by PuckStopsHere on 05/19/14 at 10:13 PM ET
Tonight the Montreal Canadiens passed over their backup goalie Peter Budaj to play minor leaguer Dustin Tokarski in their losing playoff game against the New York Rangers. When their second round playoff series was on the line against the Los Angeles Kings, the Anaheim Ducks chose to play John Gibson in net instead of proven goalie Jonas Hiller. They lost and pulled Gibson in the second period of game seven. These are both examples of teams choosing to play unproven goalies instead of those with NHL experience in an important game. The logic behind these moves is that the proven goalie is a proven entity. We have a pretty good idea how good he is and how good he isn't. We know that he will not likely steal the game, but he isn't likely to totally blow it either. He is the "safe" choice. The unproven goalie has a much bigger range of potential outcomes that may occur. He isn't proven in the NHL and he may completely blow this game. There is a chance he might steal the game - often because we haven't seen him in that situation enough to totally discount it. Most likely he will not be as good as the proven goalie. There is a good reason why the proven goalie has had the chance to play in front of the unproven goalie all season. This is a case of the unlikely but not totally disproved chance of the unproven goalie being the next star getting more weight than the fact that the proven goalie is almost certainly a better goalie. It is a poor move far more often than it is a good move.
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