Goalies are weird. I would venture that probably 95% of people who watch a game have no idea what they’re looking at when there’s a guy between the pipes (Bobby and myself at the top of that list). Ask someone why Marty Brodeur is such a good goalie and you’ll probably hear, “Because he stops the puck a lot.”
You won’t hear anything about footwork or angles or positioning because no one really has a clue what a goalie is trying to do in order to prevent the shot from getting past him. If it were as easy as “Just stop the puck”, then why do parents send their kids to goalie schools and why would teams hire goaltending coaches?
On the surface, it seems so simple, yet pull away the layers, and it really is a science. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m goaltending ignorant, which is also why I hesitate to criticize them.
I have no idea if a goalie was lucky or trying to bait the shooter or the passer or whatever. It’s not something I really understand so I’m not going to speak out of turn and sound like a pinhead. I do that enough when I kind of know what I’m talking about.
If you came here for hard-core goalie strategy or goalie bashing, you’re clearly in the wrong place.
This leads me to the bigger picture.
In what should come as a surprise to no one, Cristobal Huet has become the center of the Blackhawks Universe. Leave it to Tim Sassone to be the voice of reason. He even takes some of his media brethren to task for being panic button- pushing alarmists.
“(Tonight) is going to be a game where we fight for our lives and we want to play better, myself first, obviously,” Huet said. “It’s going to be 60 or more minutes that’s going to decide our future.”
Interesting choice of words, but Huet’s future with the Hawks likely isn’t as shaky as some bandwagon-jumping media members might think. He has three more years remaining on the four-year, $22.54 million contract he signed as a free agent last July, and Hawks general manager Dale Tallon appears committed to him going forward to the 2009-10 season.
You tell ’em Tim. The only thing I would disagree with in his whole article is that Tallon is committed to him because he really has no choice. No team is going to take on money in this climate and the Hawks have no one else to take his spot.
Of course, that won’t stop the fans from turning Huet into Cristobal Grossman if things should turn south tomorrow evening.
–This could very well be the final game of the season tomorrow. Any one who has followed the comments recently has seen the theme mostly turn to what is going to happen in the off-season. All I can tell you is, it is infinitely more exciting to talk about now than to actually experience.
The summer will be so slow, you’ll be begging for games. So please, savor what could be the final moments of the season because once it’s gone, there’s only so many times you can break down the salary cap and Blackhawks depth chart before you want to put staples in your head.
–There’s been a considerable amount of talk in this playoffs about experience. Is it that important? Does it really exist? Well, here’s a quote from Patrick Kane that shouldn’t go unnoticed:
“The [Wings] back-check harder than any other team in the league,” Hawks winger Patrick Kane, 20, said. “Even with all the offense they have, they really come back hard and you never really see too many odd-man rushes against them.
“For some young guys in here we can really take from that and learn from that. When you see guys like [Pavel] Datsyuk and [Henrik] Zetterberg really back-checking hard we know we have to do it too.”
But, what does Kane know? He’s just a lazy showboater who the Hawks should trade the first chance they get.
–I keep forgetting to bring this up, but now that Pat Foley is no longer a part of our lives, the new drinking game during telecasts should be “Sustaining Momentum“. Every time Edzo, Mike Emrick, Pierre Maguire, Mike Milbury, Keith Jones, or Brian Engblom says the word ‘momentum’ take a drink.
Ten minutes into the game, you’ll probably be running around in your underwear. By the end of the game, you’ll look like Havlat after Kronwall got done with him.
Why is it so difficult for ‘experts’ to articulate what is actually happening in the game? Certainly, there is more to the Red Wings weak side defenseman being wide open in the offensive zone than just momentum. At least, I hope so.