Staying sensible about Mike Brodeur

It's become readily apparent that the Ottawa Senators media and fanbase have already begun welcoming Mike Brodeur with open arms, and there's a reason for that: the team has been desperately seeking steady goaltending all season since it entered the league. Admittedly, we here at Silver Seven haven't been much help, as we were among the first to anoint him with a nickname ("Not Martin") and have not been hesitant to shower him with praise during his brief time with the Ottawa Senators.

However, there is a huge distinction between praising Not Martin for what he has accomplished and what we hope he accomplishes. It's one thing to say "this rookie has been fantastic for the Senators in goal so far" (he has), it's an entirely different thing to say that he is the goalie this team has been searching for (he isn't). Mike Brodeur simply has not proven himself in this league yet, and Senators fans need to realize this before he inevitably disappoints.

People should remember that many goalies come into this league and do extremely well for a few games, or perhaps even for a season. The obvious names of Andrew Raycroft or Jim Carey pop out, but there are countless examples. It's not just that goaltenders go on hot streaks or get lucky, it's also that a new goaltender has an advantage of being underscouted, and teams are unable to exploit their weaknesses. As an example, a likely reason that Pascal Leclaire had such a stellar 2007-08 campaign is that teams were unable to exploit his weakness of pucks shot from the blueline without any sort of screen.

Mike Brodeur may have a 3-0-0 record, 1.00 GAA, and .970 SV%, but this is after three games. The truth of the matter is that he has never played more than 38 games in a season at the AHL level because he's often been relegated to split time in the AHL and ECHL. His AHL record this year includes a 3.03 GAA and .892 SV%. The man's history indicates that what has happened right now is a guy playing above his head, and it's almost certainly unsustainable. Nevertheless, there are fans asCTV continues to run that poll asking if Brodeur should be named the Senators' number one goalie, and the masses have answered with a fairly resounding yes:

Brodeurpollctv_medium

I'm not trying to take away from Not Martin's spectacular start in a Senators uniform, nor do I hope he starts to play poorly. If he goes to Faustian measures to maintain a .970 SV% and perfect win record, I'll be extremely happy for our soulless goaltender. All I'm saying is that if Mike Brodeur happens to break down in net and lose a game or two, let's not act surprised, okay? Because as the old saying goes, even Vesa Toskala gets a shutout once in a while.

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