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Analysis of the 2000-01 Season  -  NHL Goalies

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.

THE HEADLINES 
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:

bulletTHE 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.

bulletTHE PERFORMANCE OF SOME GOALIES PLAYING FOR WEAKER TEAMS

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 ranking
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.

bulletINJURIES 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.

bulletPATRICK 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.

bullet5) 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.

DISCOVERIES 
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.

bulletRoman 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 big league.

bulletEvgeny 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.

bulletJohan 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.

DISAPPOINTMENTS
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.

bulletBrian 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.

bulletJeff 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.

bulletThe 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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