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06-08-2004, 11:08 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Mississauga, Ontario
Country: Canada
Posts: 7,815
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Goaltender Analysis: Nikolai Khabibulin vs. Mikka Kiprusoff

In only the second ever Stanley Cup final not featuring a North American goaltender, I'm of the impression that Nikolai Khabibulin and Mikka Kiprusoff performed very well. Prior to these playoffs, alot was discussed in regards to the pressure, mentality and clutch ability of non-NA goalies and these two silenced the critics.

I would like to hear who people thought was the better goaltender in this series.

My choice is Nikolai Khabibulin as he performed the best under the highest amount of pressure. Kipper was fantastic for Calgary and cannot be faulted for the game seven loss, but Khabibulin was shining when it mattered the most. His three saves on Jordan Leopold within a two minute stretch in the third period was unreal. Leopold must have been doubting whether they'd tie the game up or not at that point.

Conversely, however, Kiprusoff made two huge saves on Marty St. Louis and Vincent Lecavalier. The save on St. Louis in the second period wasn't all that special, but it kept his team in the game and he came out far to take away any chance of St. Louis picking the corner. The toe save on Lecavalier in the third period as Prince Vincent tried the one-handed move was brilliant, as well.

Most people will choose Khabibulin simply because his team won the series, but the overall comparison between the two goaltenders is EXTREMELY close.

RoyIsALegend* is offline