Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Myth of Money in the Bank Goaltenders

As we're at around the 2/3 mark of the regular season, it's about that time to hone in on the favorite reason that fans think their respective teams won't win the Stanley Cup this year... goaltending.

Unless someone is a fan of the New Jersey Devils (with Martin Brodeur in net), Vancouver Canucks (Roberto Luongo tending goal) or Buffalo Sabres (where Ryan Miller is having an MVP caliber year), people should be afraid of their goaltending... but there's not much to be done about it.

Reality is goaltending is a crapshoot... you can have an excellent goalie, but you really don't know how anyone is going to perform in the playoffs until they're upon us. Additionally, there's that whole thing about how you've got to win four series to take the Cup... a long time for any goalie to play at a top level.

One interesting thing I've seen lately is criticism of the Blackhawks goaltending going into the playoffs... with statements of late from Jeremy Roenick and now a Ross McKeon piece for Yahoo! Sports. Reality, though, is the Blackhawks have the 2nd lowest goals against average in the league.

Someone can say that's it's not guarenteed that either Cristobal Huet and Antti Niemi are going to be able to perform at the level needed throughout the playoffs, but how can fans of any team (including even the Devils, Canucks or Sabres) feel that elite level playoff goaltending is guaranteed?

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