by Patrick Hoffman on 05/22/11 at 09:00 PM ET
Looking at the four starting goaltenders for the remaining teams in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, it is easy to see that a few of them have had trouble handling the puck in the Conference Finals’ series.
In Game 1 against the San Jose Sharks, Vancouver Canucks’ goaltender Roberto Luongo put a pass right on Joe Thornton’s stick and Thornton than put it past a diving Luongo to give his team a 1-0 lead.
In Game 4 against the Lightning, there was a miscommunication between Bruins’ netminder Tim Thomas and Bruins’ defenseman Zdeno Chara that led to Lightning forward Teddy Purcell’s first goal of the game. Had Thomas just moved it away from Chara, the play would have been over and done with and the Bruins would have more than likely gotten out of their own end.
In that same game, there was miscommunication between Lightning goaltender Dwayne Roloson and his defenseman, leading Bruins’ forward Patrice Bergeron to to wrap the puck around the net and put it through Roloson’s legs to give his team a then 1-0 lead.
As such, it is easy to say that one strategy coaches should implement is to force the opposing goaltender to play the puck. It seems to be creating a lot of scoring opportunities and goals and with the puck handling ability of the remaining netminders, seems like a viable option.
What do you folks think?
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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