martinbrodeur30.com asked Chico Resch, New Jersey Devils ex-goaltender and currently one of the Devils TV broadcasters, questions about Martin.
Q: Of your first contact with Martin, what were your impressions
The first time I heard the name of Martin Brodeur was from a hockey friend in New Jersey. He said,"have you seen Denny Brodeur's kid play yet? He's pretty good!" I hadn't seen Martin play but quickly made a point of doing that. I was a scout for the Ottawa Senators at that time, so it was easy to find an opportunity to see, "Denny's kid" Remember at that time Denis Brodeur was the famed photographer of the Montreal Canadians who had made his mark in the NHL, while son Marty was an up and coming, young goalie. My first impression was "this young Brodeur certainly has a presence!" His ability to maneuver on his skates while making saves and chasing down loose pucks was impressive. His concentration, competitiveness and over-all goalie sense was apparent; but what stood out to me was that in the field of butterfly goalies here was a goalie that was "flying" IN A DIFFERENT DIRECTION. His style and approach on how to play goal in the NHL was somewhat opposite to what was being taught to young goalies at that time. His style was both refreshing and intriguing. Many of us retired goalie whose style was somewhat similiar to Marty wondered if his style could be successful in the NHL today? I think Marty's career has answered that question with an emphatic YES. My other observation about Marty's start of his career in New Jersey was the hope that the Devils fans had. They were watching a Quebecois goalie of their own. At that time the league had a slew of great Quebec goalies; Roy, Giguère, Luongo, Thibeault, Theodore. Devils fan knew their Brodeur would rank up there with them.
Q: What is Martin style of goalie and analyse it.
Marty is the most unique goalie to don goalie pads since Jacques Plante. His style is so diverse and multi dimensional that its impossible to describe in a word or two. Most goalies today can be described as "butterfly" The best quick description you hear about Martin's style is he is a hybrid- part butterfly part stand-up. That description touches on Marty's style but is too simplistic. Marty is a goalie who does everything. He uses his big frame body and his extraordinary skating ability to position himself to get hit by the puck. Because of this agility and his goalie sense he continually uses the proper skills to thwart his opponent. It could be a stick save, a poke check, a half-butterfly, a full butterfly, a kick save, a two pad slide save, a paddle on the ice save, or his biggest weapon a wicked glove save. As Marion Hossa said to me, "what makes Brodeur the toughest goalie to score on is he is unpredictable on which style of save he will use to stop you. Most if not all goalies will use the same move for the same situation, with Marty, I am never sure what I should do because I can't predict what he will do." In simple terms Marty is another of the few great goalies in history who puts the shooter at a distinct disadvantage and forces them to make the first move or decision. A good time to observe this is a shoot-out in the regular season.
Q: What is Martin strength and best asset.
Martin's best strength is his uncomplicated approach to goaltending. Mentally he doesn't seem wrapped up in superstitions or looking back at what happend a game ago, a period ago, or even a minute ago. Marty seems to be playing in the moment. It is why he can be laughing or talking about an unrelated topic an hour before the game but be totally focused once the game begins. It appears that he is just having fun playing goal much as he did when he was 12 playing ball hockey in the street. If I could choose a word to describe his mental strength it would be unflappable. Physically his agility, balance and exceptional maneuverability on his skates allows his to play like no other goalie in today's NHL. His glove saves have broken more shooter's hearts than I can count.
Q: Martin reminds you of which goalie from the past
When I think of Martin Brodeur I think of 5 or 6 other Hall of Fame goalies who have similiarities to Marty:
Q: Martin best accomplisments
1995 Stanley Cup Play-offs versus Detroit is in my opinion Marty's greatest accomplishment. The first Cup is always the hardest to win. Marty was instrumental in helping the Devils believe they were talented and experienced enough to beat the high flying Detroit Red Wings. He sent a message to his team as well as the Red Wings that-- even though I am young and inexperienced, don't be expecting any weakness or soft goals from me. Marty was airtight, rock solid and a huge shot of confidence for the first time Devils.
Q: Martin from here to the end of his career
Marty's biggest challenge or adjustment? Some of Marty's accomplishments may never again be reached. He will be playing against his own standards of excellence. He will be in a class without peers. Only Marty will know what that will be like. And only Marty will be able to answer that question while he is living it. I am not sure anyone including Marty now knows when it will be time to retire. One thing I do know. Marty and the hockey world will not have to worry about this for at least another 4 or 5 years
Q: Martin as a leader.
Leadership: The highest level of leadership always begins and ends with the athlete's production under pressure. In that regard, Martin's leadership has been nothing but outstanding. As for the lower level of leadership- encouragement to teammates, sharing your successes in a genuine way with teammates, family, and friends,( Wayne Gretzky and Bobby Orr were tops at this) while not laying blame on a teammate when you suffer an agnozing loss are areas of leadership where Marty has once again excelled. As they say, "the greatest leaders are people who make the people around them better". Martin Brodeur fits in that category
Q: Tell us about Martin the man, outside of hockey.
To know Martin Brodeur you must first know Denis and Mireille. Denis and Mireille are kind, welcoming people. Denny has a polite respectful approach with people. You very quickly feel comfortable in his presence. As you get to know him, you sense a light hearted personality. It is no surprise that Martin as well as his sibling have those same qualities. I have never witnessed Marty to be rude or disrespectful or unapproachable to anyone. On the contrary, for an athlete who is in as much demand for his time and attention as Marty, he handles his professional responsibilities with a smile and style, as well as any hockey player ever has. The people who are close to him rave about his thoughtfulness and generousity. If you combine Marty Brodeur the on the ice goalie with Marty Brodeur the off ice ambassador, there has never been a better combination in the history of the NHL.
Q: Any last words ?
Where Marty Brodeur's statistics finally find a permanent home will reveal that Marty Brodeur will be perhaps that greatest goaltender of all time. Certain records of his may never be equalled. What won't be duplicated or up for debate is that when Marty Brodeur finally leaves the NHL- with him will go the most unique exciting goaltending style of all time.