Archive for January, 2012

James Reimer

Posted: January 26, 2012 by Steven Ellis in Toronto Maple Leafs

The Good: At 6’2, 208 pounds, Reimer doesn’t have much of a problem filling the net. His style has been described as simply coming out of the crease and challenging shooters to find space around his large frame. When he is on his game, the lanky netminder uses his size to cut down angles and plays a controlled, focused game.  He also displays decent puckhandling skills and is an astute worker.  After playing in the minors as an almost unknown prospect, Reimer stole the show last season, wrestling the starting role away from JS-Giguiere. Reimer works very hard and never quits on a play, and strives to play better each and every game. The most noticeable aspect of Reimer’s butterfly style is his wide stance. He sets up with a very low crouch, flared out feet and with hands held very tight to his sides. When the puck is loose in his zone following a faceoff, gets even wider and does a good job of looking around and through bodies to keep his eyes on the puck. He likes to get very low to the ice, but still stay on his skates.  He is a patient goaltender that does a great job of absorbing pucks and managing his energy level. He will not dazzle you with acrobatics and he does not rely on flexibility to make saves. He is economical, passive and confident, and relies on his size and width in the net to eliminate time and space.  Observers have attributed Reimer’s success during the 2010–11 season to his ability to maintain his focus and confidence. (more…)


Jonas Gustavsson

Posted: January 26, 2012 by Steven Ellis in Toronto Maple Leafs


The Good: The guy is huge. He has a 6 foot 4 frame, and knows how to use it. He has been given the nickname “the monster” for good reason. He has a strict butterfly style, and rarely ventures away from it. He doesn’t get caught out of position very often, but when he does, he scrambles well. He has a knack for always knowing where the puck is, even on tips, and in fast-paced scenarios. His butterfly style allows him to cover the bottom half of the net very easily. His legs are so long, and take up so much net, shooters shouldn’t even try to score down low on the guy. What if they try to shoot high? He has solid reflexes to fall back on. Reflexes + Size is always a good combo. He is very good at reading plays. I’ve seen him get out of some very tough situations, because he knew exactly what the other player was going to do. He definitely likes to stay back in his net, more so than most butterfly goaltenders. (more…)

Mathieu Garon

Posted: January 26, 2012 by Steven Ellis in Tampa Bay Lightning

”]  The Good:When he slides, Garon stays in position and doesn’t have to scramble back to make a save. It’s a small thing, but it’s key for a butterfly goalie to be positionally sound. He shows an excellent glove hand (hes a right hander, instead of the normal left hand) and has a lot of persistence in the crease area. He is a hard worker and displays the ability to bounce back from adversity. When the starting goalies are struggling, or just need a break, like in Columbus and Tampa, Garon is able to play as a starter for stretches. He was a starter in Edmonton and L.A, so he has the experience. If he gets the game time necessary, watch out, he can be a force. He has played on some weak teams during his career, yet made the most of it. Underrated. (more…)

Dwayne Roloson

Posted: January 26, 2012 by Steven Ellis in Tampa Bay Lightning

The Good: An amazing competitor, Roloson is capable of playing spectacularly well for stretches. He has definite leadership qualities as the last line of defense. His vast experience has helped him develop excellent anticipation. Roloson never gets too high or too low within a game. He’s even-keeled and his focus never wavers. He’s rarely rattled by a weak goal against and he rarely gives up the bad or weak-angle goal. If these are the types of goals a young stud gives up, you can bet it will affect their confidence, timing and rhythm. But with Roloson, they don’t bother him and the team in front of him doesn’t lose confidence. His work ethic rubs off on all his teammates because they know he’s not the most athletic goalie, but sans a select few, he works the hardest. Thanks to his excellent work ethic, he is able to adjust his style on the fly and refine his game to be as effective as possible. (more…)

Jaroslav Halak

Posted: January 24, 2012 by Steven Ellis in St. Louis Blues

Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press

The Good:Halak is a big game who is adept at handling shots from the perimeter and relies on a defensive system to clear rebounds and clog the slot. Halak will always be remembered for his amazing playoff performance with the Montreal Canadiens in 2010, where he almost single handedly stole two rounds away from top teams Pittsburgh and Washington. The most deceptive element of Halak’s game is his ability to always be in position in a calm manner, yet still have the foot and hand speed to make terrific reflex saves. He may appear lethargic or delayed because of the way he moves, but he is by no means slow. He simply plays a very quiet game, with very little extra movements. He’s extremely economical and plays deep in his crease in order to limit his movement in and around the crease.  Halak is hybrid style goalie, being able to make saves standing up or in the butterfly stance. Halak’s ability to cover angles and square up to shots is one of his biggest strengths. His ability to get his body behind pucks, yet still remain calm and quiet in the crease is truly exceptional. At the top of his game, he can deliver big results. (more…)

Brian Elliott

Posted: January 24, 2012 by Steven Ellis in St. Louis Blues

Dilip Vishwanat, Getty Images

The Good: At 6’3, Elliott is a big goaltender who covers a lot of net, and has bulked up somewhat, but could still add on some more muscle. He is a player who works hard, has an outstanding attitude, plays with lots of enthusiasm and is a great student of the game. Elliott’s best attribute is his outstandingly quick reflexes. He moves well laterally and solid on his angles. He has shown great composure under fire and a willingness to challenge shooters. One attribute that Elliott possesses that is very noticeable when watching him closely is his tremendous ability to make difficult kick saves. Elliott is nearly unbeatable on the first shot and his fundamentals are well above average.  A butterfly style goaltender, Elliott is patient and extremely capable lateral mover. After a really tough time in Ottawa, Elliot has re-proven himself as an NHL Starter, getting named to the 2012 NHL All-Star Game after starting the year as a backup behind Jaroslav Halak. He could possibly be a vezina canadiate this season. (more…)

Thomas Greiss

Posted: January 24, 2012 by Steven Ellis in San Jose Sharks

From NHL Facebook Page

The Good: One of the top goaltending prospects to come out of Germany in recent years, Greiss was one of the top statistical goalies in the DEL during his time there. He plays a calm, focused game, and one of his strongest assets is his ability to read and anticipate plays. Because of this is he is usually one step ahead of shooters and is therefore able to rely on excellent positioning to make his saves. At 6’1 195 lbs, Greiss has good size and strength, particularly in his legs. Before joining the NHL, scouts said that Greiss would be a number one goalie in the NHL for sure. While he has shown plenty of promise and has shined in his little NHL experience, he hasn’t gotten a good opputunity to prove he can be a starter in this league. It must be said that just because Niemi is now part of the Sharks organization doesn’t mean they think Greiss is incapable of winning in the playoffs.  They developed Greiss in a similar fashion to that of Kiprusoff and there’s no reason why Greiss can’t be traded to a team that sets him up to be successful for many seasons to come. San Jose has enough confidence in him to start shopping former Finnish goaltending star Antero Nittymaki. (more…)