As the end of the regular season inches closer, the debate over which goalie the Stars will rely on in the playoffs has come up more and more. And while Lindy Ruff may not need to declare Kari Lehtonen or Antti Niemi as The Chosen One right now, The Hockey News' Matt Larkin says he absolutely needs to decide at some point. According to Larkin, two-goalie systems just don't fly when it's crunch time.
For starters, six of the past seven Stanley Cup champion teams have had a single goalie record all 16 of the wins required to hoist the chalice, the exception being Chicago's Corey Crawford last spring. He won 13 games and Scott Darling won three. I explained that stat to Andersen, but he shrugged it off quickly.
"Simple math if we win eight and eight," he said, envisioning a Stanley Cup duo of him and Gibson.
It's a fun idea, adorable even, but history tells us a "hot hand" approach rarely if ever results in a Cup. Of the past 30 champions, 29 have had one goalie gain at least 13 of the wins en route to the Cup. The only team over that stretch that didn't was the 1991 Pittsburgh Penguins, and that was only because Tom Barrasso missed some games due to injury. He was the full-time starter in spirit.
Larkin does point out, however, that the decision is can be much clearer than choosing between Lehtonen and Niemi.
The numbers, while circumstantial, suggest flip-flopping virtually excludes a team from winning it all. In many years, the Cup champ rolls with one goalie simply because that goalie is amazing. It didn't take a genius to play Patrick Roy or Martin Brodeur or Ken Dryden every game.
There's more on goalies at the link, but if you're Lindy Ruff, who do you want in net? [The Hockey News]
Kris Russell is ready to go, Tyler Seguin is biking, and other Monday practice updates before tonight's game against Nashville at 7:30 p.m. [SportsDayDFW]
The Stars announced Jamie Benn as the team's Masterton nominee—here's what the captain had to say about it:
With 15 goals and 29 points, Mattias Janmark has continued to impress all year. Jason Spezza says his skating makes all the difference. [SportsDayDFW]
Mike Heika held his weekly Stars chat yesterday, and there's all sorts of good stuff to dive into—including the fact that Jamie Benn's full name is a mystery. [SportsDayDFW]
The Hockey Writers' Jordan Dix examines whether Jason Demers' late-season injury (and Stephen Johns' solid play) will have an impact on his future in Dallas. [The Hockey Writers]
Also at THW, how much of a goalie problem have the Stars actually had this year? [THW]
Don't forget to check out the latest episode of Stars Sunday.
Oh, look, another team in the Central that's building momentum right before the postseason starts. [St. Louis Game Time]
The NHL emails unsealed by a U.S. federal court in Minneapolis examine the link between concussions and "personal tragedies." [TSN]
They may not have a cool nickname like the Central (#JustMDKThings), but the Pacific Division and its top teams are still pretty scary. [VICE]
Here are your latest three Stars of the Week:
And you thought triple overtime was bad. [The Hockey News]
After dealing with post-concussion symptoms and making a triumphant return to win the NCAA championship, Amanda Kessel hopes her comeback carries her all the way to the top of the Olympic podium. [Sports Illustrated]
It's a tough road for a journeyman goalie caught between the AHL and NHL. [Boston Globe]
And finally, a few familiar faces went back to school.