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05-10-2013, 11:48 AM
Two Pucks, One Cup
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Originally Posted by Richter Scale View Post
I thought this was an interesting discussion from the pre-game thread, so I wanted to carry it over to here...

No doubt that every single one of those teams were great - but they all also lived or died with their goaltenders. And by bringing this up, you are right that there are a lot of factors that can influence whether a team goes far in the playoffs or not. Just because you have a hot goalie, doesn't mean the team is going to make a deep playoff run if the rest team in front of them isn't up to snuff.

But the one constant is that if you don't have a goalie that has elevated their game come playoff time, you generally won't be winning a Cup.

In the seasons that the Red Wings had subpar playoff goaltending, they didn't win cups. Same goes for the Devils and the Avs.

- If Brodeur doesn't play out of his mind in the playoffs, there is no way the Devils have all of those cups.

- If the Wings don't get career performances from Mike Vernon in 96-97 (.927 SV % and 1.76 GAA), Chris Osgood in 97-98 (.918 SV % and 2.12 GAA), and Ozzy again in 07-08 (0.930 SV %, 1.55 GAA) they don't win any of those cups.

- If Hasek doesn't become a brick wall, there is no way the Sabres make it to the Stanley Cup Finals against the Stars. On the Wings' most recent Cup win, Hasek actually got pulled in the playoffs, and Ozzy played amazingly for them for the remainder of the playoffs (.930 SV%, 1.55 GAA). That doesn't happen, the Wings don't win the cup in 07-08.

- In the seasons that Roy gave up bad goals in the late 90s (often against the Wings) in the playoffs, the Avs got knocked out. Those were amazing Avs teams.

Did it generally help that those goalies had good teams in front of them? Sure. But in the years that those goalies didn't put up stunning performances in the playoffs or gave up a few too many softies, their team didn't win the cup. They were still on great teams those years that they lost. That didn't change.

Of course, I'd agree the Rangers aren't on those teams' levels - at least not that we've been shown so far this year - but that just emphasizes the point all the more; in order for them to succeed, Hank needs to play lights out.

Some #s to add to the food for thought (and because I'm a stats nerd)...

Stats for the goalies of the teams you brought up in the years they won the cup compared to career #s:

Goalie Team Season Career SV % Career GAA PO SV % PO GAA
Patrick Roy Canadiens 85-86 0.910 2.54 N/A 1.93
Canadiens 92-93 0.910 2.54 0.929 2.13
Avalanche 95-96 0.910 2.54 0.921 2.10
Avalanche 00-01 0.910 2.54 0.934 1.70
Mike Vernon Red Wings 96-97 0.890 2.98 0.927 1.76
Chris Osgood Red Wings 97-98 0.905 2.49 0.918 2.12
Red Wings 07-08 0.905 2.49 0.930 1.55
Dominik Hasek Sabres 98-99 0.922 2.20 0.939 1.77
Red Wings 01-02 0.922 2.20 0.920 1.86
Martin Brodeur Devils 94-95 0.913 2.23 0.927 1.67
Devils 99-00 0.913 2.23 0.927 1.61
Devils 02-03 0.913 2.23 0.934 1.65

The SC winners since 2000:

Team Goalie Season Career SV % Career GAA PO SV % PO GAA
LA Kings Jonathan Quick 11-12 0.915 2.32 0.946 1.41
Boston Bruins Tim Thomas 10-11 0.921 2.48 0.940 1.98
Chicago Blackhawks Antti Niemi 09-10 0.917 2.34 0.910 2.63
Pittsburgh Penguins Marc-Andre Fleury 08-09 0.910 2.66 0.908 2.61
Detroit Red Wings Chris Osgood 07-08 0.905 2.49 0.930 1.55
Anaheim Ducks J.S. Giguere 06-07 0.913 2.53 0.922 1.97
Carolina Hurricanes Cam Ward 05-06 0.910 2.74 0.920 2.14
Tampa Bay Lightning Nikolai Khabibulin 03-04 0.908 2.72 0.933 1.71
New Jersey Devils Martin Brodeur 02-03 0.913 2.23 0.934 1.65
Detroit Red Wings Dominik Hasek 01-02 0.922 2.20 0.920 1.86
Colorado Avalanche Patrick Roy 00-01 0.910 2.54 0.934 1.70

The only two teams to win in that time with goalies not beating their career (or season #s) were the 08-09 Penguins and the 09-10 Blackhawks. All the others elevated their performances pretty significantly.

I love Hank, and I think he's great. But it is really true that he, in general, needs to find another gear in the playoffs. It is not a coincidence that the one year he put up monster #s in the playoffs which were even better than his regular season performance (career avg and in that particular season) was a year in which the Rangers made their deepest run in over a decade - last year. It is also not a coincidence that the one series in which his play dropped off that year, was the series that the Rangers lost (0.906 SV %, 2.5 GAA). If the Rangers want to go far, he needs to be stellar.
Nice job on this.

The team excuse can only go so far. I can name dozens of goalies who have literally been brillaint through four rounds -- win or lose.

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