November 15, 2010

With Goaltending like This, Who Needs Goalies?

Memo to all NHL teams: cut-out goalies can be purchased at your local sporting-goods stores at the very reasonable price of approximately 1/100,000 of what you're paying your actual ones. That, and they don't talk back as much when they feel like they're not starting enough.

On Sunday, quite a few general managers might have felt like making such an investment, with a total of 30 goals scored in just four games, which translates into 3.75 allowed per team. Admittedly, New York Ranger Marian Gaborik and Edmonton Oiler Nikolai Khabibulin did their part in inflating those statistics, with the former actually doing his job after pulling a Houdini of late, and the latter showing his age... apparently the same as the actual Berlin Wall, complete with the all the cracks you would come to expect from something that's 49 years old... and got torn down two decades ago.

Still, as far as I can tell, of the eight Khabibulin allowed, none were as bad as the one above by the Minnesota Wild's Cal Clutterbuck on the Tampa Bay Lightning's Dan Ellis, or Washington Capital Alexander Ovechkin's on Atlanta Thrasher Chris Mason, who actually put it in his own net (below).

So, the Wild's Niklas Backstrom gets credit for providing the only real credible performance of the night, with just one goal allowed (37 saves) against the Bolts. But Chuck Fletcher had probably take note of the memo above for playoff time (if the Wild get that far). Jose Theodore is your back-up after all.

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