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A trend in round 2

(Author's note: I wrote this a few days ago, when all four series were at 2-0. It is still somewhat relevant in that all these teams are still ahead in their series. Or possibly, it will become quickly irrelevant, in which case I best post it now.)

One thing I've noticed thus far in Round 2 is that all four leading teams are playing a less-experienced goaltender than the one on their bench. For games played, I am counting career NHL games (regular season or playoffs) before these playoffs started.

  • San Jose: Vesa Toskala, 77 GP, $684,000
  • Anaheim: Ilya Bryzgalov, 33 GP, $456,000
  • Carolina, Cam Ward, 28 GP, $684,000
  • Buffalo, Ryan Miller, 66 GP, $501,600

Compare this to their like-it-or-not backups:

  • San Jose: Evgeny Nabokov, 337 GP, $3,363,000
  • Anaheim: J.S. Giguere, 318 GP, $3,990,000
  • Carolina: Martin Gerber, 116 GP, $1,064,000
  • Buffalo: Martin Biron, 281 GP, $2,128,000

So I'm guessing this is a fluke, just not being able to properly assess new-NHL goaltending at the right time, especially with the year off. Either that or it pays well to be a groomer.

At any rate, these guys are about as green as they come this time of year. None of the four had played in the NHL postseason before this spring. Exshmerience.

These kids have 6 of the 7 shutouts this postseason (The Rangers also managed to shut themselves out against Brodeur).

One other note, if this does turn out to be the final four of goaltenders, each of these kids comes from a different country. That adds a fun twist.