

In fact, I see Johan Hedberg backs up your argument.

Home > Sports > Notebooks

Inside the NHL: Penguins' goalies reject bigger nets

Sunday, June 15, 2003

By Dejan Kovacevic, Post-Gazette Sports Writer

On the eve of the Stanley Cup final, Gary Bettman threw a roomful of reporters for a loop when he blurted out the possibility the league could increase the size of its nets to boost scoring. Many felt the comment was made in jest, but others took it dead seriously.

Count Johan Hedberg and Sebastien Caron, the Penguins' goaltenders, among those who would not laugh at such a concept.

"Catastrophic," Hedberg said of the potential impact.

"Oh, it would be so bad," Caron said. "Oh, man . . . "

Hockey nets' official size has been 6 feet by 4 feet since the Amateur Hockey Association of Canada made it the fourth of the 16 original rules of the sport at the group's founding meeting Dec. 8, 1886. There never has been a significant variation in any league or at any level. Even the smallest of children shoot into the same net.

But change in this cardinal rule no longer is unimaginable. Nothing is, given the NHL's sorry state. Attendance is down, television ratings are plummeting, and fans across the continent -- even in Canada, hockey's homeland -- are calling the game boring.

Which likely explains why Bettman felt compelled to, at the least, broach the topic three weeks ago: "It probably will get discussed. Discussed, not necessarily implemented, not necessarily pursued at 100 miles per hour."

Another, more popular idea has been to shrink goaltending pads back to where they were in the 1980s, when two additional goals were being scored in an average game. As was evident in the recent final with the outrageously bloated -- albeit legal -- padding worn by Jean-Sebastien Giguere, the NHL has allowed goaltenders too much leeway in using their equipment not for protection but for prevention of goals.

Neither Hedberg nor Caron hesitated when asked if they would rather don smaller equipment or defend bigger nets.

"Definitely the pads," Hedberg said. "I've got 11-inch pads, and that's already an inch smaller than what they allow. To me, it doesn't matter: 12 inches, 11, 9, whatever. I know there are guys who build a style based on their equipment, but just look at Martin Brodeur: He's got the smallest pads in the league, and he's the best goaltender in the league. He plays with his ability to stop the puck."

I've honestly only ever noticed the bulky shirt and chest protector and not so much the leg pad length. Just going by my naked eye, Brodeur looks pretty puffed.

but I'm certainly willing to concede that his other padding is smaller in comparison to the other goalies. Looks like I was kind of wrong about the guy.

If I knew everything, life would be boring ;)
PS: I hate the Flyers a LOT...especially now...always have..I tolerated them b/c they had Cechmanek (a personal fave) and Handzus...but nope...they are back on the hit list

Teams Golbez does not like
1. Stars
2. Wings
3. Crapalanche
4. Ranger$
5. Devilzzz
6. Flyers
7. Make BeLeafs
8. Sweden :)
Much like you never noticed the pads, I never noticed the chest protector, and i've been a big time devils fan for over a decade.

I have to agree with you, Brodeur has at times (more often recently.. since the gold medal) been overblown by the media.

It pains me to say it, because he's the only person I've ever considered a "sports hero" of mine. The fact remains that I sweat bullets the moment NJ goes into overtime in the playoffs because Brodeur does not elevate his game. Brodeur is the best consistant goalie in the league, yet he does not excel in pressure situations the way goalies like Belfour and Hasek do in the playoffs.

As for the teams, I am in complete agreement with you on those teams (except the devils naturally) with Philly, Toronto and New York at the top of my hitlist.

"If I knew everything, life would be boring ;)"

Amen to that.
Turek set the mold as king Stay Puft goalie, all others are just pretenders.
a) goalie equipment is always abused-- Brent Johnson learned from Grant Fuhr to leave his back strap dangling because he claimed Grant told him "you never know, that little dangling strap might stop a goal one day" size does not equal abuse per se

b) then do the stats on Martin. I'd certainly put his stats up with the best goalies of ALL time. and even taking out his wins AND stanley cup appearances (which is a brand of idoicy, these fake new age stats dont even show up on jacque plante's hockey cards!!!), and checking him against a blogger supplied list of names, not only was he flat out the best, he was OVER TWO FREAKING STANDARD DEVIATIONS better than the save/gaa standards set by those you and others claim were his equals and betters.

c) and all this means, figures don't lie but liars figure. No way you can promote any statisitical unbiased and unchallangable data that will give any indication that Martin has not been the best goalie in the nhl over the last decade. nor can the other side be proved in the math pudding.

and dude, if you are the nhl's best goalie over a decade span (like martin baaaaby) you are

a) in the hall

b) getting lots of press

c) well liked by fans

d) your better than hasek :) (and luongo, and danny canuck, and t-bo, and eddie the eagle beater, and...)
It seems someone hasn't checked into Shilling's Goaltender Ratings


Brodeur never pops up ONCE as a leader in ANY season.

Adjusted Save %

Brodeur comes up way down in 30th and 39th.

As for the older players, it would be nice for the goalies to have the same stats they keep now. We can certainly do more things if we could compare Durnan and Broda to today's contemporaries.

PS: Hasek is the best...ever, at least among MODERN goalies. No goalie has ever dominated like he has, and he played behind a shitty team.
lol, wins and GAA are the goalie stats, it's save percentage that is a gamble and also team dependent.

Trust me I've freaking seen it!

and this www.com stat is crap, he is combining "average" save percentage over different era's into hockey without self correcting the individual eras into a base line! dood, you'd fail the basic college level stat classes playing something so loose..

and here is something even more interesting,why is hsvpa/lasp ? oooh my he is rewarding the wide open save percentagers over the tighter ones! (but probably is using it as a supposed correction) you have to compare the difference in average (svp-lasv) as a starting component, not mutate and lessen the distintionsin a tight spread when compared to a larger spread (in math we call corecting for various spreads over time as ,ummm, comparing deviations! )dunham probably pops up somewhere above 41st lol.. (and hasek probably drops like a stone)

neither lasp/ hsvpa nor svp * some ratio is a freaking baseline!!!!!! or self correcting!!!

then he is hashing a 3 decimal number ! which i suspect isnt relevant to three decimal places.

howly cow!! .also he is providing the individual year numbers instead of a historical player trend. Cujo's 1993 was a top 15 ALL time goaltending masterpiece?!?!? (well all ag time(after gretzky) pah lease. cujo is good, he aint elite, never was. the blues d sucked though, goalie save% wins!!! cujo's in the money... do do do do do lol

but i do have to agree, froese was the best netminder ever lol

what does he mean is sounds like garbage. how does the higher number make this unworkable?seems to make sense to me.

historical average .850 to make it easy for me

ok league average .850 oooh average year, goalie 10% better .935. impressive. good. won an award to be sure. corrects to .935

game tightens up, league yearly average now .90, goalie is just as impressive as other guy. hmm what does he need to save? .990 ;)corrects to .935 lol ninty FREAKING nine

oh and lord help the goalie playing when average is .92, he can't win at 100% save rate!! 100 will rank him with a .924 which is probably martin broduer range on this list :0)


a) gaa and save percentage are linked in a dubious way, much like inflation and unemployment, seldom is ANY tender consistantly through his career ranked amoungst his peers high in both.

b) a team giving up massive shots gives goaltenders impressive looking save percentages. conversley. NO "defense" first team produces strong save% for goaltending. how is chosing that stat unbiased? HOLY COW IT IS BIASED AGAINST MARTIN'S team.and he is hurt by it.who would have thunk it?!? check it!! double dog dare you. list 20 historically shut down defenses (without looking at ANY stat, useyour brain not a book!) and list20 historically wide open style teams, compare g.a.a. and save% of two groups...

c) you can't rate differing yearly average merely by figuring out a ratio ! due to the VERY NATURE OF NUMBERS IN RELATIONSHIP TO THEIR OWN AVERAGE, you can only start to do work with comparing variations over different ranges by comparing relative differences(ie deviations and the like!)

and is this what you are really wanting to stake the whole of the goalie issue on? the quality and quantity of shots the defense allows in front of him. holy cow!

let me remind you of my process.

a)took combined g.a.a. and save percentage ranking per year of martin and blogger supplied names.(which at least helps even out the yearly average variations issues) and while not a high level correcting process reducing it to a rank removes a lot of invalid range problems, and really, logically speaking isnt the third best goalie the third best goalie because he is third? lol

b)created a freaking average using only one era of play (an era supplied by jes by the by, i didnt pick the range his blog did)

c)calculated the standard deviation for all processed players. a freaking step one in making any significant comparisions in a processed math enviroment! i.e. just how third best is he?answer a nice corrected number. woot!

d) presented the results

i'm not entirely sure how doing more math on more stats has produced a result you like less than one that hurts martin :)

i'll tell you what, seriously, get out your brain, and stat something you think will mathamatically show goaltending par excellance, list me 15 contempary goalies. i'll provide the proccessed results.you live with them, deal?

no hunting for massaged stats, no hunting for 30 paragraphs of commentary you agree with and a set of numbers you like (cos even if i run the same basic process i'll at least freaking correct for TOTAL NUMBER OF SHOTS A TEAM GIVES UP, and hit the stnd dev button of the calculator!!). you logic a design. predict the results, and sit back and observe

THAT at least is really a scientific method..

oh and have i mentioned? stats lie? give me time and check my work with the same analyisis you used on that site, and i will certainly prove 1=2 (which is actually quite easy to do if no one checks real closely)

what is the greatest goalie stat? i've already said, i know the greatest goalie when i watch him 100 games. I don't need, rely or believe anything above that experience, i may add or modify my expeince with numbers and the opinions of others, i don't, ever, supplant experience with proceesed cheese though .

you disagreed.

design me your OWN thoughts on goaltending, lets see what we see.
You're talking about stats as you'd know anything about them, but your remarks about league average would made any stat-manipulating person laugh...
"a goalie 15% better than league average" doesn't mean you have to put up the save percentage by the same way. You can't correct a percentage that way. A more correct way to do it would to correct the "unsave percentage" by 15%. (this stat is better thought when the percentage comes close to 1)

10% better than .85 would be .865, certainly not .935
10% better than .90 would be .91

The fact that you comes to figures above 100% say nothing about save percentage... It only means you handle the stats completely wrong.

Do an asymptote with your way f calculating and you'll see how absurd it is.

With no defense at all a goalie would have a poor save percentage, not a great one. No goalie can maintain .92 on breakaways (only Hasek in Nagano ;-) )

Now, the opposite... The team with the most defensive system in the world is Lada Togliatti, and their goalies have great save percentages !

They changed their goalies every year sinc 5 years and no one of them was able to keep the same save percentage elsewhere... But GAA was certainly worse ! A 1.5 GAA with Lada Togliatti means nothing, it's banal when a team allows less than 20 shots a game
wow alot of brodeur haters out there.everybody says its the team that is why brodeur is great.if anybody watched hockey before 94 the devils were the same team in 92-93 as in 93-94 when brodeur sarted full time with the devils and they were bad.brodeur came along with the same team and they go to the confrence finals and win the cup the next year.hum.and anybodt who is a goalie would know this.people brodeur isnt good because he only faces 20 shots a game unlike hasek who used to see 35-40 shots a game.look at this.as a goalie i would face 25 shots and out of the 25 i would only see about 10 good scoring chances against me.its not quanity but quality.if the puck is shot on goal for a dump in its a shot.now im not taking anything away from hasek.but its like saying barry sanders was better then emitt smith because emitt had a great line in front.what it all comes down to is whos puttin up the numbers.oh and canada did nothing with roy in net.they did with brodeur!!!now i know people will say well its the "D".well when brodeur plays great its the d.when the devils lost 2-1 its because brodeur is over rated.come on guys give him his due.hes led the league in wins 5 years out of 10, shutouts 3 times, gaa 2 times and games played 2.so to say hes overrated is crazy.for all of the brodeur haters out there i bet if he were on the free aganet list u wish your team could get him.he faces 16 shots 13 are hard saves.try to watch the game not just read what people write about him.roy was the best for his time and brodeur is best of his.hey billy smith was great in his time.and his gaa and sv% and wins isnt up there near roy or brodeur.the devils are built around brodeur and they dont win when some other goalie is in net.and marty doesnt sit out the big games so dont even say because clemmenson had a shutout against the pens its the d.because come guys it was the penguins.a garbage can would have a shutout against them.before crosbys new penguins that is.and i bet philly fans think ronny"5hole" hex was the greatest ever.
Alot of people doing the stats analyst don't realize what makes Brodeur great because they don't really watch him play that much.

His greatness isn't his speed or agility. Its the fact that he reads plays happening before they happen. He is a very good positional goalie.

What makes him great is those little stick poke checks that he does that stop opponents from shooting before they get off that shot. Those aren't reflected in the save% so anyone who just look at the stats will say, hey he's not that great. But on a given night, he makes an average of 25-30 saves and an extra 5-10 poke checks that is not in his stats.
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