Sunday, April 27, 2008

Changing Goalies In A Cup Run

The Detroit Red Wings are likely the favorites to win the Stanley Cup. They won the President's Trophy and have looked very good so far in the second round against Colorado.

When a team wins the Stanley Cup, they usually require top level goaltending. It was expected that Detroit would depend upon future Hall of Famer Dominik Hasek in net. Hasek is 43 years old and has had an up and down year due to injury. Hasek has a playoff worst .888 saves percentage and a 2.91 goals against average. Detroit has moved to Chris Osgood in goal. Osgood has played well. His .947 saves percentage is the best in the playoffs among anyone who has as much as two complete games played. He has a 1.09 goals against average, which is again the best in the league among goalies with two complete games played. Osgood is providing Stanley Cup calibre goaltending so far.

Osgood has won the Stanley Cup before (in 1998). That Red Wings team likely won the cup despite a lack of elite goaltending. They won because the team in front of Osgood was the best in the league. It is ten years later now and there is no reason to imagine Osgood is a better goalie today then he was in 1998. However, Osgood played well enough this season to play in this year's NHL All Star Game. Osgood is a solid goalie; he is not a spectacular goalie who is in any reasonable argument for the best goalie in the league today. Were Detroit to win the Stanley Cup with Osgood in goal they would do it because the players in front of him are the best group in the league. Nicklas Lidstrom, Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk, Brian Rafalski et al are a very good core. They are probably the best group of position players in the NHL. Detroit could win the Stanley Cup again with Osgood in goal, but it would likely not be because Osgood was an elite goalie as much as their position players are elite.

There is a recent example of a team changing goalies during the playoffs in a successful playoff run. In 2006, the Carolina Hurricanes began the playoffs with Martin Gerber in goal and switched to Cam Ward, who won the Conn Smythe. Carolina switched goalies in the playoffs and won. It is very possible that Detroit will too.

It's not a good sign for a team to have to change starting goalies in the playoffs, but it is one that can be done and a team still wins the cup. Detroit might be in position to do it this year. Chris Osgood is playing well enough to that he could do it this year.

Comments:
i say if Pricey is as terrible in game 3 as he was in game 2, give Halak a try! (Montreal Canadiens) Mikado
 
I just want to say thanks for your wonderful post, it is contain a lot of knowledge and information that i needed right now. You really help me out my friend, thanks ! For more information about friv game, visit
friv 4
friv 6
friv 5
friv 10
 
Post a Comment

<< Home

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