Goaltending: The Cup’s Net Asset

Two heavy favorites move on to the second round, the upstart Preds surprise the Ducks, 3 lower seeded teams must win at home to stay alive and 2 series (so far) await a deciding 7th game.

Stanley Cup Playoff hockey is in full swing.   The Flyers have cycled through all three of their goalies (Bobrovsky, Boucher and Leighton) in the 6 games with the Sabres thus far.  In the other 3-3 series, Roberto Luongo, who helped lead the Canucks to the President’s Trophy and is finalist for the Vezina Trophy has twice been pulled in favor of Cory Schneider.  Loungo’s .750 save percentage over the last 40 Blackhawk shots is causing some panic in the mean streets of Vancouver.

If you look at the last 20 years of Stanley Cup history, winning the Cup is about  the goalies.  Even if one breaks down the all-offense Gretzky era of the 80s, Grant Fuhr’s stats tell the same story.  Before you say Fuhr had nothing to do with the Oilers’ dominating reign with the Cup, “Coco” played between a half to almost one full goal better in the playoffs than he did during the regular season.  Quick quiz:  How many Rocket Richard Trophy winners (awarded for most goals by a player during the season) also hoisted the Stanley Cup during the same season they were goal scoring leader?  Answer: 1 – Sid the Kid in 2009.  In recent Cup history, Roy, Hasek, Brodeur & Osgood– all won Stanley Cups and all won either the Vezina or the Jennings.   Hot goaltenders win the chalice.  During the Playoffs, coaches fully acknowledge the magnitude of this holy truth and will try anything to capture lightning in a bottle – if only for the 16 victories needed to be annointed Champs.

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2 Responses to “Goaltending: The Cup’s Net Asset”

  1. Julieta Says:

    It’s all about tenacity, and I am rooting for Carey and his 93% rate in keeping the puck out of his net.

  2. j Says:

    when was the last back to back Stanley cups

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