goaltending in the playoffs

There have been many great games played in the playoffs thus far. In my eyes, any remaining team from both the East and the West can win it all. But it all depends on goaltending. Goaltending is the key to winning in the playoffs. And it isnt always the goalie that is expected to succeed who gets the job done. This is a look at the goaltending that has been seen in the playoffs.


Ottawa- while Emery is no Hasek, he has done an excellent job of filling his shoes. He has put up a sv% of .924 and has made some big saves when needed. But how far will he get. He is a rookie and has another rookie, Morrison, backing him up. Morrison hasn’t played thus far so there is no telling how he will preform if needed, so if Emery faulters, so will Ottawa.

Carolina- I would like to say that I never believed that Gerber was as good as most believed, but I didnt expect him to faulter this much. He has a sv% of .735. Thankfully for the canes, Ward has stepped in and done amaizing. he has a .935 sv% and is the only reason that Montreal hasn’t put away the series. But they are in the same situation as Ottawa, no real experience in net. In this case, though, the canes have no prayer if Ward stumbles because Gerber has shown that he cant handle the playoffs.

New Jersey- Brodeur may not have had his best season, but he has been unbeatable in the playoffs. But is this due to him or the injury riddled, offencively challenged Rangers. We will see next round. If he fails, and thats a big if, Clemmenson can hold up somewhat, but not enough to carry the load.

Buffalo- Miller looks like he is on top of his game again, getting the shutout against Philly in game 5. He has had some problems, but for the most part has been solid. even if he slips up, the sabres have a good D core that can help out and Biron is more than capable of replacing Miller if needed. I believe the strong goaltending will carry the Sabres to the conference championship. experience is also an issue here.

Phliadelphia- Esche has not been good in this series and Nittiimaki has not been able to show that he could play better. I said before the playoffs that there goaltending will take them nowhere, and I stand by that statement. With this inconsistent goaltending, i just dont see how they will come back in the series

New York- Perhaps the biggest suprise for me was the way that Lundqvist played. He never seemed to have a handle on the puck and seemed to be fighting it off. He gave up some weak goals and never seemed to come up with the rebound. Weeks was no better, making similar mistakes. At least his play could be seen coming with his poor play at the end of the year. To me, Lundqvist seemed like he was still injured and he struggled as a result. Having Jagr injured didn’t help either.

Montreal-Huet has been solid, just like the regular season, and has helped keep the Canadiens in it. the way he has been playing, I dont see Abby playing at all. If he has to though, Montreal will go out quickly. He is not that bad of a goaltender, but Huet is the reason that Montreal is in the postseason all together.

Tampa Bay-If you didn’t see this comming, you must not follow hockey much. The goaltending tandem of Burke nd Grahame has been the problem for Tampa all year and nothing changed in the playoffs. Grahame just hasn’t adjusted well to the new NHL and if Burke wasn’t the backup, then I can’t see him playing a game all year. Tampa needs a better goalie if they ever wish to be contenders again.


Detroit-Legacy has been mediocre in goal for the Wings, not playing outstanding but not making the big saves either. Osgood wouldn’t be any better, but the change could give Detroit a good wake up call. No one on the team has really been playing there best hockey, which is a playoff must. I dont expect them to be around much longer.

Dallas-Turco downright sucked during this series and essentially eliminated the Stars on his own. He flopped like Hasek but never stopped the puck and he gave up some shots from areas where other goalies could made the save blindfolded. It would have been doubtful if the Moose could have done better, but you expect more from an All-Star. lie Turco.

Calgary-Kiprusoff is one of the best goalies in the NHL today and he is the reason that the Flames are on the verge of advancing. If he goes down, Calgary doesn’t have a chance. Boucher is a terrible goalie and I would not be the least bit supprised if he is in the ECHL next year. The Flames don’t have the firepower to compete with anyone in net but Kipper.

Nashville-Losing Vokoun was a big hit to there chances, but Mason stepped in and played well. the main reason that they are gone is a lack of quality defencive play. Mason had no help. Witt had to have been one of the worst trades this year. Mason was pelted every night by the Sharks and held up well. Look for him to be trabe bait this off season, since the Preds have Rinne comming up and Vokoun comming back.

San Jose-Toskala has been sensational in net. He has not given up any real weak goals and was the main reason the Sharks are advancing. Even if he struggles, Nabokov can step in and take over, trying to reprove himself. San Jose is set and should roll whoever they play next round. They have the depth in goal, on offence, and on d to take it all the way.

Anaheim-Giguere has been poor and has not been able to stop the low scoring Flames at all. Bryzgalov has been good when he played and has the second highest sv% in the playoffs in the game and a half that he has played. If on his game like he seems to be, then he could possibly carry the team past the flames. But with Giguere in net, the series rests on the shoulders of the Offence, and thay have a chalenge with Kiprusoff in goal.

Colorado-Theodore has really suprised me and has been solid in the playoffs. But, how long will it last. He wasnt spectacular to end the regular season and wasn’t good in Montreal either. The Avs hopes lie on his back, as i dont believe Budaj could step up to the plate if needed.

Edmonton-the Oilers have been getting some of the best goaltending in the playoffs from Roloson. he has been solid in goal ahd most of the goals that he has given up are flukes or perfect shots. if he keeps up the play, the Oilers could go far. But if he faulters, neither Conklin nor Markkanen could step up. This is another case of a team depending heavily on goaltending.

The first rould has been some of the best hockey I have seen in years. The new NHL has been a great improvement in the quality of games in the playoffs and the teams themselves. It will be interesting to see how it will pan out.

68 Responses to goaltending in the playoffs

  1. JannettyTheRocker says:

    Yeah, and he’s another Oiler’s doubter…..Sharks over Oil???? Don’t think so.

    Why don’t you focus on your Leaf’s golf tourney, and leave the playoffs to the true hockey cities and Stanley Cup Contenders!!!

  2. Aetherial says:

    Here’s the thing, Rivet deflected that almots exactly at the point the shot was taken. It was not a last second change for Huet to deal with.

    Huet played great in this series and the second half of the year for the Habs, but that goal he went down and sort of waved at with his arm. It was bad. Very bad.

  3. 24_cups_and_counting says:

    I hope that the 1st game of next years season is Ottawa vs. Toronto in Toronto. I also hope that Alfy brings the cup to that game, spits in it, and makes Sundin drink out of it. That’ll be the only tiem he ever gets to drink out of it.

  4. NiittymakiForVezina says:

    Did nothing to help? He’s probably the only reason besides Forsberg that this series wasn’t a sweep.

  5. SJ_Sharks_Fan_19 says:

    That sums up what i was going to say just in better wording 🙂

  6. SJ_Sharks_Fan_19 says:

    Oil over sharks? LMFAO

  7. thatleafsguy says:

    Its obvious you are a non believer in Thornton and Cheechoo, oh well when reality hits you its gonna hit hard kid.

  8. Aetherial says:

    Sorry, but you watched the game through a fan’s eyes and I watched it from a more neutral position.

    I saw one part of one game where Esche was outstanding. Other than that, he was average.

    But I will grant you he was NOT the reason the Flyers lost. They lost becasue they were out worked in a big way and were WAY too slow to skate with the Sabres.

    The Flyers have some concerns, and I think goaltending is still one of them.

  9. thatleafsguy says:

    Alfy is gonna steal the cup away from Joe Thornton? That would be interesting to see.


  10. Aetherial says:

    That was just about the level of class I expect from you.

    Get help.

  11. thatleafsguy says:

    I said when the series started if the Flyers start Esche they will lose this series and look what happened. They should have stuck with Nitty.

  12. thatleafsguy says:

    Apparantley you missed the part of game 6 where the Oil tied the game on a goal where the puck was so clearly high sticked by Horcoff or Samsonov before hitting Hemmer in the leg and into the net……but hey see what you want.

  13. KevinPity says:

    Get rid of ASAP:




























    Savage(was useful in playoffs)

    Brashear(useful in times of injury though with Poltuny and Eager he may be expendable)

  14. KevinPity says:

    Esche has his weakspots. But overall in the playoffs he has been able to play pretty well. If game 1 had gone differently and Flyers had won it in OT instead of a loss I really think game 2 would not have been as bad as it was for esche. Same with Game 6. Esche is a serviceable goalie in playoff time. He is no Broduer or Roy but he can get the job done.

  15. dre2k5 says:

    i hear you on the comparisons. you cant make them between guys today and back then. my point was that with those numbers, to me he is a sure pick over anyone still playing this spring. although i admit if the finals are calgary-nj, kipper vs. marty will be one of the great goalie showdowns

  16. goalieman32 says:

    the fact that he couldnt bounce back from a tough loss goes to show how he is not a quality playoff goalie. goalies that can shrug off the odd bad goal are the ones that are hoisting the cups. goalies who dwell on the bad goals and fall into a slump only win as backups. i will say it right now. esche will only win a cup if niittymaki takes the flyers there and he is along for the ride.

  17. burnz30 says:

    I am not a fan of Esche, but he wasn’t the reason Philly lost. He and Forsberg are the reason why it wasn’t a sweep. Esche was really good in game one, OK in 3, 4 and 5 and completely left out to dry in 2 and 6. Philly gave up way too many odd man rushes and cross crease passes. Most of the Buffalo goals were scored in that fashion. Can’t exactly blame the goalie for that, or that fact they could only manage about 2 goals a game. The Flyers barely tested Miller. I don’t think that he can get it done. The Ottawa is going to really challenge him.

    Roloson wasn’t the luckiest goalie as you put it. If you saw any bit of that series you’d know that. I myself am a goalie, and Roloson was awesome. Brodeur was good, but he was barely tested. Roloson beat a better team (8v1) as opposed to Brodeur who was the top team and expected to win. Also Roloson had to endeur several overtimes(which he won) and Brodeur didn’t. For that I say Roloson was better(more improtant to his team’s success). I am a big fan of Brodeur, but the Devils could have won that series with a number of other goalies. He wasn’t really the main story in that series, where as Roloson was the story in his.

  18. Aetherial says:

    The way the Rangers declined to show up … Brodeur made NO difference.

    Don’t get me wrong, I think he is the best goalie playing today. I just think that series was athe most embarassing joke of the playoffs so far. The NYR players ought to be ashamed.

    Next on the shame list is the Flyers… although they had a tougher opponent, I am not sure more *heart* could have saved them against Buffalo who was just way too fast.

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