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03-30-2011, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
We've become accustomed in Detroit to underestimating the value an elite goalie has to a team's success. Maybe that's why Holland has that metric of only willing to pay one of the top 4-5 goalies top money, or just going in a different direction. If the Pens can batten down the hatches but have a guy who can bail them out when the mistakes are made, it probably shouldn't be too surprising that they're doing reasonably well.

So are Malkin and Crosby overpaid?
1) Yes. No player in the NHL is worth more than 7 mil, and it's not terribly hard to make a case that no player in the NHL is worth more than 6. Someday a team is going to try and build a team without a top-heavy cap allocation while still spending to the cap. The problem is the GMs of those richer teams just can't help themselves. If they are spending 58 mil on a roster they feel like they just HAVE to bay at least one or two guys 6+ mil.

2) They play in a weak conference. An argument can be made that there are at most 2 or 3 teams in the East who could make the playoffs in the West, based on their records against the West. Considering Pittsburgh, when healthy, is clearly the best team in that Conference, even losing two great players (although only Crosby was playing particularly well this year) won't knock them too far down the standings because the rest of the Conference is, quite simply, just that bad.

3) Fleury's not that good. The East only has 6 of the top 15 offenses. Brent Johnson is in a statistical dead heat with him, and Johnson is a journeyman at best.

4) Pittsburgh is playing well in their conference because they have a fantastic corps of dmen, and they are playing a trapping, tight style with them which has always been successful in the regular season for teams with limited scoring talent.

5) There is a reason elite goalies, and specifically highly paid elite goalies, are incredibly sparse among the population of teams who have gone deeply into the postseason since the onset of the cap. It is not remotely coincidental. That reason is the difference between a top 5 goalie and an average NHL goalie is as small as it has ever been, and there are more competent NHL goaltenders than ever before. Spending an extra 2-4 mil per year on a goalie almost always nets a far smaller net improvement than spending that same amount of skaters would.

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