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Goaltender Analysis: Nikolai Khabibulin vs. Mikka Kiprusoff

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06-08-2004, 10:08 AM
  #1
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Goaltender Analysis: Nikolai Khabibulin vs. Mikka Kiprusoff

In only the second ever Stanley Cup final not featuring a North American goaltender, I'm of the impression that Nikolai Khabibulin and Mikka Kiprusoff performed very well. Prior to these playoffs, alot was discussed in regards to the pressure, mentality and clutch ability of non-NA goalies and these two silenced the critics.

I would like to hear who people thought was the better goaltender in this series.

My choice is Nikolai Khabibulin as he performed the best under the highest amount of pressure. Kipper was fantastic for Calgary and cannot be faulted for the game seven loss, but Khabibulin was shining when it mattered the most. His three saves on Jordan Leopold within a two minute stretch in the third period was unreal. Leopold must have been doubting whether they'd tie the game up or not at that point.

Conversely, however, Kiprusoff made two huge saves on Marty St. Louis and Vincent Lecavalier. The save on St. Louis in the second period wasn't all that special, but it kept his team in the game and he came out far to take away any chance of St. Louis picking the corner. The toe save on Lecavalier in the third period as Prince Vincent tried the one-handed move was brilliant, as well.

Most people will choose Khabibulin simply because his team won the series, but the overall comparison between the two goaltenders is EXTREMELY close.

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06-08-2004, 11:15 AM
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It really is insanely close. Kipper broke my heart several times with his incredible saves on shots that would have put a couple of the Bolts wins away for good and obviously Khabi returned the favor to Flames fans. You have to give the edge to the winner though. I mean, he made a SINGLE GOAL in the first 3 minutes stand up for a win in Game 4. That is ridiculous!

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06-08-2004, 11:18 AM
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Burke's Evil Spirit
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I thought Khabibulin was the better goalie, but they both played at such stratospheric heights the comparison is irrelevent.

Honestly, I really feel Khabibulin was robbed of the Conn Smythe this year. A .941 playoff save percentage? Unreal.

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06-08-2004, 11:26 AM
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I thought both were fantastic throughout he series....I'll give the edge to Khabibulin. That save he made on the Leopold rebound was just unreal....

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06-08-2004, 11:48 AM
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I really don't think either goalie is better. They were dead even. Calgary just shot themselves in the foot with their lack of disipline and allowing too many PP for the bolts. You can't allow that against a team with such offence. Plus you DO have to give credit to the defencemen. I mean Kubina musta broke a bone or two blocking so many shots himself you know

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06-08-2004, 11:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burke's Evil Spirit
I thought Khabibulin was the better goalie, but they both played at such stratospheric heights the comparison is irrelevent.

Honestly, I really feel Khabibulin was robbed of the Conn Smythe this year. A .941 playoff save percentage? Unreal.
I think he should have gotten the Smythe trophy too. He saved this team's bacon so many times. I wouldn't say he was robbed, but he was the more deserving candidate. That being said, no one thought these two goalies would do what they ended up doing. Because of past records, inexperience..., there weren't too many people that imagine these two would be in the finals. I think both goalies were spectacular. Each of them made a mistake here and there, but that's the way it goes. My hat is off to both Nik and Mikka.

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06-08-2004, 11:58 AM
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mikkoz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spacemania
I really don't think either goalie is better. They were dead even. Calgary just shot themselves in the foot with their lack of disipline and allowing too many PP for the bolts.
I agree. Its a tie.

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06-08-2004, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burke's Evil Spirit
I thought Khabibulin was the better goalie, but they both played at such stratospheric heights the comparison is irrelevent.

Honestly, I really feel Khabibulin was robbed of the Conn Smythe this year. A .941 playoff save percentage? Unreal.
Well if you want to use stats in a simplistic way-CURTIS JOSEPH WAS ROBBED !
1.39GAA and 9.39 save percentage compared to Khabibulin at1.71GAA and 9.33
save percentage.Nabokov and Vokoum also had higher save percentages.
Brad Richards did something nobody has done before- 11 game winning points
including 7 goals. Also Richards shone the brightest in the last 2 series which
were the toughest.He led the final series in something like 8 categories.I'm
sorry this was a cinch- RICHARDS MVP.

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06-08-2004, 01:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rowsdower
I thought both were fantastic throughout he series....I'll give the edge to Khabibulin. That save he made on the Leopold rebound was just unreal....
Which one.

He made one on Leopold last night and another similarly brilliant save in Game 4 I believe, also on Leopold.

Why do we have to decide who was better? They were both spectacular IMO.

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06-08-2004, 05:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoyIsALegend
In only the second ever Stanley Cup final not featuring a North American goaltender, I'm of the impression that Nikolai Khabibulin and Mikka Kiprusoff performed very well. Prior to these playoffs, alot was discussed in regards to the pressure, mentality and clutch ability of non-NA goalies and these two silenced the critics.
"these two"???

You must be kidding me?

Hasek doesn't count, right?

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06-08-2004, 06:11 PM
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilka91
"these two"???

You must be kidding me?

Hasek doesn't count, right?
One great goalie doesn't just make people believe in these things. Now that there are more then the subject may change imo.

Anyway, I think Khabibulin was slightly better. Calgary had better defensive play and that helped Kipper a lot imo. It took some of the pressure away from Kipper but the Bolts defensive play wasn't bad either. I'm talking the entire play off run here, not just the finals.

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06-08-2004, 08:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timmy1973
I think he should have gotten the Smythe trophy too. He saved this team's bacon so many times. I wouldn't say he was robbed, but he was the more deserving candidate. That being said, no one thought these two goalies would do what they ended up doing. Because of past records, inexperience..., there weren't too many people that imagine these two would be in the finals. I think both goalies were spectacular. Each of them made a mistake here and there, but that's the way it goes. My hat is off to both Nik and Mikka.
Blame Mariouelli. The phantom interference call on Pratt and resulting goal gave the Flames their only goal of the game.

It would be tough to deny the Conn Smythe to a goalie with 2 SO in the SCF, and a record tying 6 in the playoffs, especially when the last comes in a game 7.

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06-09-2004, 01:09 AM
  #13
Peter25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burke's Evil Spirit
I thought Khabibulin was the better goalie, but they both played at such stratospheric heights the comparison is irrelevent.

Honestly, I really feel Khabibulin was robbed of the Conn Smythe this year. A .941 playoff save percentage? Unreal.
You should realize that the NHL will never, ever give the Conn Smythe to a Russian player no matter how well he plays.

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06-09-2004, 02:53 AM
  #14
Cynical TyranT
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I was pulling for Khabbi for the Conn also. Richards smoked, but, I kind of feel that if he didn't pull the trigger, someone else would've...

Khabbi kept their ***** IN the game sometimes, when Sydor did good things for Calgary like give up the puck in a cross-ice attempt some 50 damned times..... he was scary sometimes...

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06-09-2004, 10:50 AM
  #15
Burke's Evil Spirit
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter25
You should realize that the NHL will never, ever give the Conn Smythe to a Russian player no matter how well he plays.
I realized this when Sergei Fedorov got shafted in 1997.

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