Monday, February 22, 2010

Why Does Experience Matter, Again?

Does anyone have any evidence that experience helps goalies in playoff games and/or international tournaments? Anyone? I don't think I've ever seen anything that backs up that oft-used coaches' sentiment/broadcaster cliche. Olympic veterans Martin Brodeur and Evgeni Nabokov have been shaky, while Olympic rookies like Jonas Hiller and Ryan Miller have been great. In recent playoffs, a lot of young guys have done well and a lot of veterans haven't. I think talent should be the only deciding factor in picking a goalie.

When you focus on experience, you just end up being biased for one player over another based on them having played more games, and what it ends up being is tyranny of the status quo. I'm reminded of Canada coach Mike Babcock's comments prior to the Olympics. He said about his goaltenders, "I don't think it's a big secret that nobody was really on fire coming into the tournament for us." In hindsight I should have known right then and there that he was planning to go with Brodeur as his starter, because that's a ridiculous statement. The pre-tournament play between the goalies wasn't even close, it was Luongo by far. Luongo got pulled in his last start against Minnesota, in a game where his team was completely dominated. Somehow that supposedly defined him as stumbling into the Olympics, even though he was 8-2-0, 2.22, .926 in his previous 11 starts, the last five in a row played on the road. In his last 10 starts in the rink where the Olympics are being held, Luongo was 8-1-1, 1.89, .937.

Martin Brodeur was also pulled in his last pre-Olympic tuneup, the difference is that in his prior 11 he was just 4-5-2, 2.78, .884. If you're not even going to give Luongo the title of the hottest goalie heading into the Olympics, then you're already committed to the veteran incumbent no matter how much you talk about evaluating the play of both goalies.

I'm going to assume that Luongo's in net for the rest of the Olympics after Brodeur cost Team Canada the game against the U.S.A. But who knows, if you want to ignore puckstopping talent and recent form and dwell on past glories there's no doubt you can make the case for throwing Brodeur back in net against Germany. Some people are already making it in the media, led by Brodeur's biggest fan and autobiography co-author Damien Cox. But if Brodeur's puckhandling is a negative, as it was last night, then I don't see any justification to play him over Luongo at all. Brodeur's non-save skills are what makes it close between them in the first place, because the track record makes it abundantly clear that Luongo is the better puckstopper.

I still see goalie puckhandling is one of the most overrated skills in hockey. Every good play has a small positive value and every bad play has a huge negative value. At the end of the day I just don't see much of a difference being made. Having said that, of course Brodeur had a bad night with the puck yesterday. On a good day he can definitely help the team. To do that, though, he needs to play under a lot more control. If Brodeur thinks the team is better with him swinging wildly at the puck out of midair rather than having the best defenceman in the NHL this season (Duncan Keith) pick up the puck out of the corner, then he's really overrating his own ability.

I'm still not convinced Team Canada will actually change their netminder, because I think they probably already decided at some point that Brodeur was going to be their guy throughout the tournament and didn't expect to be in this situation. Hopefully they make their choice based on merit, not based on experience. Rating goalies based on one game is a terrible idea, and Brodeur has a decent chance of rebounding if he was to get the call for further games. However, if you want to run an organization that rewards good play and not just seniority then you simply have to hand over the reins when one guy drops the ball that badly. Especially when your backup goalie is likely as good as or better than your starter to begin with.

32 comments:

Belligerent Burkie said...

"But who knows, if you want to ignore puckstopping talent and recent form and dwell on past glories there's no doubt you can make the case for throwing Brodeur back in net against Germany."

You could make a solid case for yourself or I starting in net against Germany. It really doesn't matter who plays that game. But I still agree that Luongo should be given the reins now.

C.J. said...

Brodeur played bad because the US forced him to make mistakes. Just like they would have if Luongo or MAF were in net. While the Canadian forwards were busy taking awful shots the US forwards were pressuring Brodeur and creating solid scoring chances. Why don't blame the whole team and coaching staff instead of just one guy.

Anonymous said...

regardless of any other part of the game, Luongo stops the third goal. What is he doing in a half butterfly with traffic and a likely deflection. I haven't seen alot of NHL goalies end up with their stick in between their own legs on a goal.

Lawrence said...

CG: I've been on here many-a-time previous and argued that Brodeur is the better all-around goalie than Luongo. I still feel this way.

I also feel that Brodeur had a game last night where the bounces were not on his side and that likely few goalies would have faired better.

I also agree with the idea that all things being relatively equal, you go with the guy with experience. Luongo's stat's may be marginally better than Brodeurs as a 34W, 2.32, .915 with 7 shutouts is hardly different than a 31W, 2.35, .919 with 4 shutouts. When considering ev sv% it's a slightly wider margin, but I don't believe that a factor in these decisions.

I also stand by my comments about a month ago that goaltending will RARELY EVER win team Canada a medal in these tournaments, as we very rarely if ever out-goaltend any of country. It's depth, size and defense where we have the advantage in these tournaments, ...or where we should.

ALL THAT SAID, In my mind, it's Luongo vs Germany and his role to lose now. I would have gone with Marty until now, but he wasn't good enough, life sucks, bounces are what they may be. Luongo should be the go-to guy vs Germany. He plays until he plays poorly, which may just be too late.

We didn't lose last night because of Brodeur, but we obviously didn't win because of him either. I just hope we get Luongo on one of his hot strings, as opposed to one of his epically shitty ones.

Lawrence said...

regardless of any other part of the game, Luongo stops the third goal.

I'm sorry, but these concepts are incredibly silly. That's like me saying, regardless of asteroids falling from space, if I find a luck coin on a blue moon Tuesday....I win the lottery.

It was a deflection bud, many an odd thing can happen during that time, and it's impossible to say after the fact what would occur.

Sure it didn't look good, but I would get a shutout every game, if I knew prior where all the deflections where going to end up.

You could just as easily say "If Brodeur was in net for the 'Nucks last game 7, they don't get blown out and Vancouver wins the Stanley Cup"...but really, come on???

overpass said...

Lawrence: I also feel that Brodeur had a game last night where the bounces were not on his side and that likely few goalies would have faired better.

I thought that all four of the goals Brodeur allowed would probably have been stopped by a good butterfly goaltender who didn't go chasing the puck and kept his pads along the ice. I'm no goaltending expert, but it really looked to me like his unorthodox style burned him last night.

That's not to say that Luongo or anyone else doesn't allow any goals, but Brodeur had a flat-out bad game last night and most high-level professional goaltenders would have done better.

The Contrarian Goaltender said...

I agree with Overpass. They might have been bad bounces for Brodeur, because of the style that he plays and because he wasn't really on his game. However, as a blocking butterfly goalie I'm not too sympathetic to the argument that they were bad bounces in general. If Rafalski is shooting and the shot is along the ice it simply shouldn't go in, whether or not there is a screen or deflection.

I didn't really like the first goal, and it obviously went downhill from there. The first one was certainly not a bad goal by any means, but Brodeur just was not big in the net there. Compare that to Miller, who was aggressive with his depth and was making saves in traffic all game long. Again, not saying that it should have been stopped, you can't react to those shots and Miller got beat on a deflection too, just that the goalie should be on position and making himself big to give him the best possible chance to make the save if it does happen to get tipped.

I'm not willing to say Roberto Luongo would have been guaranteed to save the fourth goal. However, I'd say there is probably a 95%+ chance that he would have. Luongo may very well have let in one of the shots that Brodeur saved, I don't know, but I'd say overall it was overwhelmingly likely that Luongo would have allowed fewer goals against than Brodeur did last night if he faced the same shot distribution.

To my eye Brodeur lost that game more than Miller won it, because as good as Miller was Canada still got three by him. If Brodeur makes one more save, Canada likely gets to OT, isn't playing tomorrow night, and ends up on the opposite side of the bracket as Russia.

I don't really want to pile on, though. Brodeur had a bad game, it happens to all goalies, I've argued that at length in this space. It doesn't mean he's unclutch, or that he isn't a good goalie, or that he is guaranteed to play terrible against Russia. All I think is that it is time to stop deferring to the resume and go with the better puckstopper against the tournament's elite teams.

Lawrence said...

"I thought that all four of the goals Brodeur allowed would probably have been stopped by a good butterfly goaltender who didn't go chasing the puck and kept his pads along the ice."

If this is what you agree with CG, then both you and overpass are being far too simplistic.

It's dubious to just say A: This style of goalie let in these goals, therefore B:if the other style was in net he wouldn't have.

In fact, that's borderline stupidity, I'm sorry for saying that, but really

I could as easily say that saves 4, 8, 13 and 19 Luongo likely would have let in the net because of his style. The result would have been the same, and we'd be arguing the same idea just for the opposite goalie. Canada can lose, just get a grip and we move on.

I completely agree that Brodeur did not have an incredible game, but neither did the team in front of him. The better team won last night no matter how you cut it.

All I think is that it is time to stop deferring to the resume and go with the better puckstopper against the tournament's elite teams.

Until this point, they have gone with the better goalie, the better sixth man on the ice, there is no reason to not give Luongo the next starts as he is an excellent goalie as well.

Jonathan said...

I'm an American and I have a hard to believing that we win that game with Luongo in net. Breaking down Marty's performance, he had that strange 5-hole goal that hit his stick and the other goal that was in his crease for about two seconds until it went in. He should have had both of those. He also made some good saves, but Canada should have gotten at least a point or two by getting into overtime. Maybe three points.

Brodeur faced 22 shots and gave up 4 goals. I am just as weary of small sample size "clutch" arguments as you are, but if there was ever a case where it's justified, it's here.

1) Marty is extremely busy this season--even by his own standards. He's started 57 of 61 games in a compacted schedule, and has a total of 58 GP. He's probably tired.
2) I'm sure you know how much Marty's play has dropped off. To be sure, it's is a small sample size AND it's a false endpoint argument. But it's also a trend that's indicative of a goalie that getting worn out.
3) He's old. Marty is old. He's 38. He's been playing 75 games per year for like 12 centuries now. The workload may be getting to him
4) I don't know if Marty's recent dip is statistically significant or not, and regardless, there's a good chance of running into a Type 1 or a Type 2 error. However, the difference between Luongo and Brodeur is so small that if there is even a chance that Marty is going through a legitimate slump, then you have to go with Luongo. Even if by some chance Marty is the more talented goalie, taking a chance on a guy that is getting torched lately is a very very low reward, high risk proposition.

The Contrarian Goaltender said...

Lawrence:

I could as easily say that saves 4, 8, 13 and 19 Luongo likely would have let in the net because of his style.

Yeah, it's possible. If you want to make an argument about the difficulty of those shots and what the goalies did on them I'll certainly listen. From watching the games I think that's highly unlikely, but it's possible, one of those breakaways could have easily gone in. Let me just quote myself again:

"Luongo may very well have let in one of the shots that Brodeur saved, I don't know, but I'd say overall it was overwhelmingly likely that Luongo would have allowed fewer goals against than Brodeur did last night if he faced the same shot distribution."

It's probability. Nothing is guaranteed. Goaltending performance is variable, that's one of my mantras. Maybe Luongo would have been terrible, I don't know. But if there was a parallel universe that is one day behind, and in that universe Babcock started Luongo and the teams played exactly the same as they did and Vegas oddmakers in this dimension had to set an over/under right now for Team USA goals scored, I can't imagine they go higher than 2.5. What would you set it at? Four?

I'm just kind of surprised that a fellow goalie appears to be set on ignoring the very real differences in how Luongo and Brodeur deal with different types of shots. In a single game, one style or the other can be superior. Last night was one of those games where Luongo would have been more suited to make the saves, in my opinion.

Canada can lose, just get a grip and we move on.

I'm fully aware that Canada can lose. In fact, I'm so aware that Canada can lose that I think we are going to need our goaltender to win us a game or two to run the table. Nobody ever stole a game through puckhandling. It can help you win, but if you want to completely change the result you have to make saves, that's the simple reality. And if we need an absolutely dominant effort against the Russians or Swedes I'm more comfortable backing Luongo.

The better team won last night no matter how you cut it.

If you include goalies as part of the team, then sure. If you think the U.S. skaters were better than Canada's, then we must have been watching a different game.

Anonymous said...

Shocking, they guy who is always very derogative when it comes to brodeur, espoecially when it comes to brodeur vs luongo, is at it again. Luongo didnt start quite simply because he is not better than brodeur.

Maybe Mike Babcock doesn't know anything, and maybe some blogger or fansite like HFBoards should have coached team Canada. You people are idiots. There is a reason certin people are paid ridiculous amounts of money to play, coach, and run teams. Yet all you internet losers who spend hours a day reading and writing on these blogs and fan sites aparently know better. Classic.

Anonymous said...

I agree with your overall point but Nabokov has been great all year. Who cares how he's played in the Olympics for a couple of games?

Nabokov has been the primary reason why the Sharks are the clear number one team in the standings. Even with the "monster line" of Heater, Marleau, and Jumbo Joe, the skaters on this Sharks team have not done as well as they did last year, and this Sharks team has been dominated as much as it has dominated on the ice. Without Nabby playing at top form almost every night this year, these Sharks are a fourth or fifth seed at best.

So let's forget the Olympics, in my opinion Nabby is making a strong case that he should get the Vezina this year.

GoalieStar said...

Never thought I would see an attempted 2 pad stack on a weak wrist shot from the point? That goal was pathetic.

The Contrarian Goaltender said...

Saw on Down Goes Brown's Twitter feed that the Peerless Prognosticator looked at playoff success and concluded that experience was a positive thing. Maybe that requires a deeper look after all.

The trick here is that you need a good team to win a Cup, and a good team is more likely to want to have an experienced goalie. Ergo, just because experienced goalies tend to win Cups doesn't necessarily mean that you need experience to win it. It could just be that experienced guys have more of a shot.

I'd prefer a look at all playoff series than just who wins the Cup, because otherwise that selection bias might skew the results. Maybe experience helps, but I'm almost positive it's an overrated factor.

The Contrarian Goaltender said...

Anonymous:

Mike Babcock's NHL team is out of playoff position and he has the pre-tournament gold medal favourites in 6th out of 12 teams after the preliminary round. But his paycheque is large, so he's never wrong? Intriguing logic, to be sure.

Having said that, I'm not criticizing Mike Babcock for starting Brodeur. I'm merely pointing out that he was likely biased towards Brodeur over Luongo mostly because of the experience angle. As for the decision itself, there are some reasons to justify starting Brodeur, such as for example his puckhandling skill which is normally a strength. In any event, the expectation between them wasn't likely very different. For whatever reason Brodeur hasn't played well in Vancouver. That should be on him instead of on his coach.

If Babcock starts Luongo the rest of the way, then I have no problem with his handling of the goalies.

overpass said...

Lawrence:
If this is what you agree with CG, then both you and overpass are being far too simplistic.

It's dubious to just say A: This style of goalie let in these goals, therefore B:if the other style was in net he wouldn't have.

In fact, that's borderline stupidity, I'm sorry for saying that, but really


I stand by what I said 100%. Looking strictly at the goals allowed last night, how could you not notice Brodeur's bizarre technique? You watch hockey, you know pucks don't usually go through good goalies in those places.

I'm not making anything more out of it than that. If you want to argue that shots 4, 8, 13, and 19 were going in against Luongo, knock yourself out. I allowed for that possibility, although I didn't see it.

If you just don't like counterfactuals, that's fine. But you were the guy that said "likely few goalies would have fared better". Unless you're using "few" in the sense of "only most NHL, AHL, SEL, KHL, etc goalies, but not the rest of them", I can't believe we watched the same game.

You could, however, argue that one game doesn't make a big difference in the larger scheme of things, and I'd agree with that. This game doesn't prove Brodeur is a choker, and game 6 against Chicago didn't prove Luongo was a choker.

The Contrarian Goaltender said...

Mike Babcock specifically addressed the stylistic differences between Luongo and Brodeur:

"We're in the winning business, and to win in any game, at any level, you need big saves. You need momentum-changing saves. And we're looking for Lou to do that for us. He's a great big butterfly goaltender, and if you look at the way the pucks went in our net last night, with traffic and people in front of you a lot, which is just the way the game is now, sometimes just being down in the butterfly, things hit you and just bump into you."

LeMatheux said...

Which begs the question -- did the Devils build their defensive system around Martin Brodeur's style?

I'm inclined to say 'no' given their successes with Clemmensen, but it does raise the corollary of how much the defense needs to be aware of Brodeur's style to let him be optimally effective with it.

nightfly said...

One thing that makes Brodeur a top-level keeper is not necessarily his unusual style, but his variety of styles. It's harder for a shooter to pick out familiar shooting areas because he will change things up. But being constantly unorthodox is itself a weakness.

I think that on his game, Brodeur would have made a few of those saves, precisely because he would NOT have stacked the pads or twisted oddly, but gone half-butterfly to stop the shot. The "bad" play in question is that his choice of technique in those spots was suspect. Then there were times that he wasn't square to the shot at all, and even with the "correct" choice of technique, the puck can sneak through.

As ludicrous as my own experience in rec league is compared to elite hockey, the principle is the same: stay square to the shot, move in control as much as possible. You can still get beat but you will give yourself the best chance. Just looking back at my own past few games I can pick out that pattern - I've made saves even on the deflections because I did what Miller did and got aggressive with my depth and stayed in control, ready to recover. I had a howlingly terrible goal where the shooter flubbed it and it wobbled through me because I was ludicrously twisted to the side - in fact I think my stick also wound up between my legs (odd coincidence) because I was so off-balance.

I'll be the first to admit that Brodeur could probably guard a soccer net more effectively than I can guard my own. It doesn't mean the idea is unsound. A lot of professional goalies are coached in their positions by folks who were far less accomplished players. He looked awkward on a lot of those shots. Great on the breakaways, at least, but not on his form for much of the rest.

Lawrence said...

Mike Babcock specifically addressed the stylistic differences between Luongo and Brodeur:

"We're in the winning business, and to win in any game, at any level, you need big saves. You need momentum-changing saves. And we're looking for Lou to do that for us. He's a great big butterfly goaltender, and if you look at the way the pucks went in our net last night, with traffic and people in front of you a lot, which is just the way the game is now, sometimes just being down in the butterfly, things hit you and just bump into you."

CG: you're smarter than this. Putting stock in Babcock saying this is like putting stock in Babcock saying "Big Body Presence" about Bertuzzi, or over-valuing experience vs valuing experience.

NHL players aren't dumb stupid robots, they learn fast. They shoot to a goalies weakness. Sure, low shots went in on Brodeur and Luo may have saved them, but high ones may go in on Luo, or rebounds, or pressure of the wall from the cycle through dump-ins...or...or...

Case in point: High glove on Mason. It took them what? 60 games to figure it out, and now where is he?

Luongo and Brodeur are well scouted. One of the main reasons why in these tourney's Canadian goalies...or other well knowns like Nabakov struggle.

Then suddenly Victor No-nameakov will stop 58 of 60 vs Canada.

This is getting to the point of futility, if Luo's in net it's a totally different game.

It's silly to say "oh wow! Luo would have saved those shots" when maybe those shots wouldn't have come." Or maybe he wouldn't have saved those shots either.

I agree with the decision to start Luo next game. I agree the US goaltending was as much a factor in the win as the Canadian goaltending was in the loss.

I disagree with the absolutely silly idea that Luo would have won the game.

You know what, we would have won as well if Iggy scored another hat-trick, or if Crosby had 10 goals or....

but that's just pointless to say.

The Contrarian Goaltender said...

Lawrence:

Saying that Canada's goaltending was a factor in the loss is basically the same as saying that another goalie would be expected to have done better than Brodeur. If any other guy would have done the same thing, then it wouldn't be a factor, would it? So what's the problem with someone saying that Luongo probably would have done better?

I agree that saying Luongo would have been guaranteed to win is silly and unknowable. But three goals for and 22 shots against usually means a win with anyone manning the pipes. That's an .863 win threshold.

You may be right that there's no point nitpicking a shot here or a shot there, but look at the big picture and you get to the same place, in my opinion.

I looked it up, and in the 2006 and 2010 Olympics combined, in the 21 games that involved at least one of the top 7 hockey countries in the world, teams that scored 3 or more goals had a record of 16-4. That's including the USA-Canada game. Not including that one it's 15-3.

Team Canada's skaters were good enough to win. If they are lucky enough to meet the USA again and the scoring chance differential is the same, you have to think that Canada takes it. Unfortunately it will be a really tough road to get that far.

The Contrarian Goaltender said...

Sorry, that was 16-5 when scoring 3+ goals, 15-4 not including USA-Canada.

Anonymous said...

"Mike Babcock's NHL team is out of playoff position and he has the pre-tournament gold medal favourites in 6th out of 12 teams after the preliminary round. But his paycheque is large, so he's never wrong? Intriguing logic, to be sure."

.........

Sure and still what is conclude? That Mike Babcock, regardless of his success, is still paid to be an NHL coach, while you waste many hours of you time aspiring to be taken seriously as a blogger/journalist. Cool, you certainly have something there.

But realistically, even known morons like Milburry or Pierre MacGwire still have more credibility than some "internet blogger".

The Contrarian Goaltender said...

Brian Burke on Sunday: "I think the best goalie in the NHL over the last two years has been Roberto Luongo."

Burke's salary: $3 million/year
Babock's salary: $1.5 million/year

I'm wrong, because Babcock makes more than me. But then Babcock must be wrong, because Burke makes more than him. I guess we just have to find the highest paid person in hockey and ask them what they think, because their ability to negotiate salary with their boss proves that they are right about everything.

Can you see why arguing about the size of someone's paycheque is nonsense? Are we not in a recession resulting from a financial crisis caused by so-called geniuses pulling down millions per year? Please evaluate the argument, not the individual. If somebody is wrong, it's because what they are saying is untrue, regardless of whether they are blogging, writing in a newspaper, or talking on TV.

If you give Mike Milbury more credibility than me when it comes to analyzing NHL goaltending, then that's fine. I'm sure he knows a lot of things I don't. Sometimes he's right, and sometimes he's wrong. Same thing with me. It's a big internet, and maybe you're just not my target audience.

Lawrence said...

09/10
Tomas Vokoun - 51GP 1385/1306 ev.943
Roberto Luongo - 52 1128/1054 ev.934

08/09

Tomas Vokoun - 59GP 1514/1416 ev.935
Roberto Luongo - 54 1156/1082 ev.936

Overall

Vokoun 2899/2722 = .939
Luongo 2284/2136 = .935

Nope, you're all wrong, especially Burke because of his time-frame quoted, and because obviously he doesn't know how to read statistics.

Let's not forget, that as much as reputation/experience/hype assists Brodeur, it also helps other goalie's such as Luo as well.

Vokoun gets little to no recognition and quite handily has been better than Luongo over the last two years....simple as a puckstopper. He also does the other "little things" better as well.

Anonymous said...

exact salaries dont make much difference. Burke's 3.5 against Babcocks 1.5 is largely irrelevant because both are getting paid very well to assess hockey talent. Collectively, GMs and coaches in the pro ranks fall into the same category, which, yes, gives them more credibility then you. So just as a single abstract stat does not give one enough evidence to label one goalie better than the other, neither does the exact numbers of ones pay make him greater than the next guy. However it is a fact that your opinion is as worthless as the guy in the last row of the upper tier at the hp pavillion center who's pounded his 5th beer before the 3rd period. Both of you probably have an opinion, neither of you have an important enough audience to ever be distinguished.

Agent Orange said...

@Lawrence: Due to the wonder that is plain text I'm not sure if you are serious in your judgment of Vokoun Vs Luongo or not.

But I'll bite. Based on you stats difference we would expect Lou to allow 11 more goals give the same shots over 100 games.

I would expect some of those times to be a situation where Lou is allowing the 2nd goal in a 5-2 win (for example). And a few times Vokoun will save the 5th goal in a 4-1 loss.

Now I know CG will jump on me for team effects but I honestly don't care about those goals.

To me they are about the same and I can see giving the slight edge to Lou because of his record because accomplishments are what its about.

@CG: The shot about the Wings this year is a bit of a low-blow. I'm sure you are well aware of the personal the Wings lost in the off-season as well as the number of man-games lost this season. The fact that they are knocking on the playoffs door is a credit to Babcocks coaching ability.

*As an aside I would be interested to get your take on Jimmy Howard.*

I hope you aren't discrediting Babcock because he gave Broduer a shot. Lets not forget Babcocks tendency to give his incumbents a chance to take the reins. Even if they haven't been the best as of late.

Example 1: 2008 playoffs. Went with Hasek to start even though Osgood had a better regular season. Give Hasek a chance to play poorly before handing it over to Osgood who played very well from there.

Example 2: 2009 playoffs. Conklin played way better than Osgood through-out the season. Still Osgood got his chance to start the playoffs and played very well through the post-season.

He gave the guy who had been there before a chance. That guy didn't play well enough to keep it.

The only issue I take is this:

If Babcock starts Lou against the US I think they win. Just my impression.

If they do that is all well and good but the issue is what if the go on to lose with Luongo in net? Suddenly Babcock gets railed for not giving a chance to the guy who has 3 cups and a gold medal.

I'll give you hindsight is always 20/20. With Canada up 7-3 (last I checked) on Russia it looks like Babcock played his cards and Canada will still be on its way to a medal game.

Derick said...

"Can you see why arguing about the size of someone's paycheque is nonsense? Are we not in a recession resulting from a financial crisis caused by so-called geniuses pulling down millions per year?"

There are some very strong theories that it was government bureaucrats, not private brokerages, that caused the financial crisis.

Derick said...

On the other hand, those bureaucrats also make lots of money, so he's still wrong.

Anyway, are you loving these Olympics for proving you (us, if I can borrow some credit for being convinced by you) right? It's almost like a science experiment. "Let's put Bryzgalov and Nabokov on the same team. Let's put Luongo and Brodeur on the same team. Control groups!" It's great. Look at what happens when the "good when it doesn't matter" goalies and the "clutch" goalies have an even playing field.

Derick said...

Some more points about the issue of questioning rich professionals.

- The hockey world makes money selling tickets and merchandise. They don't make money betting on games or buying dividens based on a players future performance. They make money because they were hired by someone who's hired by owners who want profit (not saying that's immoral, but it's no sign you understand hockey).
- Knowing more about hockey on the whole (technical things about coaching, etc.) or even being smarter as well doesn't mean you have no biases or are well researched on every issue and can't be corrected by someone without those biases or who has researched that issue.

Think, there's lots of people with PHDs in political science who are conservatives, liberals, socialists, libertarians, whatever, and all disagree with eachother. They're all experts and all make lots of money, but by definition some of them are wrong. And no matter what your political opinions are, you disagree with one expert or another. Should no one without a PHD have political opinions?

Bruce said...

Well the good news is BobbiLu has come in to save the day. The other good news is that the Canadian scorers started to actually score, rendering goalkeeping a relatively minor factor the last two nights. Luongo has been pretty average but that's been more than good enough.

Brodeur had a rotten game against USA and the switch was made on merit, but if we had scored 7 or 8 and won that game it might have been a different situation, and a lot tougher decision.

Whatever, the new alignment is working fine and Canada played by far its two strongest games the last two nights. More, please.

Anonymous said...

Ryan Miller has outplayed Roberto Luongo throughout the Olympics, but Luongo will be credited with the gold medal today. Luongo had the much better team in front of him and rode that to victory just as Brodeur has over the years.

Give Tomas Vokoun a team as good as the Canucks that Luongo now has, and watch him make the conference finals at least.