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07-15-2013, 11:38 PM
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: South Jersey/Memphis
Originally Posted by
No, what I'm saying is that Timonen (visually) started off a little sluggish. I'm talking like in the first 3-4 games. Soon after he was firing same as always. Both he and Coburn were statistically our best two blueliners defensively through the first half of the season based on CORSI ratings. They also both were top 25 in the NHL at that point among defensemen who had played most of their games.
I have stats that tell me about the defensive numbers both individually and as a team. We were top 10 in the NHL for most of the season in shots against per game. After injuries crept in, we fell to 12th thanks to our AHL caliber defense.
As far as Bryzgalov "playing well" based on visual tests...that's just not true. We haven't had a competent goaltender since really Emery was consistently between the pipes. Well, Bobrovsky was strong for a stint too, but nobody we've had really has been consistently "strong" in net, so I have to question your visual prowess for such matters considering that you believe Bryzgalov played well.
There were a couple points in the season where Bryzgalov had a good game. There were times when Leighton and Boucher had great games as well. Through the vast majority of games though, Bryzgalov would play about the average you would expect for any back-up NHL goaltender. He would make some big saves that he wasn't expected to make and then he would let in a flopper or two almost every game.
The difference between most starting caliber goaltenders and tweeners/slash back-ups is their consistency in saving those low percentage shots. Every goaltender at this level has the talent to string together a few incredible saves and make it look like they're playing well. It's another matter entirely to consistently make the routine saves that you're expected to make.
For some reason people think it's the other way around; that tweeners can make the routine saves but don't make the big ones. In truth though, great goaltending is all about making routine saves consistently and being in the proper position to turn more of the shots against you into routine saves.
Bryzgalov was terrible. He could flash the leather and make acrobatic saves here and there. That doesn't change the fact that his play was far below what is expected of an NHL-caliber starter.
Our team was a much better team at home than on the road. Our defense could shelter him better, and we could control the puck better with last change.
When you can't win faceoffs with your entire lineup, you're going to struggle on the road.
Puck-control is huge for us, and now we have Giroux, Lecavalier, and Hall that can win the majority of their draws. Hopefully Couturier improves. That's his only glaring defensive weakness at this point.
Perhaps I jumped to conclusions with what I saw, didn't see enough (likely, working for the Titans during many games), or whatever. I just recall Coburn and Timonen BOTH taking an overabundance of bad/lazy penalties to start the season. I know/agree Timonen was much better as the season went on, and Coburn continued to free-fall
As for Bryz, perhaps my standards for good goaltending are low considering what I've seen the last several years here. Either way, as I stated in the OP, I expect a much better year from the team with the new additions. I won't derail the thread anymore with Bryz defending
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