Dispelling the goaltending myth
Now that we have made it to mid-second round, are you guys ready to finaly admit experienced goaltending is NOT make or break? Let’s discuss- many weeks back, we all posted comments about Philly, Tampa, San Jose, etc…… in which MANY stated that goatending would be the ultimate demise of these clubs. Now I agree, a solid goaltender IS HUGE- but, Patrick Roy is retired! No one dominates this game like Roy, Hasek (in his prime), Parent, Fuhr, USED TO. The fact of the matter is, all of the guys I just mentioned were young, and inexperienced ONCE. Many of you seem to get “blinded” by history, and make judgement of youth hastily. Here is where we are now:
Nikolai Khabibulin – 4 shut outs, a save % .974. won the series against the Habs, Outplaying (and that is a nice term) Theodore.
Robert Esche – Dispatched the NJ Devils in 5- that means he outplayed Brodeur! MB is a Hart and Vezina finalist, and without a doubt, the best current tender in this league. This playoff series, Esche was better. He also holds a 2-1 lead over Ed Belfour- whether you like or not, he HAS outplayed Eddie so far. Save % .946
Evgeni Nabokov – .938 save % and a 7-2 record qualifies for a nice run, don’t you think. And he has merely faced the likes of Weight, Demitra, Tkachuk, Forsberg, Sakic, Hejduk, Selanne, Kariya etc…….
Yes, you can go ahead and say a “hot streak” does not qualify, but it is clear- we would all agree that, heading into the playoffs, Brodeur, Belfour, and Theodore, having experience, would likely feel most comfortable. However, each of them has been outplayed by a younger, inexperienced counterpart. So let’s focus on the BIG picture now. Let’s stop relying solely on historical numbers- they are just that – HISTORY.