Friday, November 04, 2005


Friday Pet Peeve

Regehr had Blue Jackets goaltender Marc Denis beat but rang the shot off the iron where the post and crossbar meet.

That's from Steve Macfarlane's piece in the Calgary Sun today about Robyn Regehr's return to action, and the statement is untrue, unsupportable, and/or irrelevant, depending on how you look at it.

I have no compulsion to stick up for goalies, especially since so many of them go on to be terrible analysts on my tee-vee screen. But except for a few rare and specific occasions, a goalie is not "beat" unless the puck goes in the net. In most cases where a shot goes off the post, the goalie deserves credit, not a "whew, close call!"

The perfect example of this is the other post the Flames hit last night: Amonte in the 2nd period. He got into nice shooting position around the top of the circle and fired one off the far post. Just like with Regehr's shot, Roger Millions said, "Amonte had Denis beat, but hit the post".

Except that the camera angle was pretty near right behind the shot, and I don't think it missed Denis' right pad by more than a centimetre. So basically, Denis positioned himself so that there wasn't room for a puck to go in on the far side, and then Amonte proved it. Just who "beat" who here, again?

You hear announcers say the same thing all the time on breakaway dekes, too. "Oh, Smyth had the goalie beat, but then lost control of the puck!" -- as if the goalie had no role to play in this loss of control.

You goalie coaches out there can correct me if I'm wrong, but the aims of a goalie when facing a breakaway in tight go something like this, in order of priority:
  1. Poke the puck away (i.e. do not allow a shot)
  2. Keep with the dekes and stop the shot
  3. Force the guy to make enough moves (or a tough enough move) that maybe he cocks it up himself, even if you can't stay with him
If Ryan Smyth gets J.S. Giguere going the other way, but then loses the puck on a rut, it's not right to call that a win by Smyth, stymied by an act of God. It's a narrow win by Giguere.

So can we all keep this straight? You're not dominating the other team if you're not outscoring them, and you didn't beat the goalie unless the red light went on.

That is all.


I just found this post for the first time. Man, is it bad when even I can't keep up.

Anyway, it should be pointed out that Smytty is 100% on shootouts and/or penalty shots this year (including preseason).

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