Takes and trash talk from both ALL sides of the NHL's most obscure PATHETIC* rivalry

* Thanks, Kevin Lowe!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Random Pacific Questions: Who Has the Best Goalie?

He looks like the dog at the end of those Honda Element commercials. "Hey, what's going on back there?" ...I'm not good at captions.

The Kings, right? No? Okay, someone else then.

Marty Turco- 62 GP, 32 wins, 24.9 shots/game, 2.31 GAA, .909 SV%

Ilya Bryzgalov- 64 GP, 38 wins, 28.6 shots/game, 2.44 GAA, .920 SV%

Jean-Sebastien Giguere- 58 GP, 35 wins, 26 shots/game, 2.12 GAA, .922 SV%

Evgeni Nabokov- 77 GP, 46 wins, 23.4 shots/game, 2.14 GAA, .910 SV%

I'd put it Bryzgalov-Giguere-Nabokov-Turco, but that's just me. Giguere has the best numbers but he didn't play nearly as much as the others, while Nabokov has relatively weak numbers but played a ton. I didn't realize Turco had a subpar season (by his standards) last year, but then he picked it up in the post-season while Giguere faltered. Say it with me, folks: clutch doesn't exist.

I'll be very interested to see how JS Giguere, Evgeni Nabokov and Marty Turco react to next season. All three are getting into their 30's all three have carried their teams the last few years. The Ducks are in pretty good shape if Giguere misses more time next year because Jonas Hiller is a bad man, but the other two have question marks behind their starters. I imagine Nabby will take a few more games off as Dmitri Patzold and Thomas Greiss mature and it'll work because their San Jose goaltenders, but the Stars don't really have anyone currently with the team or in the pipeline to fill Turco's shoes. Could this be the year those three start to fall off? God I hope so.


Anonymous said...

Some details on the San Jose backup situation: Patzold is out of the picture (goen to Europe). Teh Sharks signed Brian Boucher for one year as Nabby's backup, leaving Greiss to get lots of time in the minors. Nabby should get 10-15 fewer games this coming season under the new coach.

Kevin Y said...

I, as a Kings fan, am absolutely appalled that you think the Kings have the worst goaltending in the Pacific Division. I mean have you seen...

...Alright, on second thought, I guess it's rather understandable.

Unknown said...

I have never thought Turco was very good. I think he's damn lucky he plays behind a good defense in Dallas (Tippett and Zubov don't get enough credit). He is definitely one of the best at his position at puck handling, but sometimes he looks absurdly weird at trying to stop the puck (the first game we had Roenick where JR scored on his first shot and we all thought he was going to score 60 goals that season). On another note, if clutch doesn't exist than why does a manual car have an extra pedal?

RudyKelly said...

The clutch is a myth perpetuated by men so women won't try to drive their cars.

Tom said...

Of that group, Giguere and Nabokov are the two that could be expected to steal a game against any opponent on any given night.

Am I the only person who thinks Turco is a glorified Osgood... or perhaps vice versa?

Anonymous said...

Interesting to see that I'm not the only one to think that Turco is the worst of this bunch.

As for the others, that's damn hard. Let's put it this way: I'd want Bryzgalov between my pipes for any one game, Nabokov for the regular season and Giguere for the playoffs.

Mike said...

Interesting that there's not uproar that Breezy is the best of this bunch, which includes a Conn Smythe winner and a Vezina finalist.

I guess it all depends on what your favorite goalie stat is. If you like SV%, why not Giguere #1? And if you like GAA or GP, why not Nabby?


Joe said...

1) Giguere
2) Bryz
3) Turco
4) Nabby

Why? Giguere and Bryz are nearly tied, I feel, but I give the edge to Giguere because he's been at such a high level for so long. He's done it with a good team, he's done it with a bad team, he's unquestionably the best of this group in my mind.

Bryz gets #2. In terms of "clutch", I don't think you can say someone is always clutch and comes up big when its important, but people can have clutch moments. For a goalie, those are the games when his team gets absolutely outplayed, and he just goes outside his mind and can't be beaten. Bryz has done that before when he's had to step in for Giguere. Nabby? The sharks have shit the bed so much, and I've seen Nabby have some good games, but never the "ok you idiots, I'm gonna do this one myself" and pull a win out of his ass kinda game.

Turco is a good goalie, maybe better than Nabby (in fact, he probably he is better than Nabby. I'm going to change my rankings, and just replace Nabby with Turco in the above paragraph. It's just the same anyways). Anyways, Turco > Nabby, because Turco, while he has blown it sometimes, I think is overall a better goalie over his career than Nabby. He's never lost his job to his backup, thats for sure. Nabby has had a lot more ups and downs in his career than Turco too. Over time, I'd give it to Turco.

Earl Sleek said...

I've actually held out on this question because it was getting a bit close to my own (back-up) goaltending question above.

It's a bit tough for me to separate goaltending quality from the defense put in front of a netminder: my excellence has nothing to do with how Breezy would play in Dallas, or how Turco would fare in SJ, or anything like that.

I'm actually surprised at a lot of the Turco-knocking. I think the guy is excellent, and if he could get over the Red Wing stumbling block in his head he'd be elite.

I might get some flak, but I suspect the goalies who will get the best GAA in the coming year will be:

a) Turco
b) Giguere
c) Nabokov
d) Bryzgalov

Nabby would get more love, I think, had the team not decided to get a new coach and turn over a third of its blueline. Breezy I think will have a bit of a tougher time without Ballard and Boynton.

RudyKelly said...

Joe, you don't remember Nabby's glove save in OT?

Joe said...

Joe, you don't remember Nabby's glove save in OT?

Oh, I do remember that. I was trippin balls over that game, and that was the single best thing Nabby has ever done.

But congratulations, you made a super-huge save in a series where you were already getting beaten into the dirt, in a playoff where a clearly inferior team in Calgary already put the boots to you and you did nothing about it, similar to the last several years.

One INCREDIBLE glove save does not change the fact that for several yeras, the Sharks have shit the bed, and Nabby has been a part of it, both in some not-so-great goals he's allowed, and his inability to just take it to another level for a short period and bail out his team when they're stinking up the joint.

Earl, you're just ranking those goalies in terms of GAA for next year? What do you think of best goalies over all? I think Turco has gotten an unfair amount of shit for the Star's playoff exits, but I wouldn't ever say he's better than Giguere. Me and a buddy are actually discussing Bryz vs Turco right now, I can see a little wiggle room there, but I can't see Turco over Giguere.

Earl Sleek said...

Earl, you're just ranking those goalies in terms of GAA for next year?

Yeah, because it's probably more the way I think about goalies; just too tough to separate their performances from their situations.

Plus my ranking is measurable, so I may actually get called out on it :)

In terms of sheer talent, I'd definitely rank them differently, but I might need to understand the setting better. I'd pick a different goalie to perform well behind an awesome defense than the one I'd pick to perform well behind a porous defense.

But yeah, all I've really done was rank the goalies on how I expect their GAAs to rank at the end of next year.

Anonymous said...

and Nabby has been a part of it, both in some not-so-great goals he's allowed, and his inability to just take it to another level for a short period and bail out his team when they're stinking up the joint.

That's been the thing I always come back to when I'm pissed at the Sharks. Truly great goalies show themselves when their team isn't playing that great. I usually can't fault Nabby for some goals he lets in, but you add them all up, and it's that "one and done" thing that the Sharks have been doing lately.

Maybe it's not his fault, but it is his problem.


Unknown said...

Giguere also has to be ranked down because he is one of the worst in the league at shootouts. Granted he doesn't have to worry about that in the playoffs but shootouts do affect a team enough that they need to be taken into account. I've seen Patrick O'Sullivan sign a contract quicker than Giguere can get across the crease.

Anonymous said...

Joe, I'm going to have to disagree with you on The sharks getting the piss beaten out of them in the series versus Dallas.

Yes they were down 0-3. However in that 0-3 hole there was only one game where the victory was more than 1 point, and of those first three games, 2 were overtime wins for Dallas, with a total of 4 overtimes out of 6 games. If that isn't two evenly matched teams, I don't know what is.

Ian, There were lots of times last year when the Sharks D looked like swiss cheese and the only reason they won or had a chance to win was cause nabby was keeping pucks from going in. He's had terrible goal support for the last couple of years.

I'd rank em

San Jose's/Anaheim's Back ups
Dallas's Back up
Phoenix's back up
LA Goalies