On Monday night in Pittsburgh, Martin Brodeur
claimed another line in the NHL Record Book. He stopped every opposition shot for the 104th time in the regular season, moving him past Terry Sawchuk
and into first place by himself for the most shutouts in League history.
The two played in different eras: Sawchuk spent most of his career in a six-team League with shorter schedules and less travel, but arguably a tougher (and virtually all-Canadian) level of competition. He didn't adopt a face mask until the latter stages of his career. Brodeur has spent most of his career in a 30-team League, playing against the best talent the world has to offer while facing a longer schedule and vastly increased travel.
Who's better? It's impossible to compare eras. But here's a numerical look at two of the greatest goaltenders of all time.
Number of shutouts by Brodeur against Edmonton, Nashville and San Jose. These are the only three teams he hasn't blanked during his 16-plus NHL seasons. Brodeur has played 15 games against the Oilers, 10 against the Predators and 17 against San Jose.
Shutouts by Sawchuk as a member of the New York Rangers
. He earned his 103rd and final shutout Feb. 1, 1970, as the Rangers blanked Pittsburgh, 6-0, at Madison Square Garden. It came in one of only eight regular-season appearances Sawchuk made as a Ranger.
Scoreless ties Brodeur's been involved in. New Jersey played a 0-0 tie against Buffalo on Dec. 23, 1996, and another against the New York Islanders
on Dec. 1, 2000. Sawchuk was involved in five 0-0 ties in his first four NHL seasons alone. He also played two more against Detroit in 1955-56, his first season with the Boston Bruins
Seasons in which Sawchuk played all of his team's games. He was in goal for all 70 of Detroit's games (and played every minute) in 1950-51, 1951-52 and 1957-58. Brodeur never has played all of New Jersey's games, but has been in goal for 70 or more games 11 times, including 10 consecutive seasons before an injury limited him to 31 appearances in 2008-09.
Teams that Sawchuk shut out in 1951-52, when he led the NHL with 12 shutouts. Sawchuk had five against Boston, four against Montreal and three against Chicago -- but none against the New York Rangers
Seasons in which Brodeur led the NHL in shutouts, one more than Sawchuk. Brodeur was tops in 1996-97 (10), 2002-03 (9), 2003-04 (11) and 2006-07 (12). Sawchuk led the NHL in 1950-51 (12), 1951-52 (12) and 1954-55 (12).
Shutouts by Sawchuk against Boston in 1951-52 and Toronto in 1953-54, the most he had against any team in a single season. Brodeur's single-season high against one team is three, against the New York Islanders
Teams for which Sawchuk played during his 21 NHL seasons. He spent 14 seasons with Detroit (in two stints), two with Boston, three with Toronto and one each with Los Angeles and the New York Rangers
. Brodeur has spent his entire career with New Jersey.
Combined shutouts in regular-season meetings between Brodeur and Patrick Roy
, the man he passed to break the all-time record for regular-season victories. Roy had the only shutout in their eight meetings, while playing for Montreal, and held a 3-2 lead in shutouts after being traded to Denver.
Career shutouts by Brodeur against the New York Rangers
-- all of which have come in New Jersey. He has never had a shutout at Madison Square Garden.
Career regular-season points (all assists) by Sawchuk. This is one area in which Brodeur has a big advantage: He has 1 goal and 33 assists for 34 points.
Shutouts by Brodeur against his hometown team, the Montreal Canadiens
. He has four at home and four at the Bell Centre, matching the most he's had at any visiting arena. Sawchuk, playing in an era when teams faced each other 14 times a season, shut out the Canadiens 10 times in his first five seasons alone.
Fewest saves by Brodeur in a regular-season shutout. He had to stop only nine shots in a 3-0 victory against the Washington Capitals
on Dec. 4, 2003.
Shutouts by Brodeur against the New York Islanders
, the most he's had against any team. Those 10 shutouts have come in 71 games against the Isles.
Shutouts by Sawchuk in 1950-51, his rookie season. That was good enough to win him the Calder Trophy as the NHL's top rookie. He also had been named the top rookie in the USHL (with Omaha) and the AHL (with Indianapolis).
Playoff shutouts by Sawchuk, in 106 games. That's 11 less than Brodeur, who has 23 in 176 postseason appearances.
Most shutouts by Brodeur in any calendar month, December. No. 24 of the final month of the calendar year came at Pittsburgh on Monday night when he beat the Penguins, 4-0, to break Sawchuk's record.
Number of arenas in which Brodeur has had at least one shutout. That includes both of his home arenas and 25 on the road. However, Sawchuk did have a shutout in one city that Brodeur likely never will play in -- he and the Red Wings beat Chicago 2-0 on Dec. 6, 1952, in a game played in Indianapolis.
Saves by Boston in a 2-0 loss to Brodeur and the New Jersey Devils
on Jan. 28, 1999. It's the most shots he's faced in a shutout.
Wins by Sawchuk in each of his first two full NHL seasons. Brodeur's career high before the shootout was instituted in 2005 was 43 in 1997-98 and again in 1999-2000. Brodeur set the single-season mark of 48 wins in 2006-07, after the institution of the shootout.
Shutouts in which Brodeur has received two goals or fewer of offensive support. He's been involved in two scoreless ties, won 21 games 1-0 (including two that were scoreless after regulation time) and 25 in which the Devils won 2-0 (including seven that were 1-0 games before the Devils hit the empty net).
Shutouts by Brodeur at Continental Airlines Arena (now the Izod Center) in East Rutherford, N.J., the Devils' home through the 2006-07 season. He has seven more shutouts at the Prudential Center for a total of 56 in home games.
Shutouts by Sawchuk in his first five-plus NHL seasons, all with Detroit (he played seven games in 1949-50 before becoming the starter from 1950-51 through 1954-55). Brodeur didn't have that many until early in his 10th full NHL season.