Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Team by team look: goalie tandems

(continued from the previous post)

For fun, let's take a team-by-team look to see the two-goalie effect (starting with the East) in the order of playoff seeding.

1. Boston - Thomas (37 GP)/Fernandez(21 GP): probably won't remain intact but provides the Bruins with great goaltending

2. Washington - Jose Theodore (37 GP)/Brent Johnson (21 GP): faced a brief tug-o-war but it seems as if Theodore's the starter now.

3. New Jersey - It's not THAT crazy to wonder if Brodeur's 75 GP reign of terror might be a thing of the past considering Scott Clemmensen's unexpectedly fantastic run in net. (SC - 39 GP; Kevin Weekes 12 GP; MB 10 GP)

4. Philadelphia - Martin Biron (34 GP)/Antero Niittymaki (24 GP): the Flyers go with goaltending controversies like peanut butter goes with chocolate.

5. Montreal - Carey Price (36 GP)/Jaroslav Halak (24 GP): To paraphrase the great Bill Parcells, don't get the anointing oils out just yet for "Jesus" Price; neither of the Habs goalies can claim a 91 percent save percentage.

6. Florida - Vokoun (42 GP)/Anderson (23 GP): Both Vokoun and Anderson boast near-93 percent save percentages. Is that the Bouwmeester effect?
7. Buffalo - Miller (49 GP)/Patrick Lalime (12 GP): The first true workhorse (although Clemmensen probably counts and Vokoun's close too) is on the seventh-best team in the East. Pretty close to a trend, right?

8. New York - Lundqvist (48 GP)/Steve Valiquette (13 GP): It's pretty insane that the Rangers are a low-scoring, goalie and defense dependent team with all the stupid money Sather throws around. He's insanely lucky to have a top-10 goalie. Can you believe they've dropped to eighth place so quickly?!?

9. Carolina - Cam Ward (45 GP)/Michael Leighton (16 GP): Hard to believe it, but the Hurricanes probably miss the days when they had depth provided by Martin Gerber and (gulp) John Grahame. Ward's been one of the few bright spots for Carolina this year.

10. Pittsburgh- Marc Andre Fleury (40 GP)/Danny Sabourin[traded] (19 GP): Even with considerable time missed, Fleury managed a relative workhorse ratio. You think the Pens wish they still had Conkblock?

11. Ottawa - Alex Auld (30 GP)/ Gerber (14 GP)/Brian Elliot (14 GP): Do the Senators even have one goalie? Elliot might have a chance to be a 1-B going forward.

12. Toronto -Vesa Toskala (48 GP)/Cujo (12 GP): Rough year for Vesa Tacosalad.

13. Tampa Bay - Mike Smith (41 GP)/a pile of junk (21 GP): How ugly would Tampa Bay's year be without Smith?

14. Atlanta - Kari Lehtonen (31 GP)/Johan Hedberg (24 GP): Lehtonen still might have potential, but only seven more starts than The Moose? Not good.

15. NY Islanders - Joey McDonald (40 GP)/Yann Danis (14 GP): A throwaway year for the Islanders. Hopefully for the sake of the blogbox Rick Dipietro rebounds in the 2009-10 season.

Western Conference

1. San Jose - Evgeni Nabokov (43 GP)/Brian Boucher (13 GP): Although Nabokov sports workhorse numbers, Boucher kept the Sharks on top during an early season Nabby injury.

2. Detroit - Osgood (31 GP)/Conklin (28 GP): Conklin may never get a real chance to start in the NHL.

3. Calgary - Miikka Kiprusoff (53 GP)/Curtis McElhinney (6 GP): By far the most successful team with a workhorse goalie, but is Kipper going to have anything left for the playoffs?

4. Chicago - Bulin Wall (29 GP)/Huet (29 GP): Two contract year goalies on the same team!

5. Vancouver - Luongo (30 GP)/Curtis Sanford (19 GP): Vancouver Canucks motto: if Luongo's healthy, he plays every game.

6. Dallas - Turco (53 GP)/Tobias Stephan (7 GP): Dallas should consider trading for a #2 for this reason: if Turco goes down, they'd have to start someone like Stephan. Yikes.

7. Edmonton - Dwayne Roloson (40 GP)/Mathieu Garon [traded] (15 GP): At one point, the Oilers had three goalies, which makes Roloson's games played pretty surprising.

8. Columbus - Mason (37 GP)/Leclaire (12 GP): Mason saved the season for Columbus.

9. Anaheim - Giguere (35 GP)/Hiller (30 GP): Hiller's numbers are mind bogglingly better than Giggy's.

10. Minnesota - Niklas Backstrom (47 GP)/Josh Harding (13 GP): The NHL's worst kept secret is that Backstrom is the UFA the Wild are most interested in signing, not Gaborik.

11. Los Angeles - Jonathan Quick (22 GP)/Erik Ersberg (22 GP)/Jason the Barber [traded] (19 GP): Fantasy hockey owners have been trying to solve the "Who's the Kings' starting goaltender?" riddle all season long.

12. Nashville - Dan Ellis (32 GP)/Pekka Rinne (30 GP): Goalie platoons are a Predators tradition, stretching back to the days of Vokoun's inevitable late season injuries.

13. St. Louis - Chris Mason (31 GP)/Manny Legace (29 GP): It's hard to believe that Legace was on last year's All-Star team.

14. Coloradao - Peter Budaj (42 GP)/Raycroft (19 GP): The Avs waste a lot of money on defense, which has to be good in front of two mediocre goalies.

15. Phoenix - Bryzgalov (48 GP)/Mikael Tellqvist (14 GP): Considering his inconsistency, Breezy might be better off in a two-goalie system.

So, overall, the workhorse goalie model seems much more successful and prevalent in the West while the East encourages goalie depth. Still, just about every team should see the wisdom of keeping two quality goalies on their rosters. Sure, that concept isn't new, but it's more important than ever.


jamestobrien said...

Note: when saying Chicago has two "contract year goalies" hopefully it's understood that Huet's value was inflated last year, while Bulin's play inflates his contract hopes going into the summer.

(See also: Bulin's conveniently timed Cup run vs. the previous year in which Bulin was benched during a playoff series against the Devils)

Dagg111 said...

Kari Lehtonen was injured from Oct. 30 to Dec. 20th. It's 'night and day' when he's in goal compared to "the Moose".

jamestobrien said...

Wow, didn't realize Kari missed that much time. I knew he was injured but not for close to two months.

You're right Dagg, Lehtonen is a huge step up from Hedberg. It'll be interesting to see how long he remains a Thrasher.

Chris Kontos said...

The Kings have been using goalie tandems for years. In fact, sometimes they'll use 6,7, or 8 goalies in tandem.

jamestobrien said...

Heh, that's true Chris. How's this for an analogy:

LA Kings to goaltenders as Chicago Bears are to QBs.

Chris Kontos said...

Shitty Franchise BURN!