No Red Lights: Hockey: The Low Down: [4/27] NHL Playoff Goalie Match Ups - Goalie News And Instruction By Roxanne Gaudiel

The Low Down: [4/27] NHL Playoff Goalie Match Ups

Here's a new take on the playoff goalie matchups: a look into the match up numbers -

Khabibulin (CHI) vs. Kiprusoff (CGY) [9:30pm]
By the numbers, Chicago should have it. Bulin: 2.83 GAA, 89.3% SV; Kipper: 3.62 GAA, 90.3% Sv. The big difference is the save percentage. It is kind of amazing that Kipper can have a 3.62 Goals Against and yet have a better save percentage than Bulin. The goals against is obviously swayed because he was pulled without playing a full game. Getting pulled kills a goalie's GAA because the minutes played have been decreased, and most likely the goalie was pulled because they let in too many goals. But his save percentage is still higher than Khabibulin. Very suspiscious numbers indeed. This could indicate (as I believe it does) that Chicago is getting more shots on Kipper than vice versa. It could also mean the Calgary misses the net alot, maybe because they are going for better scoring chances than just a shot on net.

Either way, the numbers indicate that Chicago has more firepower than Calgary, but that Calgary is very capable of putting the puck in the net (even with low shot counts). Even despite Khabibulin's slip in the 3rd and 4th game, he looked like he was back on track in Game 5 and with the solid support of his offense. My prediction, using the numbers only, is that Chicago wins Game 6: 4-3... let's see how that holds up :)

Nabakov (SJ) vs. Hiller (ANA) [10:30pm]
More by the numbers: Nabakov: 2.57 GAA, 89.4% SV; Hiller: 1.77 GAA, 95.3% SV.  This ones is more of a no-brainer. Hiller has been good. Very good. I always felt that if you could keep your GAA below 2 goals against, your team will just win games (or at least not lose). It is much easier for a team to play their style of game if they feel they have the upper-hand going into the game. The confidence that only the netminder can provide may be enough to intimidate your rivals into a different style of game. Now, do this in the Post-Season, and you can change the make-up of the series. Because these teams will only play each other for 2 whole weeks, there will be mental intimidation. Hiller and the Anaheim defense have created a feeling of impenetrability (at least in the first 3 games) or at least their very own Cinderella Story... I guess this makes Part II or the Sequel.

Even despite Anaheim's near air of destiny, the Sharks had their own (which was completely deflated during this season). They either have the confidence that they gained from the regular season, or they have the defeat of their wretched curse. But what makes it interesting is how the sentiments have changed. San Jose has now become the under-dog, at least psychologically. This can be a very powerful position. Just look at the Rangers and the Caps. Despite the numbers and the differing pyschological perspectives, at the end of the day, it comes down to execution; and Hiller is filling that role quite nicely.