This postseason has seen its fair share of goalie drama—Stars fans, for starters, can testify to that. But Dallas' exit from the playoffs didn't stop debates over which guy to start in net. Last night, Jake Allen got the nod over Brian Elliott and backstopped the Blues to a win. In Pittsburgh, there's talk of starting Marc-Andre Fleury for Game 5, and the Lightning are without Ben Bishop.
So what does that mean? According to The Hockey News' Mike Brophy, it's that goalies just aren't as important in the playoffs as they used to be.
In today's game, which has become a high-paced game of chess on ice, good goaltending will suffice.
Think about it, the best four goaltenders entering this season's playoffs were Braden Holtby of the Washington Capitals, Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers, Jonathan Quick of the Los Angeles Kings and Ben Bishop of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Quick and the Kings were eliminated in the opening round. Holtby and Lundqvist failed to make it out of the second round and when Bishop went down with a leg injury, the Lightning carried on without skipping a beat with Andrei Vasilevskiy capably guarding the net.
Compare the 2016 postseason, Brophy says, to performances by Ken Dryden or Patrick Roy, and the conclusion is this:
Goalies used to try to steal games for their teams and on some occasions, they still do. But today it is more important to have a goaltender who simply doesn't cost you the game than one who goes out and tries to win it on his own.
There's more on goalies at the link. [The Hockey News]
TSN counts down the top 30 free agents, and several Stars—and former Stars—make the list. Jason Demers is the highest among current guys on the team, coming in at No. 10. [TSN]
Esa Lindell will play for a gold medal against Canada at the 2016 World Championship. [Stars Inside Edge]
Finland advanced to today's championship game after defeating Russia 3-1.
Nice play by Esa Lindell to poke check the puck away from Alex Ovechkin and then a draw a penalty on Ovechkin.— Mark Stepneski (@StarsInsideEdge) May 21, 2016
Patrik Laine was a little more star struck by Ovi.
The Stars may be out of the playoffs, but there are still a few former Stars in the running to win the Cup. Who are you rooting for? The aforementioned Daley? Steve Ott? [The Hockey Writers]
Ryan Minkoff writes about playing hockey in Finland.
A Russian news outlet reported that Pavel Datsyuk signed a two-year contract with a KHL club. The Magic Man's agent, however, says, "Not so fast." [The Hockey News]
For defensman Justin Schultz, playing for the Penguins has been the polar opposite of his experience in Edmonton. [Sportsnet]
What's behind Finland's success at the world championships? A new approach to coaching and development. The fact that it's working so well has made naming a World Cup of Hockey roster even harder for GM Jere Lehtinen. [New York Times]
And finally, go behind the scenes with the first episode of Showtime's All Access: Quest for the Stanley Cup.