Puckstoppers - Brodeur
Martin Brodeur

 

Brodeur is recognized as one of the all time greatest goaltenders in the game and is on pace to become the winningest goaltender in NHL history and at an even earlier age then Patrick Roy did it. His 3 Stanley Cups in 6 years, Vezina and Calder Trophies, Olympic Gold medal, and countless statistical records, certainly justify his praises and prove his worth. He is also recognized as a gentleman and as a player, who clearly enjoys the game, you will often see him laughing and smiling during the game, he has fun, he clearly enjoys his ‘job’. Hockey is supposed to be fun, even at the elite level.

To us at Puckstoppers, Martin Brodeur personifies what a good goaltender should be. His style of play is much more suited to what we believe is the way most goalies should be taught. Brodeur is NOT a typical butterfly style goaltender, although he is very capable and often will use the butterfly position to make a save, he does not reply on it as his only save technique.

We certainly teach the butterfly as part of our school curriculum, it is a very important part of today’s game! But we also teach a wide variety of other save techniques, so the goaltender can develop a ‘tool box’ of save selections. Once a player has developed the muscle memory to perfect a variety of save selections, they will flow automatically as the situation dictates. Our school caters to elite goaltenders that generally possess superior conditioning and desire (Intensity) as well as everyday goalies that just want to get better to fulfill their enjoyment of the game. Teaching each goalie to know their own strengths, abilities and limitations is much more effective than trying to build ‘clones’.

The ‘Quebec Butterfly’ is a fantastic style of play and one we believe in…to a point. However, to play this style a goaltender must possess superior leg, hip and knee muscle strength as well as exceptional control, something that many younger players do not have. In addition, this style of play requires superior discipline, both the discipline, mind set and physical aspects are qualities that many players (of all ages) do not have, and to be frank, something many simply do not have the desire or ability to achieve. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this.

Hockey is a pastime and the real reason to attend a goalie or hockey school is to simply improve ones ability, fundamentals and technical skills so that the game becomes more enjoyable. Please read that again; You should strive to improve yourself, so you enjoy the game more, it’s that simple! Anyone who claims to be able to turn you into a ‘pro’ is misleading you, The desire to attain this level comes from within, the technical skills can be fine tuned and honed by a trained instructor and coach, such as we provide, but no one can make you into a pro. And not to burst anyone’s bubble but the chances of making the pros are less than ½ a percent!! So play for the love of the game and to improve yourself. Improved play, higher levels of competition a great mind set, plus solid training and a lot of luck will help you reach those goals, but no one can promise you a career, so work hard and approach your training with lofty goals in mind, but don’t base your life on making it to ‘the show’.

It is unlikely that that many goalies will spend the time to achieve a ‘perfect butterfly’. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen or worked with a goaltender that told me they were a ‘butterfly goalie’, but when the training started I quickly found that they didn’t even have the physical ability to rotate their hips into a proper butterfly position. These players regularly get scored on while trying to be something they are not, with a little advice and direction they quickly learn that they can be much more effective utilizing their abilities in a way that builds on their strengths and helps them learn what their limitations are.

Martin Brodeur is a perfect example of a goaltender that doesn’t make the same move on every shot, he isn’t predictable which makes him very effective. Look back at the last 10 or more years of Stanley Cup history, the only true butterfly goaltender to actually win the cup is Roy and we all know that he is in a class by himself, the guy is widely recognized as the greatest goaltender of all time. Other butterfly goalies have come close to the cup, but none has won.

Let’s look at why this is the case. In 2002 J.S. Giguere took the playoffs by storm, posting win after win. He was heralded as the next big time butterfly goaltender “as good as Roy” blah blah blah. There have been many ‘Next Patrick Roy’ come and go and we’re sure there will be others. Great goaltenders in the regular season, but not Cup winners. Why? Because in the regular season scouting is not so intense, but when the playoffs arrive, scouts are sent to look just at the impact player, often the goaltender, and they figure out how to score on him. With a butterfly goaltender this is much easier, the players all know that when goalie goes down, look high or wide. Perfect positioning is only effective when the shot is released, if the players can create movement during the goalies butterfly drop, he’s dead in the water.

Why was J.S.Giguere suddenly unbeatable? He was playing awesome, that’s for sure, but he was an unknown when the playoffs started. The first 3 rounds he took everyone by surprise, but when it counted, the Devils scouted the Ducks and found a way to beat him, while Brodeur was his usual self, well scouted, unpredictable and the big winner in the end.

Martin Brodeur continues to win 30 or 40 games a season, continues to win Stanley Cups, continues to have some of the most impressive stats ever, why? Because his style is not predictable, he is an exceptional talent, plus, he really enjoys his job and it shows. His style is to use ‘all the tools’ to make the save. This is exactly what we teach. His style is not ‘the flavour of the week’, nor is he programmed to do exactly the same thing on every shot. He does what needs to be done and is free to alter the ‘programming’ as needed.

The Butterfly save is an essential part of today’s game and an incredible save technique that every goalie needs to learn to use effectively. We just believe in teaching our goaltenders to do more, to use all of their abilities and to be a bit unpredictable. We also teach our students to be strong butterfly goaltenders and use proper technique when utilizing this save, this is the key to being efficient in your coverage while in the butterfly position. This takes intense, focused training, which we provide.