Thursday, January 05, 2006

Goalie Injuries

In October, I wrote about the rash of goalie injuries. Many of the goalie injuries at the beginning of the season were groin injuries, so at the time I attributed it to bad ice (especially in the still warm southern markets) as well as atrophy in the goalies who had in many cases been inactive during the lockout season. In the comments of that post, people pointed to another form of goalie injuries brought on by the obstruction crackdown. Since any attempt to obstruct offensive players in front of the net would lead to penalties, offensive players were able to run goaltenders with higher frequency and at higher speed. This leads to more injuries. These injuries are different from the early season groin injuries, as I do not imagine that goalies would hurt their groin by being repeatedly run by offensive players.

The list of recently and currently injured goalies include Dan Cloutier of Vancouver, Manne Legace of Detroit, Robert Esche of Philadelphia and Nikolai Khabibulin of Chicago. The team that is worst off currently is the New York Islanders. Both Rick DiPietro and Garth Snow are hurt. This forces them to play minor leaguers Wade Dubielewicz and Frederic Cloutier. The Islanders are likely to have a hard time with these goaltending injuries.

The problem of unfettered running of goaltenders is an issue that was created by the new CBA. It is one that needs addressing.

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