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12-04-2012, 10:59 AM
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Coaches Game

Originally Posted by Mike Farkas View Post
It has to hurt Thomas - for voters that are paying attention - that in between great seasons he's lost his job and a rookie with no experience came in also led the league in everything...and once again last season, Rask outdid him statistically...

Luckily, before Thomas is eligible for the HHOF, we'll probably see Rask be among the league leaders in goalie stats another few times playing behind Chara and Julien and then - I guess - start the Rask for HHOF bandwagon...

There's only one set of meaningful circumstances where he's thrived in his career. Behind Julien and Chara. And even within those ideal circumstances, he's still been inconsistent season-to-season. Before Chara, he was considered one of the league's worst.

Cute story and all...but it's just a journeyman goalie that happened to find a perfect situation...we'll see that and have been seeing that more and more as coaching takes over the game...since the lockout, we've seen Roloson all of a sudden get clutch? vs. rookie Ward. Osgood has been to two Finals...Fleury too...Giguere vs. Emery...Niemi vs. Leighton (a career minor leaguer) look at the goalies from 2004 and back that went to the Finals...

It's a coaches' game now. Goalies are just pawns in it. Some are better than others sure, but most of goaltending now is just about consistency (which Thomas is far from). That, or, journeyman goalie Brian Elliott just had one of the best season we've ever seen...but let's pick one and stick with it...don't create a narrative based on stats and run with it...
As far as goalies are concerned it has been a coaches game since the two goalie system became part of the NHL.

Since the 1994-95 partial NHL season the impact of video use to coach goalies and the resulting micro management of playing time has reduced the need for goalies to bring a complete game to the rink.

Leighton being a prime example. Inserted into a defensive system and protected from certain styles of play he did manage to reach the SC Finals with the Flyers but eventually he was exposed.

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