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01-23-2013, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike Farkas View Post
I don't mean to be so frank, but I've been around youth hockey a bit and it's really "garbage in, garbage out" - you see it start to creep into the craniums of those watching, I saw a thread on the main board not long ago, "what's up with Canada's goaltending" or something to that effect. The answer is: they're doing it wrong. Goaltending wasn't intended to be guess work.

It's almost seems like stats got involved in development one day..."ok, we just need to find a way to stop 9 out of 10 shots" - it's effective but it has no upside. Like C1958 said, it's the lowest common denominator, it produces cookie cutter goaltenders and it's confusing the people that aren't paying close enough attention to the game itself. Look at the "Top 10 Goalies" threads that pop up every 3 months on the main board, every time there's a different top-5, not just order, different's not like it was even in the 90's where there was clear(er) tiers. I just wish I was old enough to have seen the evolution of the position and understood how it came to be this way. It's hard to grasp when I just start watching a game from the 70's or whatever, there's no context to what I'm watching. People confuse it with "bad" because it's not butterfly and it doesn't look "normal" and I know that's not the right answer. It's difficult because I don't think there's been such an evolution in any position since, say, 1980 like the position of goaltender. I wasn't around in the 70's and prior to properly and fully understand what happened and why...

It's weird, I dislike the butterfly, but I think what, say, Tim Thomas does is wrong. I think that's too inconsistent to be proper (as per the crucial goals he surrenders). So I clamor for a non-butterfly goalie and I get one, but I don't like him. God, does that make me a bad person?

I have a list of goalies in my head that I think their talent level is cut above...I call them "butterfly plus" (when appropriate) because they aren't like a Giguere - where it's nothing, no glove, no blocker, no lateral movement, no stickhandling, no reflexes, no rebound control, just a shooter tutor...Carey Price, Marc-Andre Fleury come immediately to mind. Both have more to them then "drop and hope".

What I really like is Martin Brodeur's style. Half stand-up, hybrid style. Great attention to detail, equipment to protect the body from injury (as opposed to equipment designed to protect the net from puck marks used by most), extreme anticipation skills - maybe the best ever, but no one seems to be able to match it. Not even his own son could figure it out.

C1958 - Fair to say that the teachings of Vladislav Tretiak and the late Warren Strelow were instrumental in shaping some of the finest goalies we've seen in recent times? Brodeur, Belfour, Kiprusoff, Nabokov come to mind. Adaptable to different situations, all of them. Unlike some of the Allaire guys that tend to flame out when the situations aren't just right.
How do you reconcile the disparate amount of success between Thomas/Giguere and Price/Fleury? It's as though you're more concerned with style than execution in your evaluation of goaltenders.

If Price and Fleury have a talent level that is a "cut above" that of Thomas and Giguere, then they certainly haven't used it well enough to offset the amount of hopes and prayers upon which Giguere bases his style. And the only situation that caused Giguere to "flame out" was the death of his father. As for Thomas doing it wrong - why has he not been figured out? Why didn't someone expose him a la Jim Carey? Why weren't there more "crucial goals" besides the Lapierre goal in Game 5 of the Finals (because really, that comment is bordering on Luongo's post-game gaffe)?

These are two NHL players with Conn Smythes and Stanley Cups; they're not blind squirrels who happened to find some nuts. You don't win those trophies by being "too inconsistent to be proper" or dropping and hoping. This is akin to taking shots at players for scoring garbage goals instead of pretty dekes on breakaways. To paraphrase The Lonely Island: Doesn't matter; had save.

If Carey Price and Marc-Andre Fleury can use a style that requires less talent yet allows them to carry a team to Game 7 of the Finals on less than two GPG, then why don't they? Why don't they have a signature series? Heck, why doesn't any butterfly goaltender have a series like Giguere against Detroit or Minnesota? Price and Fleury are pretty consistently worse in the playoffs. "Butterfly plus," but they lack the poise under pressure of a Thomas and a Giguere - and that's not exactly the highest of standards either.

It's not enough to be able to do something better; they actually have to do it better than the cookie cutter goaltenders for us to count it as a "plus."

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