Saturday, November 04, 2006

Why Are They Using A Two Goalie System?

When you have two goalies of roughly equal ability it can make sense to share the starts equally between both of them. It keeps both goalies from being overplayed but also keeps them both active in the game. When one goalie significantly outplays the other, it is clear that the better goalie should be the starter and the weaker goalie the backup - at least for the short term until their playing levels become more equal.

One team that has been using the two goalie system so far this year despite a large difference in the play of their two goalies is the Los Angeles Kings. Mathieu Garon has been one of the top goalies in the NHL so far this year. In seven games, he sports a .941 saves percentage and and league leading 1.72 GAA. His counterpart is Dan Cloutier. In 9 games, he has a .874 saves percentage and a 3.48 GAA. Yet coach Marc Crawford has been rotating the two as part of a two goalie system.

Likely over the long haul of a full season, Garon won't look as wonderful as he does right now and Cloutier wont look as awful, but right now it makes sense to play the hot hand and Mathieu Garon is the hot hand.

Teams often find it hard to leave their higher paid goalie on the bench even when he is outplayed by the other goalie(s) in the system. Dan Cloutier gets paid more than twice what Mathieu Garon gets and that may be why Cloutier is getting a few extra chances to be the Kings starter. Los Angeles is not the only team in a situation where the bigger name, bigger priced goalie is being outplayed by his backup, the New York Islanders have a similar situation.

As long as Garon continues to play this well and Cloutier continues to struggle, the Kings would be advised to use Mathieu Garon as their starter.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?