Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Hall Of An Idea

In 2010, the Hockey Hall of Fame has decided to do something that could be a couple years in the making, but they will update their bylaws in order to consider women to become part of the Hall of Fame. Currently, the by-law states that only four players to be inducted per induction ceremony. However, with the new by-law change, four men and two women will be allowed to be inducted per induction; which will open things to the women's side of the game to finally be given the honor they deserve.

I have talked about this subject before when Cammi Granato got the nod for the US HHOF, and I still believe it's beyond the time for women to be inducted. The women's game, especially in the last decade, has taken off and the time is right for the HHOF to actually start up the bands for the pioneers of the modern game and those who have broken the barrier in years past to allow the pioneers to excel as they have.

However, the main concern I have is that after you get Granato, Hayley Wickenheiser, and a couple others who have excelled, there could be a stall in the voting that the by-law could be changed once again, which could screw the pooch for this whole ordeal. This could be a whole thing where the Hall knows it's time to induct women, but they don't want some to take the spot of a male player for one reason or another. Maybe once they get all the top names out there and appease the masses, they'll change it back to normal. That's the eternal pessimist in me, so pay me no mind.

The ol' boys club seems to be seeing the light on the issues that have changed hockey for the better for all involved. Now, if only they could get Dino Ciccarelli in the Hall and things would be on the up and up.

Fantasy Update: FINALS!!!

As a six-seed in the Hirsch Division, I didn't think I'd be able to get past the first round. Playing the third seed in the whole thing, I thought I'd be hooped since I lost big time the only time played RedWhitenRed, but luckily-- I pulled out a small victory 7-5. I was lucky Zach Parise and Jason Spezza had six point weeks and my goaltending didn't fail me like it has in playoffs past (thanks to that Marty Brodeur waiver pick-up when he was injured). This at least ensured me that I'd be playing the whole season and not lose the last two weeks to nothingness.

This made me move onto the two-seed, LizardInsid'er, whom I beat both times this season. Of course, huge underdog yet again, but moved past them with ease, 7-3. Six point weeks for Steve Sullivan, Devin Setoguchi and Alexei Kovalev (say whaaaaaaa) and 19 goals for the week, which was my weakness during the season. Pekka Rinne and Jonas Hiller flourished, which was great since last week, Brodeur was awful. It also led to much bragging for my Australian comrade, who claimed he would destroy me in the playoffs. Take that, Prison Colony!!

That leads me to not only the Final of the Hirsch Division, but into the Optimum Ocho of the FOHSHL, which combined all four divisions of the league (Beaupre, Liut, Tabaracci) and let's us go roto-style. However, I'm facing the top-seeded Jesmond Jesters. I lost both meetings to the Jesters this year, both by a huge margin. Plus, in the '06-'07 season, I beat the Jesters to claim the bronze in the Hirsch. I'm scerrrred.

However, it's better than last season when I was a six-seed and lost in the first round and lost in the 5th place game. I won the FOHSHL in '03-'04, but haven't gotten close since then. This could be the year......or not.

Oh, and as far as Aston HC....in the consolation games and just....turrible this season. I'm so glad Neumann College won the D-III Championship.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Second-Half Surprises

The second half of the season always brings about drama, always brings about surprises, and players stepping up. Most of the time, it's a rookie who was in the shadows at the start, but slowly found their way out, but the theme of this year seems to be guys who were buried in the back of the media guides, but have found their way into the limelight, if only for a split second.

First off, Jamie Lundmark, who seemed to be destined to be a career minor-leaguer after a stellar junior career; has found new life in Calgary with 15 points in 20 games thus-far and really putting up the secondary scoring for the Flames. While his first tour with the Flames organization didn't bring much of anything, it seems that the second tour is going to be a defining moment for Lundmark's career and could turn a whole lot of things around for him going into the off-season, where he is a UFA. While he may not keep up this kind of pace for the duration and even into next season, Lundmark is bolstering a line-up that is already deep in scoring threats with Jarome Iginla, Olli Jokinen, Mike Cammalleri, and Daymond Langkow.

A lot of people seem to have gotten on the St. Louis Blues bandwagon and with youngsters T.J. Oshie and David Perron leading the charge, how can you fault anyone?? Perron is leading the team in assist and has been on a tear to end March, while Oshie has been starting to showoff his highlight reel abilities with some memorable moves and fantastic goals. There's a lot of people pulling for John Davidson to succeed in the front office, and if not this year-- definitely next year will be the crowning achievement for JD.

Out East, the revitalization of Cam Ward has been a sigh of relief for Canes fans. Ward has gone 18-8-2 since the All-Star break, has won nine of his last 12 starts, and has help solidify the Hurricanes into a playoff spot, if not a run at the Southeast Division championship. For an upstart who won a Stanley Cup and start to flame out the two years after, it's a good sign to see Ward shaking off the cobwebs and getting his swagger back.

However, the most intreging second-half story has to be Steve Sullivan in Nashville. Here's a guy who was out for two years and has come back and made up for so much lost time. Many thought when he was out with a back injury that he was going to go the way of his former teammate Eric Daze and never be the same again. Yet, much to the chagrin of many, Sullivan has played like a man possessed and couldn't have come back at a better time for the Predators. Already, Sullivan has 26 points in 35 games and seems to have breathed some much needed life into the Preds playoff existence. I'll go out on a limb right now and say he's got a good shot at the Masterson Award.

We have almost two weeks left in the season and there's still plenty to be decided. There's plenty of teams who need to get someone to step up big time and really help push the team through into the playoffs, but for some it may not be enough. It should be an interesting two weeks to see who shine and who will sulk.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Dog Days of March

Under cloak of secrecy, the NHL Commissioner, Gary "Love Child of Kevin Spacey and The Count" Bettman, went to Phoenix in order to tell the fans of the Coyotes, "Hey, you three-- don't worry, we won't move the team." Much to the confusion of the people he was talking to, as it turned out they were just vendors learning their section for the night's game. The commish said that there may be new ownership coming, but the NHL is going to keep the team in Phoenix until it commits financial suicide by signing every member of the the 1991 Winnipeg Jets team.

In light of recent events, I don't think that the area of Glendale minds if the Coyotes die a death, considering they rejected a notion of using tax money to help out the Yotes in their dire need. If the people don't want you there-- maybe it's something to give you das boot-- if you will.

This is the thing with Arizona and some of the "non-hardcore" sports cities, especially like Phoenix-- they are very particular about winners and if there's a team that doesn't win or create a buzz-- they are ignored and pushed aside. Look at the Suns-- they were craptastic for so long, but recently; they have been on the downturn of things and could be moved to the horizon. The Cardinals were a damn afterthought until their Super Bowl run last season, while the D-backs are in the love-hate relationship with their city. So, for the Coyotes who have been irrelevant for close to a decade now and then they go to the taxpayers for help....not the best way to go about it. Win, then they'll probably be more willing to keep you.

And let's be honest here, the fact that there's still a team in Phoenix playing in front of people who may or may not be rooting for the team and may or may not care-- that's not enough to make this team stop hemmoraging money like they're a sailor on shore leave. Mixed metaphors aside, maybe it's time to get rid of major league hockey in Arizona and leave it to the minor leagues to control that industry. It was a decent experiment, it was something that was fun while it lasted, but it's time for it to be done with and move it to a city that is a little more deserving of it.

Especially in the financial climate that the world is in, every little bit will help. Moving a team to a city or demographic that will actually be willing to put revenue into the team, it would help the financial stability of the team and will help the financial stability of the league-- increasing the revenue and thus increasing the cap. If the NHLPA were to have a strong voice in this, they should be pushing for the team to be uprooted if that's the only way to sell the team. That way, the players are getting more bang for their buck and more income that could come into their lives.

It could be time to turn the lights out on the Coyotes. Albeit, the reality of them move is not going to happen because of the fact of the absurd lease they have to deal with and breaking it would pretty much put anyone trying to buy the team to move it out of the picture, which very much limits the options you have in who buys the team. The league and team pretty much have to find someone who is in the area, who believes in the area, and thinks they can grow the team and tournequette the situation when it comes to money.

And if you can do that, you may want to sell that ocean-front property that's right next to the arena.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Number One With A Bullet

Brian Duff of The Hockey News posted a blog about searching for a #1 goalie at an affordable price. The subject he brings up is Josh Harding, who will be a RFA come summer time and could have some teams flocking over him who may need some goaltending help, with the Colorado Avalanche being the example he put out there. Duff says that Harding's camp shouldn't be in a hurry to re-up in Minny and see what comes along.

There's a couple things working against Harding. First off, he's a RFA, which means that any offer sheet he signs to, the Wild could match. The teams have to be careful they don't get into a Dustin Penner situation and wildly overbid for him just to see him not pan out as a #1 money keeper. The second thing against him is the fact there are not many teams looking for a starter right now, with the exception of Colorado. You could throw Edmonton on that list depending on how well Jeff Drouin-Deslauiers pans out, as well as Detroit seeing how much longer they can deal with Chris Osgood and how much faith they still have in Jimmy Howard, plus seeing if Ty Conklin will come back. Outside of those squads, everyone is sured up on their goaltending.

With the mention of Ty Conklin, that's another problem for Harding, the amount of goalies who would be on the open market that other teams would go for in order to not risk losing draft picks in compensation. With the likes of Manny Fernandez, Martin Biron, Antero Niittymaki, Scott Clemmensen, Mathieu Garon, Brian Boucher, amongst others on the market-- they have proven they can be a better #1 option than Harding, be a tad more affordable, and not have teams lose a draft pick or picks when it comes to signing a RFA.

To disagree with Duff, if I were Harding, I'd re-up with Minnesota for maybe one or two years, nothing too long. It may not be the most glamorous position as back-up to Niklas Backstrom, but you never know when a situation could come about where Backstrom slumps hard or goes down to injury and Harding jumps in there to save the day and maybe give him more leverage the next time around in discussions. And if it doesn't work out-- wait until he's able to hit the open market in order for him to be more enticing to pick him up, because with that RFA tag on him and so many veteran goalies with starter backgrounds hitting the open market, they'd be the first choice overtop of an unproven RFA back-up.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Don't Want Him to Celebrate; Stop Him

The hot topic, and I don't mean the store that 12-year-olds go to in order to be punks/goths/young republicans, is Alex Ovechkin and his 50-goal celebration last night in Tampa. There are plenty who have weighed in on the blogosphere, there's many NHLers who have weighed in on it who played in the game and those who were on the outside looking in. I'm sure Don Cherry will weigh in on it Saturday and now-- it's time for me to do so.....mostly because I tried something else, and it flopped before I started.

For those who are still unfamiliar with it, here it is in all it's YouTube glory.


Anyway, was this a little over the top?? Sure, of course it was. It was very Terrell Owens-esque and it's something you really don't want to see at all in the game-- but dude just scored his 50th goal, the first one to hit it this year and the third time in four seasons he's done it; that's cause for celebration. He's going to be the Caps all-time goal leader soon enough and could be the best Russian and left winger to play the game when all is said and done-- he can celebrate. If you don't want him to, stop the kid. It's as simple as that.

People have squawked about it being disrespectful and that the Bolts should have done something about it or will do something about it when they play Washington next-- but this was done in the first period almost eight minutes in. The Bolts had 52 minutes to do something and they didn't-- now that could have something to do with the team itself, but it's neither here nor there. The fact of the matter is that if you want to stop Ovechkin from celebrating at all, you have to be able to stop him.

Plenty are clamoring to see what Don Cherry will say, which will obviously be negative because that's how Cherry was last time when talking about Ovechkin. The one thing I want to know is whether or not he enjoyed the outlandish celebration by Tiger Williams or Tie Domi, in which they ride their sticks down the ice. If he did say he enjoyed that, then he's nothing more than a hypocrite when talking about Ovechkin's celebrations. For sure, Cherry would reply (if he actually read this blog) that Williams and Domi rarely score and they can get happy when they do so, but isn't a bit of a double standard if they can get over-the-top excited, but a kid with true skill and talent can't. As much as I enjoy Cherry's rants, raves, and suits-- he's losing his goard to think that this is any worse than what has been done by some in the past. Yet, he's a traditionalist and will always think anything not from the late-1970s is crap-- just look at his fine, fine suits.

There's plenty of "traditionalist," or people who call themselves that, who hate Ovechkin's over-the-top joy of scoring, but you have to remember-- Ovechkin isn't a traditionalist, he'll never be a traditionalist; he's a rock-star. He's bigger than life and shows it night-in and night-out. He doesn't want to be part of the flock, he wants to be the black sheep and standout, which he is succeeding in. He has a right to do that too, because he's just that damn good. So keep on keeping on Ovie-- but don't make this a common occurance. If it's a special moment, fine-- go outlandish. Yet, if it's #24 on the season and you pull a stunt like this and it's not a memorable goal-- I may have to change my thought about this whole thing.

EDIT @ 5:30 MT-- Thanks to Hangar 39 by way of Puck Daddy, but LA Kings announcer Bob Miller just went up 100-fold in my book, which works because I loved him in D2.

Just remember Bob, I'm all about the Kings.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Can Malkin Have "Hart" With Crosby as His Teammate??

Barring a huge disaster or a big surge from someone on the outside looking in, Evgeni Malkin will most definitely bring home the Art Ross Trophy for most points in the season. That, of course, will set him up, most likely, as a candidate for the Hart Trophy for league MVP. The big question that I will pose here is whether or not Malkin can be the considered the MVP with Sidney Crosby as his teammate and the "face of the league"??

I put this thought out there, mostly because the Hart is supposed to go to the player who is most valuable to his team. With two guys like Crosby and Malkin on the same team, you'd think they'd almost cancel each other out in terms of voting because how could you say one is better than the other?? It's not like last season where Crosby was out for a good chunk of the season and Malkin carried the team, for the most part, in the regular season. This year, Malkin has played only five more games than Crosby, so it's not like you could say Malkin was most valuable to his team when Crosby is just as valuable. Though, the Hart voters could be hackney and give a co-MVP award so no one on the Penguins gets their feelings hurt, but I doubt that would happen.

Granted, many could bring up the run Wayne Gretzky had of Hart Trophies during the Edmonton Oilers' dynasty that he was on a team of great players, which in hindsight is true. However, when you look at the stats and the play, Gretzky far and away lead the team on the ice and made those around him better.

This brings up who could be considered as a candidate for the Hart Trophy. Tim Thomas in Boston could definitely be considered as a top choice with his performance this year (albeit, recently it hasn't been too good), he still leads the league in GAA and save percentage. A guy like Zach Parise could come to some voters' mind when you consider how much he stepped up into an offensive role on the Devils with their other top dog in Martin Brodeur out for the weight of the season. Joe Thornton and Jarome Iginla are both unsung leaders on their teams and really don't get the press thanks to "East Coast Bias". And speaking of the ECB, last but not least-- Alex Ovechkin will definitely make a run at a repeat of Hart Trophies.

It'll be an interesting look at who the finalist will be for the big award at the end of the day and to see where the heads of the voters are when they actually cast it. I don't really envy their decision, but wish I could have a chance to take a hack at voting who could be deemed MVP. How does Scott Clemmensen for Hart sound??

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Laraque Staging Fight For Staged Fights

The GM meetings in Naples, Florida has brought a lot of buzz to the hockey world and to some role players in the NHL these past few days. The biggest buzz being Georges Laraque's reaction to the idea that a staged fight would be a 10-minute misconduct and would be up to the referee to decide if it was staged or not.

Now, Laraque calls the idea a joke and says that it'll take fighting out of the game, as well as destroy the careers of many of the one-dimensional players in the league. Laraque also feels slighted that, as a player who's livelihood could be effected by this rule, he wasn't invited to partake in the discussion of it. Obviously, GM who are there in their little section of the media row aren't on the ice, but it is what it is.

Before I go any further, let me preface the following (which I'm sure you'll figure out what it is soon enough) by saying that fighting shouldn't be taken out of the game. It's a part of the game for a reason, it's what sets the NHL and hockey in general apart from the other sports in the lexicon. The emotion in the game is very high and the physicality of the game should be a selling point of the NHL and other leagues.

With that said, the staged fighting and the fights that happen after a clean hit are pure and utter bullshit. The staged fights are the worst of all, especially since most of them have no meaning to them except for being the sideshow act of the game. Laraque is notorious for these, even with A/V proof when he get mic'd up for local TV games. The staged fight takes away any flow from either team, it sometimes turns into a big hug fest, and just puts a bad face on fighting because it has no emotion, especially five minutes into the first period of a 0-0 game. If I want a staged fight, I'll go to YouTube and watch some WWE clips. Plus, if staged fights were a huge draw, how come there weren't that many people to back the Hockey Enforcers Fight Night gimmick from a couple years back??

The fighting after a big hit is a little more manageable, because it does have something to do with passion of the game and the intensity of it, but when did clean hits become a set-up for a fight?? Didn't people used to love hockey because of the big hits?? Now, you can't have a guy like Dion Phaneuf set a guy up without the threat of him being mugged afterwards for it. The perfect example is Tyler Sloan this year laying out Daymond Langkow, then Rene Bourque flying in for no reason, except to retaliate by dropping the mitts. If it was a dirty hit, sure-- I could understand a little better for stepping up for your teammate, but if it's a solid hit and you do that-- to me it signals you think your guy is weak and can't take a hit and be alright with it. As much as fighting is a part of the game, so is a solid, clean body check.

As far as removing one-dimensional hockey players from the game-- here's an idea, get a new dimension. Get into the two dimensions so you can be equal to the paper that your name is written on when the line-ups are exchanged. If you're a giant oaf who can bearly skate and only purpose is to get less than 30 seconds of ice time, maybe this wasn't the game for you. No offense, odds are I wouldn't be able to do the fight load they can-- but at the same time, you may want to have something to fall back on if fighting doesn't turn out to be the thing for you. I think in the NHL today, you can't be a one-dimensional guy and survive in the league for more than two or three years.

It's all well and good that Laraque wants to step up for his brethern in the hockey world, but at the same time; reality needs to kick into his head and realize that maybe it's time for a new career path in terms of what he can and can't do on the ice. With the way the game is being focused on, the idea that fighting will be the selling hook is not going to happen. Maybe pre-lockout it would have been, but now it's about youth, speed, skill, and scoring. Fighting will always play it's part in the game, but it having to do with the game and not for the sake of fighting alone is the only reason it should still be included.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Looking Towards June

Since the trade deadline is over with, the next big acquisition day is the NHL Entry Draft, which will be held June 26th and 27th in beautiful Montreal. And while it's the norm to rank the teams as winners and losers after the deadline, I also find it to be hack. Plus, in the words of Ron Bennington, I've got my own radio show, so you can hear the opinions there.

With most of these moves, you can tell some of these teams are already looking forward to June and their place in the standings are showing that they're going to be in the big hunt for the top five picks in the Draft. So, if the season were to end today...the deadline would have been worthless and we would all feel ripped-off for it ending early. In any event, here's a look at who would be at the top of the Draft chart and who I think will be taken in the top five.

1. NY ISLANDERS: John Tavares, London Knights: While it's not what Tavares probably wanted, he will automatically become the face of the franchise and the guy who will lead this team back to its days of mediocrity. Plus, with youngsters like Kyle Okposo, Jesse Joensuu, and Blake Comeau already in the mix, it'll be the youth movement on Long Island, which may or may not bring them a new arena and new fans. Though, I wouldn't be surprised if Tavares could step in and contribute immediately, but there's also that outside thought he do something to stall his start with the team and maybe create a ruckus to get onto a better team.

2. ATLANTA THRASHERS: Victor Hedman, MoDo: Sure, the defense in Atlanta hasn't been strong since William Tecusmseh Sherman has been in power, Hedman's choice could change all of that. Not only is he NHL size and skill ready, he could very well be what turns this franchise around for the better. They already have offense in Atlanta and with the right help on defense, the goaltending could come around perfectly. Plus, with Garnet Exelby, Zach Bogosian, and Boris Valabik in the rebuilding part of the defense-- Hedman would be the fourth man to complete this perfect storm of defense.

3. TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING: Jordan Schroeder, University of Minnesota: As a Freshman, Schroeder has been amazing for the Gophers, tied for the team and WCHA lead in points with teammate Ryan Stoa. With his ability to stay in the NCAA, it could allow him to grow as a player and allow the Bolts to get their act together to accomodate Schroeder to play alongside Steve Stamkos. With is great hands and solid passing ability, Schroeder should be the set-up man for the future in Tampa.

4. OTTAWA SENATORS: Evander Kane, Vancouver Giants: Kane is what the Senators are looking for in a player. A solid center with scoring abilities who is coming into his own. While he may need more seasoning with the Giants, what better team to get it done with than one of the best in the junior hockey. Once Kane is ready, he could be the secondary scoring punch they look for or he could very well be a part of the primary scoring in the Sens system.

5. COLORADO AVALANCHE: Jared Cowen, Spokane Chiefs: While his season is done with a knee injury, the Avalanche will look towards Cowen as their future on the blue line. With the size and strength, as well as hockey IQ; Cowen is going to be a stallwart on the blue line for some time in Colorado, or any other team he could go to. With Kevin Shattenkirk waiting in the wings as well, it could be a dominant one-two punch that the Avalanche hasn't seen in a while.

So, that's the top-five as I see it right now, mock wise. One thing is true though, we won't see a goaltender go until maybe the late-second, early third rounds. It goes along with the ebbs and flow of the hockey world where now the skaters and scorers are the top dogs in the prospect pile, while goaltenders are floundering and waiting for another upswing of talent.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Armchair GM: To Move or To Maintain

We're about 24 hours away from the NHL trade deadline and the rumors are moving quicker than two people meeting on online dating. The biggest question for the GMs in all of this will be how much is too much when it comes to getting what they want. Who are you willing to risk, whether it be from your roster or your farm system, to get the possible missing piece of the puzzle needed to get into the playoffs and have a chance at the Stanley Cup. As well, are they willing to disrupt a certain chemistry in the room in order to have this rental player in the room for 20 games, tops.

For teams like Florida and Columbus, who some never thought would be in this position this late into the season, they have to tread carefully in what they do. For the Panthers, they will not move Jay Bouwmeester, unless they get an amazing return, because they will need him if they get into the playoffs. The Blue Jackets have been longing for some defensive help and a center, but they have to make sure that they are able to risk what they give up in order to fill that void, or else they turn into the Atlanta Thrashers where they give up the farm for a rental and tank in the playoffs.

Then you have front-runners who may need one or two spots to cover, but they would have to give up too much in order to get that. Therefore, they would probably hold tight with what they have, rather than give up a lot to get what could be little in return. If they are that high in the standings as it is, odds are there's a reason for it and they may not want to tinker with the spirit of things.

Plus, it's not like there's a big deal to be made. Sure, you hear all these unfounded rumors from people who don't have an inside guy, it's just a weekend janitor who is getting his rumors from the sound guys playing NHL09. However, when all is said and done, there could be a blockbuster to shock everyone, but the odds on it are not that good. The predictable names will probably be moved for nothing more than prospects and/or picks, it's just a matter of what team they will go to. I mean, Bill Guerin has been traded since Saturday-- but to where and for what is still TBA, which creates the unrest amongst the public.

It's always a hectic day for GM, but it's always a fun one for the viewing and listening public. The rumors, the jumping the gun speculation, the Sportsnet Frat Party studio-- amazingness will come from it all. I know our show that night will be fantastically done with Spector's Hockey Lyle Richardson joining us for a long time and breaking down what this means for all involved and how much slept he was able to get from it all.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Will We See Another

While I was a little rough on the Devils organization and Martin Brodeur when they sent Scott Clemmensen down, they have seemed to prove me wrong with their decision. Since returning, Brodeur has recorded shutouts 99 and 100, which puts him three behind Terry Sawchuk for career shutouts and the three wins puts him at 547, four behind Patrick Roy's all-time record.

This begs the question, with the dominance we have seen in the crease from Brodeur and Roy in the past decade-- will we see anything like this in the new wave of faces behind the mask??

In a world where it seems that platooning in the pipes is a constant and where anyone can jump out of the blue to take over a starters role, will there be a constant starter in the future to be able to sniff the success Brodeur and Roy have had?? Also, with a diminishing crop of stand-out goaltenders coming through the ranks, you have to wonder if there's anyone out there to step-up their game in order to make their way up the table and get to the top of the mountain with Brodeur and Roy.

There's always one or two prospects who are deemed as the next big thing coming through the systems, but once they get to the show-- they can't come through. Whether it's a product of the system they were brought up in or just not being able to handle the pressure of the NHL grind, something never seems to happen for these young netminders. Granted, Steve Mason could very well break that mold, but only time will tell if he can keep this pace up with the team in front of him.

Also have the surprise goalies, who were forever back-ups, but somehow steal the starting role from the incumbent, only to find out that they weren't that solid of a starter to being with, just stole a few games against weaker opponents. Sure, there's plenty who can keep the starting role and actually prove to be good, but then you have guys like Craig Anderson and Brent Johnson who don't have the ability to have the day-to-day grind, thus making it a platoon situation from there on.

Plus, you look at all the injuries that have been happening with star goaltenders this year. Brodeur with his arm, Roberto Luongo with his groin problems, and others-- it allows the back-ups to step up and those their game to play out. Of course, it turns into a situation where controversy looms when the starter returns if the back-up just played out of their mind....but of course, the back-up then wants a place where he can start, gets traded there, and just completely burns out horribly.

Kari Lehtonen could be an example of a system letting him down, as the Thrashers haven't had anything solid defensively....well, forever. You can also chalk up Lehtonen's lack of success to his injuries as well, but when you're barraged with the amount of shots he usually is-- you're going to break down quickly. Chris Mason is a perfect example of a back-up stealing a starter's role only to have his flaws picked out very quickly, though the Nashville system hasn't brought about a solid starter since they traded away Tomas Vokoun. While the jury is still out on what Clemmensen could want once he becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer or what could happen with the deadline looming and teams in need of goaltending help.

In a world of where goaltenders are based on the "What have you done for me lately" model, it's a very far-fetched claim to think anyone will be trying to get the records of Roy, Brodeur, and Sawchuk. Platooning, injury and rushing young talent will hinder anyone's attempts to try and get to the records these three have reached.