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Goalies Controlling The Playoffs

from Michael Traikos of the National Post,

The easy thing to do is to blame the shot blockers.

Yes, they must be the reason why goals are down (from 2.8 per game last year to 2.5 this year) and the favourites keep falling out of the playoffs. Vancouver, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Chicago, Boston. And now Philadelphia, a team with the two top scorers in the post-season and the No. 3-ranked offence in the regular season.

All because star forwards like New Jersey’s Ilya Kovalchuk are skating back into the defensive zone and taking one — or several — for the team. One columnist derisively coined what we are seeing as Robo Hockey, because players are not only sacrificing their body but their skill and creativity in the name of saving a goal.

It is a nice theory. And to an extent it is probably true. But so too is a simple tenet. Good goaltending wins games.

Excluding Cory Schneider, who had a .960 save percentage for Vancouver in three first-round games, the top goaltenders in the post-season have been Los Angeles’s Jonathan Quick (.949), Phoenix’s Mike Smith (.948) and, heading into Wednesday night, New York’s Henrik Lundqvist (.937). Quick and Smith will meet in the West final.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink



Ever heard of the rents too damn high. Well how about the goalies are too damn big. Shrink the gear already its an absurd joke and a mockery to the games great tradition. And for those that say 2-1 games are great, they are but they are not so special when every game is so low-scoring. Thats not Hockey, it never was. Thats soccer on ice. If I wanted to watch soccer i would watch soccer. The goalies are so good that smaller gear will not bring the game back to the wide open 80’s and thats fine with me. Because if i want to watch lacrose I would watch lacrosse. We dont need bigger nets or special rules to stop shot blocking. And we don’t need 4 on 4 hockey and are never gonna get a bigger ice surfice because of economics. So just do the most resonable thing and shrink the gear. Don’t fear scoring will not go up that dramatically and yes we will still have 1-0 and 2-1 games. And yes we will have a ton of 3-2 and 4-3 games as well. Because ive seen some great 4-3 games as well as 2-1 games in my day. And it makes those 2-1 games seem even more special.

Posted by Patrick Oneill from Yonkers NY on 05/10/12 at 10:23 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com


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