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Round 2, Vote 9 (HOH Top Goaltenders)

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Old
01-10-2013, 02:46 PM
  #201
Morgoth Bauglir
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Why on Earth did Beezer have a reputation as a weak playoff goalie before 1996 then? I am remembering this correctly, right?
Probably because the Rangers were first round casualties in two other seasons and failed to make the playoffs in a third.

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01-10-2013, 02:48 PM
  #202
TheDevilMadeMe
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I'm looking at the '86 season as a whole: From the first drop of the puck to the lifting of the Cup.
Okay, but that's not what I was asking. I was asking if Beezer did anything noteworthy in the playoffs himself outside of 1996, which was awesome, but just one run.

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01-10-2013, 02:59 PM
  #203
Mike Farkas
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@qpq - Not lost to Carolina for starters... I mean, this is a slippery slope. If I give credit here in 2009, I'm taking it from 2011 because I know he gave up a boatload of crappy goals in 2011, so it's a pick your poison type of deal if you're a Thomas supporter. If 2009 gets challenged as "not his fault" then I'm taking his 2011 down a peg. And then I'm sending everyone to bed without dinner!

Since we can't stop talking about the same couple goalies...

This is Thomas in back-to-backs under Julien. Why this is important is because when you have a back-to-back, especially on the road, you tend to really tighten things up and conserve energy. (Read: More defensive.) That's true of even non-defensive teams, much less one as staunch as the Bruins. They rarely felt comfortable using a goalie like Thomas in back to back situations clearly and that is one of Thomas' weak points. He lacks an economy of movement and is not a strong positional goaltender. Thus his highlight reels saves and then head-scratcher goals against...he's improved on it a bit since he's come into the league, when he first started he had no control over his movement in the crease and would often make one save and slide so far out of position that the net was left yawning...

Thomas in the second game of a back-to-back under Julien: 16 GP 5-9-1, 2.67 GAA, .916 save pct.

Remember this is Thomas' career under Julien: "Career with Julien as head coach: 320 GP - 180-99-31, 2.24 GAA, .927 save pct., 33 shutouts"

And that's with rare opportunities to do so, I think if he had to take on back to backs more often, he would break down more certainly. He's a goalie that needs to be managed...thus is only 60-game season was his worst one statistically...

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01-10-2013, 03:07 PM
  #204
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@qpq - Not lost to Carolina for starters...
Well, I guess I have to give you that one.

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01-10-2013, 03:21 PM
  #205
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Okay, but that's not what I was asking. I was asking if Beezer did anything noteworthy in the playoffs himself outside of 1996, which was awesome, but just one run.
Prior to 1996, he wasn't really given the ball and told to run with it. New York was still running a two-goalie system in the playoffs every year from 1987 to 1992. Make no mistake, however, he was quite good in 1986. The Flyers blew his doors down once (they were the GF leader in the Conference), but he was on top of things for the other four games. Washington did the same in Games 2-4, but after the Rangers bailed him out, he outplayed Peeters to close the series. Montreal, he just didn't have a chance.

After 1996, he only had two rounds, but was outstanding. However, so were Richter and Joseph...

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01-10-2013, 03:25 PM
  #206
Mike Farkas
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Both of Beezer's awesome playoff runs (1986, 1996) were foiled by Patrick Roy. #advancedstats

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01-10-2013, 03:29 PM
  #207
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Originally Posted by quoipourquoi View Post
Prior to 1996, he wasn't really given the ball and told to run with it. New York was still running a two-goalie system in the playoffs every year from 1987 to 1992. Make no mistake, however, he was quite good in 1986. The Flyers blew his doors down once (they were the GF leader in the Conference), but he was on top of things for the other four games. Washington did the same in Games 2-4, but after the Rangers bailed him out, he outplayed Peeters to close the series. Montreal, he just didn't have a chance.

After 1996, he only had two rounds, but was outstanding. However, so were Richter and Joseph...
Sounds like you're saying the reason Beezer's overall save percentage from the 1986 playoffs isn't much better than average is because it was skewed by a few blowouts, but that he played extremely well when needed.

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01-10-2013, 03:35 PM
  #208
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Doing a google archives search...I'll post what I've found shortly, but there appears to be a ton of praise for Vanbiesbrouck

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01-10-2013, 03:41 PM
  #209
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Sounds like you're saying the reason Beezer's overall save percentage from the 1986 playoffs isn't much better than average is because it was skewed by a few blowouts, but that he played extremely well when needed.
I believe so. I'd expect it to be worse in the Washington series than the others though.


EDIT: Also, it's only a few points better than the playoff average, but is a good distance ahead of the league average. The playoff average is literally 25% Roy/Vernon, so it's not like it is actually a representation of the average goaltender. The median save percentage was .880, and 21 goaltenders of the 30 to play in those playoffs only saw 5 games or less...


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01-10-2013, 03:57 PM
  #210
Hawkey Town 18
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Beezer in the 1986 Playoffs

The Times-News - Apr 29, 1986 - Thunderous Cheers Rain Down On Rangers
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"We felt all along John Vanbiesbrouck would win a game in each series. He almost out-and-out won this whole one," Rangers assistant coach Reg Higgins said.

The Windsor Star - Apr 29, 1986 - Vanbiesbrouck of the Rangers is the 'savior' of the 1986 playoffs
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"It makes you wonder what the Rangers were doing all season," says Coury. "Theyreally put a lot of weight on John's shoulders." What they were doing, obviously, was waiting for the playoffs so they could add even more. "A good goaltender can make his teammates play over their heads," muses Coury. We've seen it before. We're seeing it again.

The Pittsburgh Press - Apr 16, 1986 - Believe it or not! Rangers shoot down Flyers
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Never did John Vanbiesbrouck for all the acrobatics he performed all season, play as well as he did in this series.

The Montreal Gazette - Apr 28, 1986 - Madison madness! Rangers top Caps
Quote:
Pierre Larouche spent a good part of this season in the minors. John Vanbiesbrouck didn't, but the guys who have to spell his name probably wish he was still in the minors. But these two unlikely heroes carried the giant-killing New York Rangers into the NHL's Wales Conference final with a 2-1 victory of the Washington Capitals last night.

The Bryan Times - Apr 16, 1986- Rangers, Blues advance
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Rangers goalie John Vanbiesbrouck, the star of every game in the Patrick series except Philadelphia's series-tying 7-1 rout Sunday night, made 34 saves and 155 of 168in the series

The Montreal Gazette - Apr 29, 1986
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In New York, Pierre Larouche and John Vanbiesbrouck have helped the Rangers to two consecutive major playoff upsets.

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01-10-2013, 04:34 PM
  #211
TheDevilMadeMe
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That's certainly a point in his favor. Strange that Beezer had a rep as a "guy you couldn't win with" prior to reaching the finals in 1996, but I guess that label is often unfairly applied to goalies.

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01-10-2013, 05:13 PM
  #212
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What if this happened in the 1920's or something. There's a goalie that couldn't hack it for 10, 12 years...then ended up on one of those powerhouse defensive teams like Ottawa...killed it for two seasons and then quit hockey...there's no freakin' way that he would have made any list...not one. Why are we talking about him now...? I just can't figure it out...
That would be Jake Forbes, if anything.

Forbes was a good candidate for a Top-100.

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01-10-2013, 05:35 PM
  #213
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That would be Jake Forbes, if anything.

Forbes was a good candidate for a Top-100.
I would agree, he is approximately 100th all-time.

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01-10-2013, 06:22 PM
  #214
Dennis Bonvie
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I'm not sure why people discount Brodeur on save pct., the system that he played in just doesn't really allow for it...GMs saw through the stats and realized that he's a hugely impactful goaltender in the NHL...
And there's real value in being able to play at a high level for that long over the course of a season. Nabokov played 77 games that year. Every night he basically had to start...people that have been around the game on the ice (like, GMs for instance) realize how difficult that is today...

I'm not saying it weighs more than this, or it's worth as much as that...I'm just saying, that discounting that completely as "just games played...pssh..." is not how it's looked at inside the NHL...or even the levels below that...
Clearly GMs value games played and wins more than fans or sportswriters. No suprise there.

How exactly does the system he played in not allow for a good SP? Not a lot of shots, hardly any odd man rushes against, very few difficult shots.

Those no names guys in St Louis did OK last year with Hitchcock, as did Turco & Belfour in Dallas. Fernandez and Backstrom in Minnesota with Lemaire did OK. Patrick Roy with Pat Burns in Montreal, Felix Potvin also with Burns. Tim Thomas in Boston with Julien. All had high save percentages.

Weren't these instances of similar defensive style to the Devils?

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01-10-2013, 06:28 PM
  #215
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im kinda surprised Hextall isnt there yet given Kipper is already there

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01-10-2013, 06:31 PM
  #216
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Clearly GMs value games played and wins more than fans or sportswriters. No suprise there.

How exactly does the system he played in not allow for a good SP? Not a lot of shots, hardly any odd man rushes against, very few difficult shots.

Those no names guys in St Louis did OK last year with Hitchcock, as did Turco & Belfour in Dallas. Fernandez and Backstrom in Minnesota with Lemaire did OK. Patrick Roy with Pat Burns in Montreal, Felix Potvin also with Burns. Tim Thomas in Boston with Julien. All had high save percentages.

Weren't these instances of similar defensive style to the Devils?
Truth be told, when Brodeur's save percentages were particularly unimpressive (1998-99 to 2000-01), the Devils were playing an offensive version of the trap that was great for puck possession but allowed a higher than average number of odd-man rushes against.

Anyway, let's try to stick to the guys available this round. Talking about Brodeur is fine if you're using him as an example that relates to guys available now.

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01-10-2013, 06:32 PM
  #217
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@qpq - Not lost to Carolina for starters... I mean, this is a slippery slope. If I give credit here in 2009, I'm taking it from 2011 because I know he gave up a boatload of crappy goals in 2011, so it's a pick your poison type of deal if you're a Thomas supporter. If 2009 gets challenged as "not his fault" then I'm taking his 2011 down a peg. And then I'm sending everyone to bed without dinner!

Since we can't stop talking about the same couple goalies...

This is Thomas in back-to-backs under Julien. Why this is important is because when you have a back-to-back, especially on the road, you tend to really tighten things up and conserve energy. (Read: More defensive.) That's true of even non-defensive teams, much less one as staunch as the Bruins. They rarely felt comfortable using a goalie like Thomas in back to back situations clearly and that is one of Thomas' weak points. He lacks an economy of movement and is not a strong positional goaltender. Thus his highlight reels saves and then head-scratcher goals against...he's improved on it a bit since he's come into the league, when he first started he had no control over his movement in the crease and would often make one save and slide so far out of position that the net was left yawning...

Thomas in the second game of a back-to-back under Julien: 16 GP 5-9-1, 2.67 GAA, .916 save pct.

Remember this is Thomas' career under Julien: "Career with Julien as head coach: 320 GP - 180-99-31, 2.24 GAA, .927 save pct., 33 shutouts"

And that's with rare opportunities to do so, I think if he had to take on back to backs more often, he would break down more certainly. He's a goalie that needs to be managed...thus is only 60-game season was his worst one statistically...
Wouldn't it just be commom sense to rest a goalie who's in his late 30s, often, especially when there is a fine backup?

Thomas didn't seem to have much trouble playing 25 straight games in the 2011 playoffs.

His worst season was the "Dave Lewis experience". Chara was -21 that year, Bergereon -28. A team fiasco.

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01-10-2013, 06:34 PM
  #218
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Wouldn't it just be commom sense to rest a goalie who's in his late 30s, often, especially when there is a fine backup?

Thomas didn't seem to have much trouble playing 25 straight games in the 2011 playoffs.
It does make one wonder, however, if part of the reason Thomas was always fairly sharp in the playoffs is because he was about the only elite goalie of his era who was well rested during the regular season.

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01-10-2013, 06:38 PM
  #219
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Truth be told, when Brodeur's save percentages were particularly unimpressive (1998-99 to 2000-01), the Devils were playing an offensive version of the trap that was great for puck possession but allowed a higher than average number of odd-man rushes against.

Anyway, let's try to stick to the guys available this round. Talking about Brodeur is fine if you're using him as an example that relates to guys available now.
Hey, I didn't even mention his name! Yell at the other guy!

Man, they always catch the guy that retaliates.

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01-10-2013, 06:40 PM
  #220
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It does make one wonder, however, if part of the reason Thomas was always fairly sharp in the playoffs is because he was about the only elite goalie of his era who was well rested during the regular season.
That would point to a lot of dumb coaches then, eh?

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01-10-2013, 06:48 PM
  #221
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It does make one wonder, however, if part of the reason Thomas was always fairly sharp in the playoffs is because he was about the only elite goalie of his era who was well rested during the regular season.
I've actually got the data on my site now in such a format that it'd be pretty easy to compare Thomas' save percentage, GAA, and record in games with no rest, one day's rest, et cetera. That would lend some evidence.

(I tested it - and you can just copy and paste entire tables into Excel now. Wahoo!)

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01-10-2013, 07:02 PM
  #222
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Clearly GMs value games played and wins more than fans or sportswriters. No suprise there.

How exactly does the system he played in not allow for a good SP? Not a lot of shots, hardly any odd man rushes against, very few difficult shots.

Those no names guys in St Louis did OK last year with Hitchcock, as did Turco & Belfour in Dallas. Fernandez and Backstrom in Minnesota with Lemaire did OK. Patrick Roy with Pat Burns in Montreal, Felix Potvin also with Burns. Tim Thomas in Boston with Julien. All had high save percentages.

Weren't these instances of similar defensive style to the Devils?
First of all, you're mixing many different types of defensive systems into one. They are not similar. Not all defensive systems are created equal.

These Bruins, they allow long shots, collapse, clear away rebounds. Their goal is to allow a shot - of very low quality, from a low quality area - and retrieve the puck off of the collapse. Part of the strategy of the attacking team is part of the strategy of the defending team too. By that I mean, you might go into it and say, "alright, look, they won't let us get cooking in the offensive zone...so, let's take the long shot we're given but shoot for a cover and we'll get an O-zone draw and start on their turf" In that instance, it's actually Thomas' awkwardness that helps out. Almost every shot on him is a bit of an adventure because everything seems to be burped up as a rebound, since he can't handle things very cleanly, there's less d-zone draws than what the attackers might expect. Lots of easy shots = high save pct.

St. Louis, today, is more of a strong-side attack type of team. In short, you basically surround the puck carrier and force his hand while protecting the backside with the last guy. Generally, this creates a situation where you throw it on net and hope you or your weakside winger can get to the rebound. In any event, even if you choose to chip n' chase and try to engage in a cycle, you have to flip the rink on them to get a good scoring chance. Meaning, you have to get the puck to the weak side but when executed properly, all of those lanes are cut off. And what are hockey players told to do when they have no passing lanes? "Get it deep" or "get it on net" Lots of easy shots = high save pct.

With Lemaire's trap in New Jersey, the measure of defense was still largely measured in shots. The goal was to limit shots and the thought was, "limit shots, limit goals" - now the mantra is generally, "limit goals, forget the rest..." which speaks to the evolution of goaltending but also its stagnation, ubiquity or plateauing even. Again, I mean, Brian Elliot just broke the save pct. record* or whatever, it's worth its weight in salt not gold. Brian Elliot will never be picked in an ATD, MLD, AARP, NAACP, nothing...he's not even that good to be honest, but that's not important...

Anyway, the NZ Trap isn't designed to yield the zone at all, unlike the ones I just talked about. It's designed (with the help of the red line) to stop things at the low or mid neutral zone or high offensive zone (worst case). It's too far away to reasonably shoot from...an 85-foot wrister wouldn't register as a shot in NJ, no question about it. So, what do you do, "get it deep" - no trapezoid, so when you dump it, Marty goes out and corrals it...you're going full speed at him, he's throwing the puck past you in the other direction...instant breakout, just add Marty. Why he doesn't have a high save pct. isn't an indictment of him, it's an indictment of statistics. And I'm not about to give you the under-counting speech (though I know you love it), I mean, statistics like odds. I can't illustrate it because I don't have the brain for that type of math, but Marty had to give up 2 goals...every goalie gives up two goals...if he didn't give up 2 goals, we wouldn't have had to vote for the #1 spot because Brodeur would have been emblazoned there from the start of the first thread...do you know what I mean when I say this? It's tough to say over the internet.

He had to give up 2 goals. Roy had to, Hasek had to. They have to. I can't describe it any better than that. The defense is just as human as the goalie. Power plays happen, breakdowns happen, weird things, deflections, these things happen. You gotta give up 2, every goalie does...

Marty's two cost him so much more than the other goalies...
16 saves on 18 shots is a .889 save pct. - everyone winces with that "8" in front
17 saves on 18 shots is a .944 save pct. - the best ever probably

It's a switch. Two choices: league's worst or league's best. There's no margin for error.

It's almost a silly argument, but I just can't really explain it much better...but, what did you want him to do? Give up 1? Stop 94% of all his shots. In the context of the game, the options are just so far apart over so long that they kind of divided him from the rest.

Yeah, he had a great defense and system in front of him. No doubt. That doesn't preclude him from being a great goalie though. Marty succeeded outside the trap, outside of Stevens, pretty much everywhere...it's not like he dive-bombed afterwards, he was just in the Stanley Cup Finals at the age of 407...and what's the kicker? His highest save pct. season: is under Claude Julien.

But my argument is more of the common sense variety than even the hockey variety and it's this simple: Did you expect him to give up only one?


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01-10-2013, 07:28 PM
  #223
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Well, that doesn't tell the whole story, but it's a great cliffnotes version of what happened.

Why on Earth did Beezer have a reputation as a weak playoff goalie before 1996 then? I am remembering this correctly, right?

Edit, nevermind, you're giving regular season numbers.
Er... I don't think you're remembering correctly at all. I've personally never heard of that reputation before, and back in the day it made sense to me that they went with him for so long because he played exactly the same in the playoffs as he did in the regular season (as stats have shown, if I remember correctly, were still above replacement in 2 of his 3 worst seasons).

It wasn't until the platooning thing started with Richter than Beezer kind of his a "low" (imo) by "only" looking as good as Richter while splitting the games (regular season and playoffs). The next team that showed him the confidence of handing him the #1 to run with, though, started getting the "real" Beezer again. I'm obviously referring to Florida, but Philly offered him much of the same... at first (had to sign back to back 1 yr deals). Backing up, though, I remember having my doubts about him that year he had the broken jaw and wrist nerve damage. Maybe others did too, as a lesser-performing veteran Frose somehow kept getting games, as did both he (Frose) and a young Richter in the couple of playoffs that followed. Regardless, "new" Beezer (almost surprisingly I guess, in hindsight) didn't look any different "old" Beezer.

Getting back around to the point, I don't think Beezer was ever "bad" in the playoffs - certainly enough years before the Richter platoon to address the position if they deemed it "necessary" (and by necessary, I mean they were eventually faced with a decision to protect one goalie for an upcoming dispersal). Statistical comparison with his goaltending partner(s) and the lack of trade talk involving VanBiesbrouck until the Lindros trade days suggests that between '86 and '92 suggest that, even post seasons considered (perhaps especially considered, given the lack of team playoff success), he could have been described as "solid" at worst. His signing back to platoon with New York for $1 million even after becoming a (group 2) free agent in '92 speaks to his established reputation/value as well.

The gap between then and your end-point of '96 matches exactly with the Rangers subsequently missing the playoffs (despite one of the "best tandems" in the league) and expansion Florida's streak of missing the playoffs (can't be bad in a playoff you're not in), so nothing affecting playoff reputation there, obviously.

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01-10-2013, 08:17 PM
  #224
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Originally Posted by Mike Farkas View Post
First of all, you're mixing many different types of defensive systems into one. They are not similar. Not all defensive systems are created equal.

These Bruins, they allow long shots, collapse, clear away rebounds. Their goal is to allow a shot - of very low quality, from a low quality area - and retrieve the puck off of the collapse. Part of the strategy of the attacking team is part of the strategy of the defending team too. By that I mean, you might go into it and say, "alright, look, they won't let us get cooking in the offensive zone...so, let's take the long shot we're given but shoot for a cover and we'll get an O-zone draw and start on their turf" In that instance, it's actually Thomas' awkwardness that helps out. Almost every shot on him is a bit of an adventure because everything seems to be burped up as a rebound, since he can't handle things very cleanly, there's less d-zone draws than what the attackers might expect. Lots of easy shots = high save pct.

St. Louis, today, is more of a strong-side attack type of team. In short, you basically surround the puck carrier and force his hand while protecting the backside with the last guy. Generally, this creates a situation where you throw it on net and hope you or your weakside winger can get to the rebound. In any event, even if you choose to chip n' chase and try to engage in a cycle, you have to flip the rink on them to get a good scoring chance. Meaning, you have to get the puck to the weak side but when executed properly, all of those lanes are cut off. And what are hockey players told to do when they have no passing lanes? "Get it deep" or "get it on net" Lots of easy shots = high save pct.

With Lemaire's trap in New Jersey, the measure of defense was still largely measured in shots. The goal was to limit shots and the thought was, "limit shots, limit goals" - now the mantra is generally, "limit goals, forget the rest..." which speaks to the evolution of goaltending but also its stagnation, ubiquity or plateauing even. Again, I mean, Brian Elliot just broke the save pct. record* or whatever, it's worth its weight in salt not gold. Brian Elliot will never be picked in an ATD, MLD, AARP, NAACP, nothing...he's not even that good to be honest, but that's not important...

Anyway, the NZ Trap isn't designed to yield the zone at all, unlike the ones I just talked about. It's designed (with the help of the red line) to stop things at the low or mid neutral zone or high offensive zone (worst case). It's too far away to reasonably shoot from...an 85-foot wrister wouldn't register as a shot in NJ, no question about it. So, what do you do, "get it deep" - no trapezoid, so when you dump it, Marty goes out and corrals it...you're going full speed at him, he's throwing the puck past you in the other direction...instant breakout, just add Marty. Why he doesn't have a high save pct. isn't an indictment of him, it's an indictment of statistics. And I'm not about to give you the under-counting speech (though I know you love it), I mean, statistics like odds. I can't illustrate it because I don't have the brain for that type of math, but Marty had to give up 2 goals...every goalie gives up two goals...if he didn't give up 2 goals, we wouldn't have had to vote for the #1 spot because Brodeur would have been emblazoned there from the start of the first thread...do you know what I mean when I say this? It's tough to say over the internet.

He had to give up 2 goals. Roy had to, Hasek had to. They have to. I can't describe it any better than that. The defense is just as human as the goalie. Power plays happen, breakdowns happen, weird things, deflections, these things happen. You gotta give up 2, every goalie does...

Marty's two cost him so much more than the other goalies...
16 saves on 18 shots is a .889 save pct. - everyone winces with that "8" in front
17 saves on 18 shots is a .944 save pct. - the best ever probably

It's a switch. Two choices: league's worst or league's best. There's no margin for error.

It's almost a silly argument, but I just can't really explain it much better...but, what did you want him to do? Give up 1? Stop 94% of all his shots. In the context of the game, the options are just so far apart over so long that they kind of divided him from the rest.

Yeah, he had a great defense and system in front of him. No doubt. That doesn't preclude him from being a great goalie though. Marty succeeded outside the trap, outside of Stevens, pretty much everywhere...it's not like he dive-bombed afterwards, he was just in the Stanley Cup Finals at the age of 407...and what's the kicker? His highest save pct. season: is under Claude Julien.

But my argument is more of the common sense variety than even the hockey variety and it's this simple: Did you expect him to give up only one?
I, for one, find it absolutely fascinating that Lemaire's system inflated save percentage in Minnesota but not, apparently, in New Jersey.

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01-10-2013, 09:12 PM
  #225
Dennis Bonvie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Master_Of_Districts View Post
I, for one, find it absolutely fascinating that Lemaire's system inflated save percentage in Minnesota but not, apparently, in New Jersey.
Yep, my point exactly.

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