Tuesday, October 11, 2005


Backup Goalies

Hey Matt (or other Flames fans), what would you estimate the breakdown was last season between the Flames facing backup goalies vs #1 goalies?

I'm not trying to be a smartass, I'm seriously interested. I would guess that this year the Flames will probably see a lot more #1 goalies than they did last year.

If the Oilers fast start continues, I'd expect the same with them.


I looked into it a bit (and thought about it) and, I'm not trying to be a smartass either, but you guess wrong - kind of.

It's a tough thing to evaluate from last season, especially in our division. Really, Colorado was the only team with a #1 goalie from beginning to end of the year. Flames played Aebischer all but one matchup w/ Colorado. They got Legace a couple of times against Detroit, instead of Joseph, but I'm not sure what that proves.

Giguere all 4 Anaheim games, Turco all 4 Dallas games, Vokoun all 4 Nashville games. Belfour all 4 TO games.

Maybe the opposition changed strategy after the Flames got their act together, I don't know. we'd have to check what goalies Columbus went up against. In the absence of other evidence, though, I'd have to say that when a team is choosing when to play their backup, timing is more relevant than opponent.

It's a theory but I don't believe it's relevant. The Flames won a bevy of one-goal games last season, not because they took advantage of weaker 'tenders but rather because of a stifling defense. If there was a trend because of the team facing backup goalies, it would likely be a coincidence, nothing more.

Then again, the Oil used nothing but backup goalies against the Flames for the entire 2003-04 season and, pending a major acquisition, they'll likely do the same this year. So I can see how an Oilers' fan would ask such a question.

(b.t.w., I'm trying to be a smartass)

Perhaps the better question is how big of an effect is Robyn Regehr's absence having right now?

Good thing there are no smartasses on this weblog.

I wasn't actually thinking that the Flames current woes are due to facing #1 goalies. I was just musing about a potential long-term effect for both the Oil and the Flames.

But, I think it is probably true that unless you are a really weak team, your opposition goalie probably has less to do with clever strategy and more about rotation timing.

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