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Video: PHT Extra — What’s with all the bad goaltending?

Mar 11, 2013, 5:42 PM EDT

In the latest installment of PHT Extra, Brough and I took notice of the scorching Columbus Blue Jackets — winners of five straight, the longest active streak in the league — who are racking up points thanks in large part to the play of goalie Sergei Bobrovsky.

The 25-year-old Russian ‘tender was recently named the NHL’s first star of the week after going 4-0-0 with a 0.77 GAA and .972 save percentage.

His stellar play has allowed the Jackets to climb out of the Western Conference cellar. Somewhat amazingly, they now sit just four points back of St. Louis for the final playoff spot in the West.

Just goes to show where good goaltending can get you.

On the other end of the spectrum, a number of last year’s playoff teams are struggling between the pipes.

The Blues, Kings, Penguins and Flyers all have sub-.900 save percentages and inflated GAAs, though they’re hardly alone — 10 of the NHL’s 30 teams have save percentages of .900 or less, while nine teams (Penguins, Blues, Flyers, Capitals, Sabres, Lightning, Flames, Islanders and Panthers) have collective GAAs of 2.90 or higher.

What gives? And are there goaltending fixes available?

Without further ado, to the video…

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Jackets’ Bobrovsky named NHL’s first star of the week

Sutter says Kings need better goaltending

Hitchcock on Blues goaltending: ‘Last year we rewarded shutouts. Now we’re rewarding wins’

  1. DTF31 - Mar 11, 2013 at 6:21 PM

    How many takes does one of these things take?

  2. sergeikremlin - Mar 11, 2013 at 6:36 PM

    Partly due to a virtually non-existent training camp, combined with limited or no practice time, new players on and against your team, and a condensed schedule where you’re playing more often than usual.

    I think what it comes down to though is team defense. You can’t hang your goalie out to dry with chance after chance. If you want him to get into a groove, you need to play consistent in front of him as well, and virtually no team has done that all season. Even the B-Hawks were having to come back in 3rd periods to keep their streak alive, it wasn’t total domination and consistency.

  3. sergeikremlin - Mar 11, 2013 at 6:40 PM

    As far as which goalies will be moved, I think something big is going to come in Vancouver, but I’m not sure it involves Roberto Luongo. No one wants to take that contract, especially with the cap going down next year, plus give up everything Mike Gillis is asking. It’s a very tough situation and no team is that desperate at the moment.

    The guy I am really interested in is Ryan Miller. He’s obviously not happy with the way his team is playing, his long-time coach has been ousted, and the Sabres are having an awful season. If the swordmen continue their downward spiral, I’m very interested to see if Miller is part of a changing of the guard.

  4. phillyphanatic77 - Mar 11, 2013 at 6:52 PM

    Because there are only 48 games this season, if a goalie has a bad streak of 3-5 games where he allows 4 or so goals a night, his statistics will become inflated. Just a few weeks ago Brygalov had a GAA in the low 2’s, but since then he’s had several games where he’s allowed 3-4 goals, so his GAA has skyrocketed to just below 3.00. And I think that’s happening with goalies across the league. You stink up one game (like the 7 or 8 goals Luongo allowed) and your stats will suffer. Normally you have an 82-game schedule to straighten out your averages. Now, there’s no room for error (when it comes to statistics) when you’re only playing about half as many games as usual. Plus there’s limited practice time, limited rest, and excessive travel.

  5. thehighcountrybear - Mar 11, 2013 at 9:09 PM

    Its the latent effect of Dominik Hasek’s influence on the game. Hasek was almost Crozier-like in his agility, flopping and moving like a cat on a hot tin roof; Dominik’s equipment was trimmer and more suited to scrambling movement as was Roger’s. Now, goalies are climbing into grossly over-sized inflexible pads that simply hang loosely on their legs, all so they can simply butterfly then flop forward while covering the corners down low, ala Hasek.

    The scrambling style is suited to lousy chewed-up ice from the circles on in that prevents snapping high shots. Now, everyone’s baiting goalies into dropping early, then stepping into shots from off the wing or the high slot…all aimed at the crossbar. If they drop low, light ’em up

    • clefty1 - Mar 12, 2013 at 10:28 AM

      In case you missed it the goalie equipment is actually smaller though the league is looking at the length of the pads from the knee to the upper thigh the goalies today are bigger and more athletic, gone are the days of the 5′ 9″ goalie, today a tender under 6′ will not even be looked at.

  6. proudliberal85392 - Mar 11, 2013 at 9:54 PM

    phillyphanatic77 is right. We’re seeing it here in Phoenix with Mike Smith. A 48 game schedule is far less forgiving than an 82 game slate.

  7. blomfeld - Mar 12, 2013 at 12:10 AM


    Hey man, I know the deal here, but let’s keep it real eh ? Comrade “Conn Smythe trophy winner” Quick underwent “major” back surgery in September and so he’s only now rounding into form. It’s therefore both “negligent and hurtful” for you to include the King’s “stellar” backstopping corps on your list of sub-par performers. As you guys know, I “luv ya” man … but this is a little too close for comfort.

    Executive Summary: LA Kings goal tending = the Siegfried Line ! :) :) :)

    • manchestermiracle - Mar 12, 2013 at 11:35 AM

      Quick just missed getting his first shutout of the season (against the woeful Flames) and Bernier has been solid.

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