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yave1964

The importance of a decent backup goalie

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  It would not really be a stretch to say the reason that the Montreal Canadiens missed the playoffs last year was the putrid play of Antti Niemi.

 

  Niemi had been resigned to back up Carey Price prior to last season,  he came aboard during the distastrous 17-18 season and was okay, helping to stabilize the net so bringing him back was not that big of a reach.

 

  He started out okay, winning about as many as he lost during the 18-19 season when giving Price a day off but even then his save pct. was down, his goals against was up, kind of a typical backup really. Then in early January he had a nice 3 game winning streak.  From there however, the wheels fell off. He only started 4 games over the last 34, all of them losses as Price was forced to play nearly every night four times playing both ends of back to backs over a three and a half week stretch down the stretch. An exhausted and overused Price wore down during the stretch drive and the Habs fell just short of a playoff spot. 

  So Niemi was shipped out and Keith Kincaid was brought in, a few years ago he was thought of as kind of a prospect for the Devils, he has been simply awful, going 1-5 and in is six appearances giving up at least 4 goals a staggering 5 times. In spite of having a 1.75 million dollar guaranteed deal the Habs just sent him out and recalled a twenty year old middling prospect to fill the backup role. And Price will again have to shoulder a huge load for a team that is a bubble club for a playoff spot.

 

  Now look at the Bruins who have watched Rask wear down during stretch drives too often, so they added veteran Halak as a 30 game a year starter, spelling Rask, giving him time off when needed, Rask was red hot in the postseason carrying the Bruins to within one game of the mountaintop. Along the same lines, Khubodin spelled Bishop generously and a fresh Bishop was brilliant last season being nominated for the Vezina.

 

  Backup goalies seem to fall into one of several categories:

 

 Young kids chomping at the bit, Demko in Vancouver, Ullmark, Saros and Georgiev also fill the bill among others. Samsonov is the latest.

 

Veterans who know they are never going to be starters again but can play 30 quality games and keep the team in it. Khubodin, Ryan miller, Halak are among the best of this type.

 

 Desperation time for the player trying to hold on and the team hoping the backup doesn't kill them. Bernier, Talbot, Jack Campbell, Hutchinson, Jake Allen are this type. Teams are desperate, players want to keep playing. Usually a match made in Hell.

 

True platoon arrangements which are rare especially for a true contender. Last year the Mrazek/McBackup duo shocked the game, now Raanta/Keumper are doing it in Arizona,  Koskinen/smith and Lehner/Crawford are sgaring the net. So are Varly/Greiss. 

 

  It is not impossible but it is a serious strike against you if you have your starting goalie expected to start 60 plus games a year anymore. 50 seems to be the ideal number to keep them from wearing down, in the same way that MLB has used stats to determine the optimum pitch count for a starting pitcher the NHL seems to have caught on to the optimum amount of starts a goalie can handle.

 

 Someone needs to tell Marc Bergevin before he gets Carey Price killed.

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1 hour ago, Podein25 said:

LMAO 

 

Flyer fans are like: "what's with the word 'backup'?"

And Wings fans are like, "Whats with the word starter??"

  • Haha 2

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55 minutes ago, Brewin Flames said:

Hence Halak getting a shut out last night, gives rask a breather....

  I am not a Smith Fan, AT ALL, never appreciated his style, the way his mask somehow comes lookse when he needs a breather or failing that, he falls to the ice feigning injury for a whistle. However while I love rittich letting smith go and replacing hi with the ghost of Cam Talbot puts Calgary in a dangerous position. 

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38 minutes ago, yave1964 said:

  I am not a Smith Fan, AT ALL, never appreciated his style, the way his mask somehow comes lookse when he needs a breather or failing that, he falls to the ice feigning injury for a whistle. However while I love rittich letting smith go and replacing hi with the ghost of Cam Talbot puts Calgary in a dangerous position. 

 

IMO, the Flames are in some trouble. They could lose most of their entire D-group this summer, and they have some really gross contracts (cough, LUCIC, cough) to deal with. They've achieved this really mediocre season without any key injuries that are coming to mind, too.

 

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      It would not really be a stretch to say the reason that the Montreal Canadiens missed the playoffs last year was the putrid play of Antti Niemi.     Niemi had been resigned to back up Carey Price prior to last season,  he came aboard during the distastrous 17-18 season and was okay, helping to stabilize the net so bringing him back was not that big of a reach.     He started out okay, winning about as many as he lost during the 18-19 season when giving Price a day off but eve
    • 2
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      And Wings fans are like, "Whats with the word starter??"
    • 1
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      LMAO    Flyer fans are like: "what's with the word 'backup'?"
    • 1
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      Hence Halak getting a shut out last night, gives rask a breather....

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