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Analysis of the 2000-01 Season -
The 2000-2001 National Hockey League has been absolutely great for goalies fans.
From Patrick Roy's record for wins, the discovery of new young goaltenders to
the battle for a spot on the roster of Olympic teams, the 2000-01 season has
been a turning point for the years to come.
Let's look at the headlines, the discoveries and
the disappointments of the last year in the NHL.
During the 2000-01 season and playoffs, many exeptionals and unexpected events
took place. What follows are stories that will be remembered of the 2000-2001
season in the world of goaltenders:
|THE RETURN OF FÉLIX POTVIN|
After a slumpy start in Vancouver, the
"CAT" fell back on his feet in LA. He led his team to the playoffs,
beat the Detroit Red Wings and led his team a single win away from eliminating
the team that ended up winning the Stanley Cup, the Colorado Avalanche.
On the other hand, Stéphane Fiset and Jamie
Storr who were fighting for the number 1 spot in LA sfor the past 2 years are
back to square one.
|THE PERFORMANCE OF SOME GOALIES PLAYING FOR
This year, some goalies did very well with
teams that were not supposed to do very well according to experts:
Sean BURKE (PHO)
: 2nd place in Goalie-Mania's ranking
Mike Dunham (NAS) : 4th
place in Goalie-Mania's ranking
Roberto LUONGO (FLA) : 6th place in Goalie-Mania's
Manny FERNANDEZ (MIN) : 7th place in Goalie-Mania's ranking
Ron TUGNUTT (CMB) : 8th place in Goalie-Mania's ranking
Even with goalies who were doing pretty well,
these 5 teams didn't make the playoffs... This wasn't really their year.
|INJURIES TO #1 GOALTENDERS|
|Guy Hebert - Anaheim - NYR
Damian Rhodes - Atlanta
Byron Dafoe - Boston
Dominik Hasek - Buffalo
Jocelyn Thibault - Chicago
Ron Tugnutt - Columbus
Chris Osgood - Detroit
Stéphane Fiset - Los Angeles
|Manny Fernandez - Minnesota
Jeff Hackett - Montréal
Mike Dunham - Nashville
Mike Richter - N-Y Rangers
Sean Burke - Phoenix
J-Sébastien Aubin - Pittsburg
Steve Sheild - San Jose
Roman Turek - St-Louis
All these #1 goalies have been injured during
the regular season. That caused major problems to many teams - out of the 16
teams with an injured #1 goaltender, only 5 made the playoffs.
|PATRICK ROY'S RECORD FOR WINS |
Everybody knew that Roy was going to beat Terry Sawchuk's record for wins
one day or another. But Roy did so in a Hollywood fashion by winning in
overtime 4-3 against the Washington Capitals.
Even if it wasn't his best game in career, Roy
will certainly remember it all his life.
|5) THE OLYMPIC RACE|
Even if we are at least a year from the Salt Lake City Olympics, nobody
can say for sure who are going to be the goalies for team Canada.
Talent, potential, reputation, relationship
with the coaches... all of these will play in the final decision.
As it's the case each year, some goaltenders came out of nowhere to compete with
the greatests. Here are the biggest surprises of the year.
|Roman Cechmanek - Philadelphia|
Season : 2nd in Goalie-Mania's ranking
Playoffs : 13th in Goalie-Mania's ranking
Drafted as an insurance policy, he took
advantage of the Brian Boucher meltdown to become one of the best goalies of
the 2000-20001 season. He showed the best GAA (2,01) and an impressive save
pct (,921). He was nominated for the Vézina trophy at his first year in the
|Evgeny Nabokov - San Jose|
Season : 10th in Goalie-Mania's ranking
Playoffs : 16th in Goalie-Mania's ranking
When the season started, Steve Shield was
supposed to play at least 60-65 games for San Jose. But an injury gave Evgeny
Nabokov the opportunity to show his mental toughness and his great technique.
His performance chased Shield away from San Jose.
|Johan Hedberg - Pittsburgh|
Season : 61th in Goalie-Mania's ranking (8e- IHL)
Playoffs : 5th in Goalie-Mania's ranking
All season long, Pittsburg was complaining
about goaltending problems. Ten games before the end of the season, this
problem was solved. The Swedish goalie did the job from the very beginning by
winning 7 games in 9 starts. The playoffs were even better when he lead the
Penguins to the semi-final. All of a sudden, the future is bright in front of
the net for the Pens.
For each surprise, there's always have a
disappointment. Some goalies lived the somophore jinx, some others saw the end
getting nearer and some just seem to have lost the desire to win.
|Brian Boucher - Philadelphia|
Season : 48th in Goalie-Mania's ranking
Playoffs : 20th in Goalie-Mania's ranking
After having been the discovery in 2000,
Boucher just couldn't continue this way. He finished with the worst save pcta
of the league (,876). In addition, even if he played with a top team, he
managed a record of 8-12-3.
|Jeff Hackett - Montréal|
Season : 54th in Goalie-Mania's ranking
Playoffs : --
Even if Hackett is highly rated by the Habs
direction, he just didn't do the job this year. He lost his #1 job and the
fans are questioning his attitude. If he hadn't been injured, he would have
been traded before the trading deadline in March.
|The New-York Rangers trio|
Mike Richter : 32nd in Goalie-Mania's ranking
Guy Hebert : 31st in Goalie-Mania's ranking
Kirk McLean : 49th in Goalie-Mania's ranking
Even if they are collectively103 years old and
commanded a total salary of 18,7 millions last year, they were the worst group
of goalies of the NHL. No one of the three reached: - 20 wins - GAA below 3 -
Save pct over ,900
No wonder they missed the playoffs!
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