Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Battle of the Goalies

I think it was Don Cherry who said (or at least re-iterated) that great teams have great goalies. This year's Stanley Cup finals are no exceptions. It is the battle of the goalies: Chris Osgood for Detroit and Marc-Andre Fleury for Pittsburgh.

Game 6 starts tonight, and so far it's Detroit ahead 3 games to 2. Here is a numerical comparison between Osgood & Fleury so far in this final series:

  • Chris Osgood: 3 wins, 2 of them shut-outs. 112 saves against 120 shots, so the save average is 93.3%.

  • Marc-Andre Fleury: 2 wins. 178 saves against 192 shots, making the save average 92.7%

So, as you can see, despite Osgood's 2 shut-outs, the save average are close to each other.

Osgood has been good to me on my fantasy teams when Hasek was benched for various reasons this past season. But in this final series, I have much greater respect for Fleury, and it's not because he's a Quebecois goalie (I do like French goalies a lot, like Patrick Roy when I was much younger & Pascal Leclaire currently). Fleury, I think in this series, is a better goalie than Osgood. He has been bombarded by the Detroit offense and have made countless great saves. A team's best defense is their goalie, and since Pittsburgh's defense is not as strong as Detroit, Fleury has pretty much kept the team's chances alive. And quite frankly, Detroit's defense pretty much makes Osgood's job easier.

Though I'm not a Pittsburgh fan, I am definitely not a Detroit fan (though I have had their players on my fantasy team and they had been good to me). With that I must say:

Go Penguins!

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