The Landscape of Goaltending in Today’s NHL

July 11th, 2010 by James Crider Leave a reply »
If one position has redefined itself in the five post-lockout NHL seasons, that position is goaltender.

Previously, goaltending was the crux of an NHL team; having a marquee goaltender in net was a must for any team to have any reasonable chance of success. The 10 seasons from 1995 through 2004 only saw five different NHL teams hoist the Stanley Cup; Colorado (1996, 2001), Dallas (1999), Detroit (1997, 1998, 2002), New Jersey (1995, 2000, 2003), and Tampa Bay (2004). Unsurprisingly, each and every team had top-tier goaltending from the likes of players such as Patrick Roy, Ed Belfour, Martin Brodeur, and Dominik Hasek.

Times have changed. Smaller goalie pads and less freedom for defensemen to obstruct the opposition has opened things up completely.

Scoring is up, job security for goaltenders is down.

In each and every of the past five seasons, a handful of middle of the pack goaltenders emerged with a season of elite goaltending numbers, only to be supplanted the following season by a new handful.

The change was instantaneous.

2006, the first post-lockout season, saw former Anaheim backup Martin Gerber lead th ...

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