Saturday, November 19, 2005

 

Golbez vs. Montgomery: NHL Goaltenders

How often do you roll your eyes when you read stuff from the mainstream media? Well, my eyes have rolled around so much I think they are now detached from my brain. Let’s take USA Today’s (There is a bastion of hockey) Ted Montgomery. It’s time for a little bit of mediot beatdown.

Would you trust a guy that looks like this?? Seriously, he looks just peachy keen to be there and he looks like he kills kittens in his spare time. Would you trust someone that KILLS KITTENS? Would you trust a columnist that claims to be a Leafs fan?

Ted’s latest column: "Minding the nets with the NHL's best & most overrated"

Kids, let’s get the meaning of OVERRATED straightened out, mmkay?

To overestimate the merits of; rate too highly.

So, somehow Ted translates this to “The 10 starting goaltenders who will never lead their teams to a Stanley Cup”.

Folks, this is a common mistake I see ALL THE TIME. Overrated does not equal bad or mediocre. It is possible to overrate a bad player (like anyone who thinks Wade Belak should be in the NHL) and quite possible to underrate a good player (like Pierre Turgeon). I don’t see how listing 10 goalies who will never lead your team to the Stanley Cup equates them with them being ‘overrated’.

(On a side note, the Detroit Red Wings proved you can win with mediocre goaltending. Just ask Mr. Osgood)

Under his list of ‘best goaltenders’


Florida's Roberto Luongo: He is the NHL's next superstar goaltender, ready to take the reins from Martin Brodeur. Unfortunately, he is on an average team that too often leaves him exposed to quality scoring chances.
Fair enough...

Martin Brodeur: The Devils have struggled a bit this year and Brodeur has had a couple of nagging injuries to overcome, but make no mistake about it, he is the best goaltender of his era.
Umm...no. Let’s see here... Roberto plays well behind a poor defence and gets kudos yet the minute Brodeur is exposed with less-than-awesome defenders in front of him, it’s time to make excuses for him? Mmm hmm.

BTW, Hasek and Roy were always the #1 goalies of their eras, and Brodeur was never #1 at any time. Brodeur is not #1 now nor has he ever been. If Brodeur was such a great goalie, he would stop a lot more of those chances now that his defence isn’t as great. That 88.1 SV% is quite telling, isn’t it.

Minnesota's Manny Fernandez: Although Fernandez and Dwayne Roloson have shared the Wild's goaltending duties so far, Fernandez is the better goalie by a long shot. With the Wild being one of the only teams left that still employs some semblance of the trap, Fernandez can strut his stuff without having to face a lot of quality scoring chances. He'll never appear on lists of the NHL's all-time best, but I'd have no problem riding him throughout the season.
!!!! D00d, I don’t want to hear about your sick sexual fantasies. Gag me with a spoon!

Is Manny Fernandez clearly better than Roloson??
Fernandez:
02-03: 2.24GAA .923SV%
03-04: 2.49GAA .914SV%
05-06: 1.94GAA .936SV%

Roloson:
02-03: 1.99GAA .926SV%
03-04: 1.87GAA .932SV%
05-06: 2.45GAA .929SV%

So, Roloson has been the better goalie for 2 out of the past 3 seasons. Try again, Ted.

Nashville's Tomas Vokoun. He is a very streaky goaltender and can have long periods where he is virtually unbeatable, but can then turn around and let a couple of soft goals ruin his team's night. More often than not, he's as solid as they come.
How can a very streaky goaltender be ‘as solid as they come’?? Isn’t very streaky basically the opposite of a solid goaltender?


Calgary's Miikka Kiprusoff: No one was wearing more "extra" equipment than Kiprusoff when last we saw the NHL, so the jury is still out on whether he can be a Stanley Cup-caliber goaltender with the new goalie-gear rules
J-S Giguere and Dan Cloutier say ‘Hi’.


The Islanders' Rick DiPietro: The Isles have given up a lot of goals so far, and DiPietro should take some blame for that. That said, he is fundamentally sound and will only get better as he matures further. Plus, he's miles and miles ahead of Isles' backup goaltender Garth Snow in terms of pure talent
So just because DiPietro is miles better than a very crappy goaltender means that he’s one of the NHL’s best? Nice bit of logic. DiPietro’s stats the past few seasons would indicate he is anything but the NHL’s 9th best goalie as Ted seems to think. He may be young and have lots of natural talent, but he’s not a Top 10 in the real world.

Ok, and now the goalies who supposedly won’t backstop their team to the Stanley Cup

Detroit's Manny Legace: Legace is one of the finest backup goaltenders ever to play in the league (just check out his career stats), but historically when the Wings have asked him to be the No. 1 guy, he tuckers out and fades quickly and precipitously. He'll be great for 40 games, but after that, his performance tends to go downhill. It's unlikely the Wings will win a Cup with Legace as their starter
The Red Wings brought in both Dominik Hasek and Curtis Joseph to be the #1 goalie during Legace's tenure with the club. Was that giving Legace the chance to be a #1? If he had a chance last NHL season, it was quite brief and is no indicator he can’t do it over the long haul. How can Manny Fernandez be considered a top goalie when he plays a pretty easy schedule, yet Legace gets butchered for the same thing basically? *rolls eyes*

Toronto's Ed Belfour is a Hall of Fame shoo-in, but he's completely erratic between the pipes these days. The NHL took away one of his strengths — the ability to act as a third defenseman on the ice by deftly playing the puck — and his instincts and reaction time have taken a downturn.
He is old and has a bad back, but hands up if you thought Belfour’s best attribute was his ability to deftly play the puck?

*crickets chirping*

That’s what I thought !


Chicago's Nikolai Khabibulin: Khabibulin must be rethinking his decision to sign with the Blackhawks by now. The team has neither the skill nor the defensive acumen to let Nik do what he does best: stop easy to moderately difficult scoring chances and wait for his team's superior talent to overwhelm the opponent
Heh, kick save a beauty from Ted. I guess he isn’t totally hopeless.


Phoenix's Curtis Joseph: Nice guy, but CuJo's days as one of the NHL's top goaltenders are long past. He's been solid for a so-so team thus far, but he's playing out the string at this point.
WHAT THE HELL??? CuJo has a 2.23GAA and a 92.7SV% playing behind the frickin’ Phoenix Coyotes!!! Playing out the string? Geez, tough crowd.


Colorado's David Aebischer: A good goaltender, Aebischer is haunted by the ghost of Patrick Roy,
Damn, that Patrick Roy IS evil!! How dare he haunt his old team!


Philadelphia's Robert Esche: The Flyers are so talented all over the ice, that if any team can get away with not having a prototypical No. 1 goaltender, it's Philadelphia.
The Flyers are 30th in PK and have a slower-than-molasses defence. I don’t think the ‘Rebound Machine’ is going to lead them to the cup. Why doesn’t Ted rank Esche higher? Unlike poor Legace, Esche has proven his suckiness.


Whomever is in net for Columbus: Take your pick. Despite the trade for Sergei Fedorov, no goaltender the Blue Jackets offer up as their next sacrificial lamb will be adequate enough to extricate the team from the mess they find themselves in.
The Dinner Jackets score less than 2 goals a game and have two of their best players out with long term injuries (Nash and Klesla). How in the hell is that Marc Denis’ fault? Denis might not be any great shakes, but clearly the BJ’s have bigger problems than goaltending.

OK, I need to wash out my brain with Clorox.

Comments:
Brodeur's on pace to smash how many all-time records and you're going to chalk that up to good defense? The defense in front of him shouldn't be as bad as they've played, but if you watch some Devils games you'll realize he may not look the same as he has, but he's still the reason that team is winning games.
 
I agree about Esche. I would rather have the backup Nittymaki in goal. Nittymaki led the Phantoms to the Calder Cup last year. His style of play looks more confident then Esche’s. Even if he did give up that goal from center ice because he was caught watching a replay.
 
Great commentary, Jes. You da Man!
 
You nailed it. Thanks for reminding me why I avoid sportswriters. I haven't read one yet that had half the insight you just displayed on netminding.
 
it is IMPOSSIBLE tou nderrate pierre turgeon.
 
Yeah, I bet Khabibulin is REALLY regretting the $27 million he's guaranteed from Chicago.
 
Hey Jes,

I'm disappointed in you! Nothing about Demitra's hattrick on Saturday? It was one of the best scenes of the weekend, as it was hat giveaway day. Check out the video in the NHL forum at HF, and post it.

Otherwise, keep up the good work!
 
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