Phil Sheridan Should Not Write About Hockey

Early on Monday, the Inquirer published a column by Phil Sheridan entitled "Goalie should be priority for Flyers". Yes, it was a unique look at something the hockey media across the continent has somehow missed. And it only took him three days after the season to write it.

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Anyway, in the article, Sheridan says:

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So [Antti] Niemi became the fallback argument for those who don't believe a great goalie is necessary to win in today's NHL. What that argument fails to note is that the Blackhawks won the Cup with Niemi because they happened to be facing a team with Michael Leighton in goal.

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No, Phil: The argument that you don't need a great goalie to win a Stanley Cup is not fatally flawed because two subpar goalies took their teams to the Stanley Cup Final. In fact, it is strong evidence that you do not, in fact, need a great goalie to win a Cup.

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But just in case some people actually believe you, let's make two lists. First, the Stanley Cup-winning goalies since the salary cap has been instituted (because remember, Phil, this isn't baseball. You can't just spend however much your rich owners want to spend):

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Antti Niemi, Marc-Andre Fleury, Chris Osgood, Jean-Sebastien Giguere, and Cam Ward.

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In the years they won their Stanley Cups, the highest regular season save percentage out of that group was Giguere's 0.918. None of those guys were or are "great" goalies.

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Know who are "great" goalies? Henrik Lundqvist, Tim Thomas, Roberto Luongo, Pekka Rinne, Tomas Vokoun, and maybe a few others. How many Stanley Cups have they won, combined? Zero, Phil. Zero.

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But no, you're right: The whole "you don't need a great goalie to win the Cup" argument is obviously false because crappy goalies can carry their teams to within two games of the Cup.

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