Martin Brodeur sets record for most wins in a season

Martin Brodeur sets record for most wins in a season
Goaltender Martin Brodeur of the New Jersey Devils finished the 2006-07 regular season with 48 wins, beating the long-standing National Hockey League (NHL) record for most wins in a season, which was previously held by Bernie Parent of the Philadelphia Flyers with 47. Parent’s record was set in the 1973-74 season.

The story behind the story with this record centers around the opinion of many that an asterisk should be placed beside Brodeur’s name in the record book. The reason for this is because ties are no longer a part of the league’s statistics since the NHL opted for the shootout to settle such games. That now means a lot more wins to go around.

Martin Brodeur

Let’s compare the two record setting seasons by these goalies: Parent finished the year in 1973-74 with a 47-13-12 record, playing in 73 games. That’s 47 wins, 13 losses and 12 ties. Brodeur finished the 2006-07 season with a 48-23-7 record, playing in 78 games. The statistics now read 48 wins, 23 losses and 7 overtime losses. Thirteen of Brodeur’s wins came after regulation – either in overtime or after a shootout. To put that on equal terms with Parent’s 47 wins, all of which were obviously after regulation play, Brodeur would have finished the season with 35 wins. That’s a far cry from the 47 wins Parent recorded. Even if the Stanley Cup winning Philadelphia Flyers of 1973-74 had only won half of those tied games, either in overtime or shootouts, That would have increased Parent’s total to 53 wins.

Bernie Parent

Roberto Luongo of the Vancouver Canucks ended the 2006-07 season with 47 wins, tying Parent. Only 31 of those wins were achieved after regulation time.

The only and easiest way to resolve this problem would be to include an official statistic along the lines of “overtime wins,” which would include any games won in overtime or shootouts. This would put such records on an even keel with how games were recorded up until the addition of overtime and shootouts in regular season play.

In support of this would be to note that today’s goalie’s record makes the distinction between losses in regulation play and those in overtime or shootout. Hence Brodeur’s record of 48-23-7, with the 7 representing overtime or shootout losses. Something is clearly missing here.

So, should there be an asterisk? Asterisks undermine the integrity of any sport’s records and should be used only when absolutely necessary. Thus, there should not be an asterisk, but a change to include a heading for overtime and shootout wins should certainly be in order.

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