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05-18-2013, 11:33 PM
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Originally Posted by quoipourquoi View Post
Well let's give Claude Julien twelve goaltenders with starter minutes and see how many of them win two Vezinas and stop 238/246 in the Finals.

It's entirely possible to have two elite players at the same position in the 21-30 team era. The only thing that makes it different is that teams carry different quantities of F/D/G, so two elite goalies and two elite defensemen make up a greater percentage (100%/33%) of the depth chart. Doesn't mean they're a creation of coaching; we all saw the 2011 playoffs. Boston has goalies (Thomas/Rask), Pittsburgh has forwards (Crosby/Malkin; Lemieux/Jagr), Edmonton had forwards (Gretzky/Messier), Detroit had defensemen (Lidstrom/Chelios), St. Louis had defensemen (Pronger/MacInnis), Philadelphia had goalies (Lindbergh/Hextall), etc.

Coaches can influence statistics (as can starts against lesser teams; an effect seen in all backups), but I don't remember seeing Julien make those stops any more than I saw Pat Burns make saves for Brodeur and Roy in their Finals runs with him. Let's not lose sight of the fact that Thomas won his save percentage titles over the league and his backups by a few touchdowns.
It's really hard to explain, particularly because it doesn't show up in shot quality as strongly as one would like either, but the effect is definitely there. Look at Khudobin, and like Mike said, the season with Auld. Julien also did this with other goalies before these two. Thomas was a mediocre NHL goalie before Julien, and with Rask, we have no other relevant sample to use for comparison.

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