Monday, May 14, 2007

Playoffs 2nd Round: The Better Goalies All Lose

In the second round of this playoffs, one could make the case that the better goalies all lost. Lundqvist lost to Miller, Luongo lost to Giguere, Brodeur lost to Emery, and Nabokov lost to Hasek. The last one is probably the only one that is really debatable; Nabokov was probably slightly better during the regular season, although Hasek has been quite good in these playoffs.

Ottawa won tonight to go up 3-0 over Buffalo, meaning that Ray Emery will likely play in the Stanley Cup Finals. He is this year's Cam Ward, an average goalie who simply plays for a team that is getting hot at the right time. Over in the West, we'll see if either Hasek or Giguere can be a difference maker, or if it will just come down to whichever team has the best 18 skaters in front of them.

So in the second round, as in the first one, goaltending was not a major factor in the majority of the series, regardless of what the commentators say. Teams do not necessarily need good goaltending to win; the combined inputs of scoring, defence, and goaltending determine the final result. Sometimes that means a team needs great goaltending, a la Vancouver, and sometimes it just needs a Ray Emery or a Cam Ward. The mix can vary, but there are many different ways to the final goal of being a Stanley Cup champion, and it will be interesting to see which team and goaltender put everything together in the best combined fashion to bring the trophy home.

1 comment:

Doogie said...

Sometimes that means a team needs great goaltending, a la Vancouver, and sometimes it just needs a Ray Emery or a Cam Ward.

Or a Dwayne Roloson.