Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Gnashing My Teeth at the Goalie Guild


Anybody else read this guy? I want to like him: his heart's in the right place, and he sure tries hard a lot. But he can't pull his head far enough out of his ass to challenge his own assumptions--crucial for a scout--and his weird obsessions with guilds, knights, and other white bullshit just get in the way. (Also his goalie assessment charts don't list height/weight, which strikes me as an unfathomably bizarre omission in a league currently obsessed with goalie size. Why make your consumer go anywhere else for such basic information?) Favorite nuggets of nonsense from this one include:

"Especially in the last 10 months, Evgeni has had to deal with more adversity than any other year in his career. And since emotional and mental adversity only makes a goalie stronger, he has an even wider professional scope of stopping pucks than ever before."

The listed adversity that's made Evgeni Nabokov a better goalie? Getting curb-stomped as the Russian goalie in the Olympics; reamed by the Blackhawks in the playoffs. So...being shitty at stopping pucks is now good for a goalie. Makes them stronger.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you, The World's Strongest Goalie in the World!

Oddly, Goalie Guild Justin doesn't mention winning 8 of 22 games, or putting up a .888 save percentage in the KHL as adversity, nor getting no-tendered by the Sharks--and then everybody else in the NHL--then having to move to Russia, then, as mentioned, sucking, then quitting his job and relocating his family back to the States. Last I checked, stress at work and moving were hecka stressy.)

Also, what the fuck is a "professional scope of stopping pucks" and by means of what metric is its width measured? Is Lundquist's stoppuck 10 proscopes wider than Pascal Leclaire's? 20? 1,000?

Also also: who says adversity only makes goalies stronger? Nonsensical assumption rooted in a certain essentially magical orientation to the game and to the position. Faugh.

Not only has Tampa Bay experienced tremendous success with another Russian goalie by the name of Nikolai Khabibulin,

Not entirely sure what this has to do with anything. If you could document that the goalie coach was then and is now Russian? Maybe this would matter. Otherwise this makes about as much sense as the Oilers giving Ray Emery a tryout because they once had some success with Grant Fuhr.

Goalie Justin's examples for rock-solid, confident goalies who lift up the spirits of their teams? Well, his examples include 2 entire players, one of whom is Carey Price. Yes, the Carey Price who lost his job last year (and the year before) and who has been outstanding for nearly three whole months in a row as of now.

"one thing that Nabokov brings on a nightly basis is making the right saves at the right time"

This...is not something any consistent watcher of San Jose would say. Nor would anybody on an opposing team be likely to say "well, you know, the one thing about Nabby is that we really know we're not going to get one by him in a big moment of a big game".*

"In my opinion, tandems only work when there’s a true veteran in the mix, or both goalies are capable of going on very intense winning streaks."

What the fuck does this even mean? That second part means "tandems work when one guy starts and wins a lot of games", which...well, hard to argue with that, but what in blue hell is a "true veteran"? Are they better at being in tandems than fake veterans? Or do they suck compared to ersatz rookies?

His basic point--Nabby's been a good goalie for 10 years and Tampa Bay doesn't have pro-caliber goaltending right now--is obviously true; dressing it up in all this weird, incoherent pontificating, though, serves that point poorly, like a falsified novice goalie with a skinny, amateur puck-stopping scope.

-Collision, pushing a guy onto his own goalie

*I want to be fair: 40-38 career playoff record, .913, 2.29--these are outstanding numbers, and I believe he's a very good goalie. I just don't believe his "intangibles" are worth anything, and I defy Goalie Guild Justin or anybody else to provide actual examples of these...

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