TBT: Patrick Roy vs Martin Brodeur


The age-old hockey question for my generation is which goalie is better, Patrick Roy or Martin Brodeur. As the team now coached by Patrick Roy – the Colorado Avalanche – takes on Brodeur’s old team – the New Jersey Devils – let’s look at this long-running competition.


Martin Brodeur’s overall statistics are better, of course – he played longer. Patrick Roy played for 19 full seasons to Martin Brodeur’s 21. Roy played in 1,029 regular season games compared to Brodeur’s 1,266.

In that time, Roy recorded the following:

  • 551 wins
  • 131 ties
  • 66 shut outs
  • 54 goals against average
  • .912 save percentage

In Brodeur’s time, he recorded the following:

  • 691 wins
  • 105 ties
  • 125 shut outs
  • 24 goals against average
  • .913 save percentage

Like I said, on the face of things, Brodeur’s stats look better. However, the regular season is played to get teams to the playoffs, and this is where Patrick Roy shined:

  • 247 games played
  • 151 wins
  • 23 shut outs

Brodeur has the following:

  • 205 games played
  • 113 wins
  • 24 shut outs

Roy played two fewer years, yet he played in 42 more playoff games and recorded 38 more wins. Patrick Roy defined what it meant to be a playoff clutch goalie.


Patrick Roy is the clear winner when it comes to awards:

  • 4 Stanley Cups
  • 3 Vezina Trophies (best goal tending)
  • 5 William M Jennings Trophies (best goals against average)
  • 3 Conn Smythe Trophies (playoff MVP)

In fact, Roy holds the record for having won more Conn Smythe Trophies than any other player. (He also has a Jack Adams for coaching, but that’s a different situation.)

Martin Brodeur has some hardware, too:

  • 3 Stanley Cups
  • 4 Vezina Trophies
  • 5 William M. Jennings Trophies

It’s the extra Stanley Cup and all those Conn Smythes that make Roy stand out – especially since one of the Conn Smythe Trophies and the extra Stanley Cup came in 2001 at the expense of Brodeur and the New Jersey Devils. That was the year the Avalanche beat the Devils in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Patrick Roy has already been inducted into the Hall of Fame and has had his jersey retired by both the Avalanche and the Montreal Canadiens. Brodeur is sure to be inducted, and his jersey is likely to be retired by the Devils.


More from Avalanche News

This is an Avalanche blog site, so there should be no surprise about which goalie I choose. However, my Roy awe (it rhymes) is not only because he was the Avalanche’s goalie. I admired Roy as the best goalie in the game even when he was still with the Canadiens.

First of all, Roy altered the very makeup of the game by popularizing the butterfly style of goal tending. It is now the standard style to which goalies simply add their own flair.

Speaking of flair, that’s where Patrick Roy really stands out. First of all, he’s got the enduring nickname – St. Patrick. It followed him from Montreal to Colorado, and it exists still. Best I can tell, Brodeur’s only nickname is the shortening of his first name to “Marty.”

Plus, if you at all admire Roy, you’ve got a favorite moment. Was it the time he winked at Tomas Sandstrom during the playoffs, sending the LA Kings winger into a near-apoplectic fit? Was it the time he deked Wayne Gretzky on his way past center ice? Was it the time he chirped Jeremy Roenik by stating he couldn’t hear Roenik’s trash talk “because my two Stanley Cup rings are plugging my ears”?

Was it Le Trade? Was it the Stanchion Incident in his debut as an NHL coach?

For Brodeur, he has a couple of goals, which Patrick never achieved. And… that’s it.

So, Roy changed the game both in the goal tending position and as a personality. People may appreciate Brodeur’s accomplishments. But it is stories of Roy that they will tell.

Next: TBT: Roy Changes the Face of Hockey

Next: TBT: Roy Dekes Gretzky

Next: The Cult of Roy

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