Those are just a few words to describe longtime NHL goaltender Martin Brodeur, who is set to retire Thursday.
The Montreal native and 10-time all-star accomplished plenty during that time, winning three Stanley Cups, two Olympic gold medals with Team Canada, four Vezina Trophies as the NHL’s best netminder while setting regular-season goaltending records for wins (691), shutouts (125), games played (1,266) and minutes played (74,438).
Below, we highlight seven memorable moments from Brodeur’s 21 seasons with the New Jersey Devils.
Denying Phil Kessel: Nov. 2, 2011
In an otherwise disappointing evening, an out-of-position Brodeur made a highlight-reel lunge to his right, getting his stick out and robbing the Leafs’ Kessel of his league-leading 11th goal of the season. In a 5-3 New Jersey loss, Brodeur’s first game action in three weeks following a shoulder injury, he allowed five goals on 23 shots and tied Gump Worsley and Curtis Joseph as hockey’s all-time leader in losses with 352.
Record shutout No. 104: Dec. 21, 2009
Brodeur became the NHL’s all-time shutout leader, passing Terry Sawchuk with a 35-save effort against the Pittsburgh Penguins in his 1,032nd game. Brodeur stopped all 14 shots he faced in the third period to secure the record, making a pair of huge saves on Sidney Crosby before gloving an Evgeni Malkin shot out of the air in the final minute.
Passing Roy for all-time wins: March 17, 2009
Brodeur cemented NHL victory No. 552 with a pad save in the final four seconds of a 3-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks.
Battle with Sean Avery: April 13, 2008
One of the most bizarre moments in Brodeur’s NHL career came courtesy of New York Rangers superpest Sean Avery in Game 3 of the first round of the 2008 post-season. First, Avery screened Brodeur and then persisted to wave his stick in the goalie’s face while looking Brodeur in the eye in hopes of drawing a penalty. It was a memorable altercation in the historic rivalry between the two.
3rd Stanley Cup title: June 6, 2003
In what Brodeur called one of the two “toughest games” of his NHL career, the New Jersey Devils goalie blanked the Anaheim Ducks 3-0 in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final for his third shutout of the series. Surprisingly, Brodeur lost the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP to Ducks counterpart Jean-Sebastien Giguere. The other “toughest game” for Brodeur was Game 7 of the 2001 Cup final.
Scoring playoff goal: April 17, 1997
With the Devils holding a 4-2 lead over Montreal in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarter-finals, Brodeur gathered the puck behind the New Jersey net and took a stride to the goal-line at the side of the net. He then unleashed a shot and watched the puck enter the left side of an empty Canadiens’ net with 44.6 seconds left in regulation to become the second goalie in NHL history (Ron Hextall was the first in 1989) to score a goal in the playoffs.
1st Stanley Cup victory: June 25, 1995
With 16 saves in Game 4, Brodeur helped New Jersey win the Stanley Cup for the first time in team history as the Devils swept the Detroit Red Wings with a 5-2 victory on home ice before a sellout crowd of 19,040. Brodeur went on to win two more Cups with New Jersey in 2000 and 2003.