Archive for April, 2012

Henrik Lundqvist

39-18-5, 8 shutouts, 1.97GAA, .930SP

  • 3rd in shutouts
  • 3rd in goals-against average
  • 3rd in save percentage
  • 3rd in wins

Jonathan Quick

35-21-13 , 11 shutouts, 1.95GAA, .929SP

  • 1st in shutouts
  • 1st in goals-against average
  • 3rd in save percentage
  • Tied for 5th in wins

Pekka Rinne

43-18-0, 5 shutouts, 2.39GAA, .923SP

  • Tied for 10th in shutouts
  • 10th in goals-against average
  • 5th in save percentage
  • 1st in wins
  • Tied for 1st in appearances

New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist, Nashville Predators netminder Pekka Rinne and Los Angeles Kings puck stopper Jonathan Quick were announced Wednesday as finalists for the Vezina Trophy.

Lundqvist is back as a finalist after being among the final three from 2006 to 2008. The Swedish native helped back stop Rangers  to first in the east this year, finishing in the top 5 in every meaningful statistical category.

Quick was the biggest reason by far that the Kings were able to squeak into the playoffs, with an NHL-best 11 shutouts. He lost six separate games by a 1-0 score, as his teammates were a lowly 29th of 30 teams in goal production this season. In my opinion, Quick wins it this year.

Rinne is a finalist for a second consecutive season. In addition to being up for the award last season he finished fourth in Hart Trophy voting as league most valuable player. This season, the six-foot-five Finn faced more rubber than any other goaltender but still managed to finish fifth in save percentage. (more…)

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St.Louis Blues Sign Goaltender Paul Karpowich

Posted: April 20, 2012 by Steven Ellis in St. Louis Blues

The St.Louis Blues announced today that they have signed goaltender Paul Karpowich to a two-year, two-way contract.

Karpowich was originally drafted by the Blues in the seventh round, 185th overall, of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. He will join the Blues Friday in St. Louis.

Karpowich, 21, has spent the past four seasons at Clarkson University. This past season, the 6-2, 195-pound goaltender appeared in 37 games posting a 16-15-6 record including a 2.46 goals against average and a .921 save percentage. Overall, during his collegiate career Karpowich appeared in 130 games accumulating a 46-66-16 record to go along with 2.93 goals against average and a .910 save percentage.

Karpowich is not one of the team’s high profile prospects. He doesn’t play for a powerhouse college team. He isn’t a flash and awe type player, but he’s solid, and some would say very underrated. ¬†Here is a chat former St.Louis Game Time writer Randall Ritchey had with Karpowich. (more…)

Ryan Miller

Posted: April 19, 2012 by Steven Ellis in Buffalo Sabres
Tags: , , , ,

Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images

 

The Good:¬†¬†Ryan Miller has tremendous quickness and agility. ¬†He anticipates superbly and is aggressive in his approach against shooters; he’s at his best when his positioning doesn’t fail him. Tall and lanky, Miller possesses the ability to dominate and play a vast majority of his team’s games. The Sabres top goalie since the lockout, Miller is expected to play around 60-70 games a year, and wins a big portion of them. Miller is one of the elite goalies in the league, a big reason why he won the 2009-2010 Vezina trophy as the leagues top goaltender.¬†Miller was already a fairly steady goalie last season with 34 wins in 66 games (he was also 6th overall in shots faced with 1,964). But take away the concussion issues that plagued him at the end of last season, then add in the healthy competition from Jhonas Enroth and you have one of the nicest situations for an elite NHL goalie heading into the season. Miller is good for 40 wins a year.¬† (more…)

Jeff Deslauriers

Posted: April 19, 2012 by Steven Ellis in Anaheim Ducks
 

Debora Robinson/NHLI via Getty Images

¬†The Good:¬†JDD is a big and agile goalie who uses his size to his advantage. Even when he is down in the butterfly position, his upright upper body covers most of the net.¬† HIs side-to-side lateral movement is very good and his positioning is exceptional. Very hard to beat down low.¬†Deslauriers ¬†is very aggressive and challenges shooters. He has quick legs and a lightning fast reflexes. He is¬†technically sound and has enough character to overcoming adversity.¬†He exudes tremendous confidence, communicating with defensemen and taking charge around net like a traffic cop. He has outstanding reflexes and anticipation, and is very well balanced in his stance. JDD also has positive body language and is big enough to cover top corners when down in butterfly.¬† (more…)

Dan Ellis

Posted: April 19, 2012 by Steven Ellis in Carolina Hurricanes

Dan Ellis2

The Good:¬†Dan makes the most of his limited size and never quits on a play. He can be a starter for stretches, as seen in Tampa Bay and Nashville, but unless Jonas Hiller is out for an extended period of time, dont expect that in Anaheim. He has a ton of perseverance, which suits him well in battling shooters on a regular basis. He can be a solid backup goalie at a cheap price ($1,500,000). ¬†Ellis isn’t a superstar goalie or anything, but he can be solid, as shown when he stole the starting role from Chris Mason in Nashville. ¬†He does give up rebounds, but he’s pretty athletic so he can get back usually. He loves to play the puck, which can help on the power play. He also has a great sense of humor and is great to have in the change room. Due to his¬†competitive¬†nature, when the games count, he brings a new level to his game, but doesn’t get much¬†opportunity¬†playing as a backup. (more…)

Jonas Hiller

Posted: April 19, 2012 by Steven Ellis in Anaheim Ducks

Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images North America

The Good: ¬†For a goaltender that is extremely tall, Jonas Hiller is extremely quick and is usually in position for both first and second shots.¬†Jonas¬†Is an extremely positional netminder with great size. He excels in high-pressure games, but hasn’t had to play in many as a member of the Anaheim Ducks. Hiller possesses quick lateral movement and plenty of confidence in his butterfly style, and shakes off bad goals (and games) well. He currently h0lds ¬†the Ducks record for season highest save percentage and career highest playoffs save percentage and shares, with Jean-S√©bastien Gigu√®re, the Ducks record for season playoffs most losses.

The Bad:  He tends to be badly exposed when his positioning fails him. Gets beaten upstairs when he goes down to his knees too early, and then not cover the target of high shots as well. He has had to deal with vertigo problems. While Hiller is a tall netminder, your best option will be to put the puck high blocker side. Hiller has a great glove hand but is not as good on his blocker side.

(more…)

Halak, Elliott Win Jennings Memorial Trophy

Posted: April 8, 2012 by Steven Ellis in St. Louis Blues

Blues goalies Jaroslav Halak and Brian Elliott. (Halak photo by Chris Lee - clee@post-dispatch.com; Elliott photo by Associated Press) 

What a year for the two boys in blue.

Brian Elliott’s career looked over last season after getting traded from the Ottawa Senators to the Colorado Avalanche.

His Ottawa career was something less than spectacular (refer to stats below).

With 2 wins in 12 starts to end the season, Elliott was released as a free agent after the Avalanche declined his qualifying offer. Elliott then signed a one-year contract worth $600,000 with the St. Louis Blues on July 1, 2011.

That $600,000 was worth it. Elliott made the 2012 NHL All-Star Game, and after a 23-10-4 record, Brian will be sharing the 2012 Williams Jennings trophy with fellow Blues puck stopper Jaroslav Halak.

The¬†William M. Jennings Trophy¬†is an annual award given to “the goalkeeper(s) having played a minimum of 25 games for the team with the fewest goals scored against it. Winners are selected based on regular-season play”.

Halak has only started 43 games to Elliott‚Äôs 35.¬† Both have been extremely dominant all season long other then Halak‚Äôs terrible start leading to the firing of Davis Payne.¬† But since those first two weeks Halak has shown why the Blues traded for him and not Carey Price.¬† Halak is leading the NHL‚Äôs best team to the playoffs and Price is leading one of the NHL‚Äôs worst squads. Price, though, is the best of the three goalies, but just doesn’t have a team in front of him putting the puck in the net. (more…)