When Marc Bergevin was the Habs' general manager, he emphasized a strategy of getting Carey Price
to perform above his abilities. After all, with a top-notch goalie, you can dream of a long playoff run.
During the 2021 playoffs, it must be admitted that the strategy worked pretty well, as the Habs reached the Stanley Cup final. However, let's just say that this year, that strategy isn't necessarily working, and as my colleague Christian Matte of Marqueur.com
reports, there is some evidence that a goalie can't do it all by himself.
Columnist Meeker Geurier made two observations this morning about goaltending after the first round of the playoffs. First, the strategy that a team can rely on their third goalie and hope to go far in the playoffs needs to be reviewed. The example of the Pittsburgh Penguins, who sent their third goalie, Louis Domingue
, is an obvious one.
Despite some good performances from Louis, the goal he gave to Chris Kreider
in Game 6 was not worthy of a number one goalie. It may have cost the Penguins the series.
But where Bergevin's strategy would have hurt was certainly in the series between the Calgary Flames and the Dallas Stars. Despite a stellar performance by Stars goaltender Jake Oettinger
, his team was eliminated in seven games despite making 64 saves in the final game, proving that a goaltender can't do it all on his own.
Oettinger hasn't had much support from his offense and in today's hockey, it's crucial to have a good balance on a team if they want to be successful in the playoffs. The Tampa Bay Lightning is a good example of this, as they have a dominant goaltender, a solid defense and above all a great offense. It is not for nothing that they have won the Stanley Cup two seasons in a row.