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Numerical odds and ends from Brodeur's career

by John Kreiser
Martin Brodeur is now all alone in the NHL record book with 552 regular-season victories, one more than Patrick Roy -- and the New Jersey Devils' star goaltender is likely to put a lot of distance between himself and any challengers before his career is through.

Here are some lesser-known numerical odds and ends from Brodeur's record-setting career:

What's the most common winning score for Brodeur in his 552 wins? 3-2 -- the same as the record-setting game on Tuesday, when New Jersey beat Chicago. Brodeur has led the Devils to 99 wins by a 3-2 score. Those 99 are among the 239 one-goal wins in his career -- more than twice the number of two-goal victories (119).

Patrik Elias, who broke the Devils' franchise record with his 702nd career point by setting up the game-winner in victory No. 552, played in a Brodeur victory for the 399th time in his career. If he plays and Brodeur starts (as expected) and beats Minnesota on Friday, Elias will (unofficially) be the first player to be on the ice for 400 victories with the same goaltender. That's because …

One mark Brodeur holds that's not likely to be broken is the most victories by a goaltender who's played for only one team. All 552 of Brodeur's victories have come with the Devils, who aren't inclined to deal him. Only two other members of the 300-win club, Turk Broda (302 wins with Toronto) and Mike Richter (301 for the New York Rangers) spent their entire career with one team.

What is Brodeur's lucky number? Probably not 17. The leading all-time scorer against the future Hall of Famer is Jaromir Jagr, with 17 goals. The winningest coach against him is Jacques Martin -- with 17 regulation victories.

Of the greatest scorers (400+ goals) in NHL history, Brodeur had the most success against Steve Yzerman. The Red Wings' immortal had 692 career goals -- but didn't score a goal against Brodeur in their 12 regular-season meetings (though he did get one in the 1995 Stanley Cup Final, a series Brodeur and the Devils swept in four games). Wonder if Yzerman, who will serve as GM of Team Canada, will keep that in mind when the 2010 Canadian Olympic Team is selected.


Quality, not quantity -- No one fires away at goaltenders the way Washington's Alex Ovechkin does -- he's on pace to become only the second player in NHL history to take 500 shots on goal in a season. But the Caps aren't getting as much payoff on Ovechkin's bombs-away policy as you'd think.

Ovechkin has taken 10 or more shots on goal nine times this season (no one else has more than two) -- but in those games, Washington is just 4-4-1. The Capitals have won twice in three tries when Ovechkin reaches double digits at home, but is just 2-3-1 in six such games on the road, including Monday's 5-1 loss at Atlanta in which he was scoreless on 10 shots.

That game wasn't unusual -- because Ovechkin doesn't score as much when he shoots more. In the nine games he's hit double figures, Ovechkin has scored 7 times on 103 shots (6.8 percent); in the other 61 games, he has 43 goals on 358 shots -- 12.0 percent. His overall shooting percentage of 10.8 would be the worst of his four NHL seasons and a drop of nearly four percentage points from last season, when he scored on a career-best 14.6 percent of his shots on goal.

Ovechkin became only the third player in NHL history to reach the 50-goal mark in three of his first four NHL seasons -- Mike Bossy and Wayne Gretzky both were 4-for-4 -- when he got No. 50 Thursday night against Tampa Bay. The milestone goal came on a night he had only four shots on goal.

Bookends -- The Calgary Flames ended a homestand and the seven-game road trip that followed it the same way -- coming up a loser in the highest-scoring game of the season. The Flames dropped an 8-6 decision to the Tampa Bay Lightning on March 1, then did the same at Toronto on March 14. Those are the only two games this season in which the two teams have combined for as many as 14 goals.

The Flames (and Lightning) were also involved in the highest-scoring game of 2007-08 -- a 9-6 victory by Calgary at Tampa Bay on Dec. 13, 2007.

Motown miseries -- Joe Louis Arena is still a house of horrors for the Philadelphia Flyers. Tuesday night's 3-2 loss to the Red Wings at The Joe left the Flyers winless in Detroit since Nov. 4, 1988, when they beat the Red Wings 4-3. Since then, the Flyers are 0-14-2 in the regular season (plus 0-2 in the 1997 Stanley Cup Final) and have been outscored 69-39.

Before Tuesday, when they scored the game's first two goals, they hadn't even had a two-goal lead in Detroit in nearly 20 years -- since Nov. 1, 1989, when they led 4-2 after Ron Sutter's goal at 11:39 of the second period. Detroit scored the next three goals before Tim Kerr connected at 12:11 of the third period to give the Flyers a 5-5 tie.

The two goals the Flyers got on Tuesday marked the 14th consecutive regular-season game in Detroit in which the Flyers failed to score more than three times (Detroit has eight such games in the same span). The last time the Flyers got more than three goals in Detroit was Feb. 16, 1990, when they lost 9-6.

New duds in Nashville -- The Nashville Predators announced this week that they're going to have a third jersey next season -- a successor to the much-revered/much-reviled (depending on your viewpoint) mustard jersey that was dropped after the 2006-07 season. A lot of people didn't like the brightly colored sweaters, but the Preds did very well while wearing them -- they were 38-19-12 in the five years the jerseys were used, including 21-3-2 in the last two seasons. For good or bad, depending on your viewpoint, the Predators say the new third jerseys won't be mustard.

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