No Red Lights: Hockey: 1st Round Analysis & The Resurgance of the Old School Goaltending - Goalie News And Instruction By Roxanne Gaudiel

1st Round Analysis & The Resurgance of the Old School Goaltending

All-in-all, I would have to say this is a good start to the Playoff year. It's great to see some new faces amongst the Second Round elite, namely Chicago and Boston. I think in terms of hockey development (for both players and fanbase), these two cities are important for U.S. For too many years, the hockey cult hibernated in these cities with little to cheer about and very weak hopes for any rays of light. But I commend the organizations for building a very strong core of young stars and also for going with the Old Guard in net. Thomas, Osgood and Khabibulin are no spring chickens (that's for sure); but experience and the reactive goalie style are paying off dearly for these two goalies. Marty Brodeur also falls squarely into this category. It's nice to see the "Old School" style of play being very effective. Personally, I like it better because it emphasizes hand-eye coordination, athletecism and reactions: the Quebecoise style of goaltending tends to emphasize discipline and "playing the percentages" (i.e. cover everything down low and everything through the middle, make the forward shoot for the top edges of the net).

Despite my personal preference, you cannot argue with the success the Quebecoise style of 'tending has alsohad in this post-season. Fleury (despite being streaky) has played some unbelievable games (namely Game 4). He is able to make those desperation saves while keeping a very technical and disciplined game. Varlamov, for the few minutes/games I have seen him in, is also a very blocky and technical goalie. He stays deep in his net yet still comes out to challenge the puck well. These goalies, who can challenge the puck while staying disciplined in their blocky style, have had success

And then there are the Hybrids. Cam Ward embraces both styles of play but has had strong influence from his Carolina goalie coach, Tom Barasso (who was an Old School goalie). He does seem to play a bit more on the goal line than I think he is capable of, but I think with time (and with Barasso) he will develop a more aggressive constitution. What I do love about his style is how he lets his reactions make saves, but still embraces the "being big" in net. The guy just looks huge in there, much like Varlamov does.