Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 11/04/11 at 02:41 PM ET
from Joe Haggerty of CSNNE,
There’s no denying Rinne’s big-bucks deal became an easier sell for an executive like Poile after watching the cheap route on goaltending go belly up around the league after it was in vogue only a year or two ago. Instead it is the combination of superb goaltending from Thomas along with a hearty defense and hard-working offense that have become the successful template after Boston’s run to the Cup.
Everybody pointed to the successful goalie duo of Jimmy Howard and Chris Osgood with the Detroit Red Wings as the successful model for teams looking to simply load up on quality forwards and defensemen in front of the goaltenders. Philadelphia infamously tried to go with the goaltender-by-committee route last season, with disastrous results that ended with a blown apart roster.
Things are now trending in the opposite direction after Tim Thomas carried the Bruins to a Stanley Cup championship last season. Goaltending has always been important at the NHL level, but last year proved that elite goaltending can be the biggest game-changer during the postseason.
That seems to be message going around the league after the Flyers (Ilya Bryzgalov) and Predators (Linne) locked up their goalies to long-term, big-money contracts.
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