NHL goalie tandem tiers: The good, the bad and the TBD


The game has changed. And with it, so have the intricacies of the personnel you need to succeed in the NHL these days.

It’s not necessarily near the top of the checklist for most teams, but having a second option in net that’s somewhere between perfectly serviceable and legitimately reliable is something that’s progressively evolved from luxury to borderline necessity. A good backup goalie in today’s game is one of those things that you don’t really appreciate the importance of until you don’t have it, at which point it might be too late.

So which teams have done the best jobs of finding two reliable goalies? Which teams have an imbalance in one direction or the other? Who isn’t getting good netminding from anyone this season?

Are workhorse goalies an endangered species?

With the modern advancements in and embrace of sports science in hockey circles, teams seem to have wised up to the dramatic effects that fatigue can have on goalie performance. Long gone are the days where we’d see Martin Brodeur and Miikka Kiprusoff routinely starting all but a handful of their team’s games.

Last season no one started more than 67 games, and this season Marc-Andre Fleury is the only one whose pace is even close to approaching 70. Most number one goalies are now firmly entrenched in the ballpark of 60 to 65 appearances in a given season, just as importantly almost never being asked to shoulder the load for both legs of a back-to-back scenario anymore.

Source link