Stanley Cup Game 1 Goalie Recap

Wings 4-0.

Below is commentary on both goalies with video. I apologize in advance for commericals when links are selected.

Final Goalie Stats

Osgood

19 Saves on 19 Shots.

Only faced total of 7 shots in thehad  last two periods. Was great in the first period particularly when the Pens 5 shots on net during one PP – best was catching the puck behind him that deflected off Crosby’s chest (http://www.nhl.tv/team/console.jsp?hlp=8458568&event=DET99)

2nd period, when game was scoreless, Osgood made good save on partial breakaway from Dupuis (http://www.versus.com/nhl?articleID=71146)

In the third, the only real scoring chance came on a Pens PP with Gonchar unloading a shot from the top of the circles – noice the aggressiveness of Osgood. (http://www.nhl.tv/team/console.jsp?hlp=8458568&event=DET524

This is a goalie, considering all the traffic to the side and behind him on this save, playing with an amazing sense of confidence. He knew Gonchar was going to shoot.

How? Four primary reasons-

  1. Gonchar’s had plenty of time and space to get a good shot towards the net and shooting lane was wide open
  2. The Pen’s defenseman lowered his head as he was winding up – shooters look down to keep puck down
  3. Golden rule for teams down in the last moments – get the puck to the net.
  4. All Pens down low were covered – pass would have been unproductive – only a shot made sense.

Fleury

32 saves on 36 shots.

4 goals against is the most Fleury has allowed in 6 months according to Versus staff. Looked shaky (falling down while taking the ice before the game was a bit of foreshadowing -(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oc7kryvcOYo) in first period as well as the first 5 minutes of the second. Mishandled a few shots that lead to additional scoring chances (http://www.versus.com/nhl?articleID=71145)

Goals Against Recap

Goals 1 and 3 should have been stopped while Goal 2 was unlucky and Goal 4 was just outstanding work by Detroit.

Goal 1 – http://www.versus.com/nhl?articleID=71147

Fleury was late to opposite post on accelerated wraparound. To gain momentum moving to the far post, he positioned his right leg towards the top of the crease to push off. This decision delayed his ability to get to the post, therefore the goal was scored. 

As an alternative, how about diving (stick and gloves first) to meet the puck as it comes from behind the net? Desperate times bring desperate measures. If Fleury dove and made contact with the puck, he may not have been in position for a rebound (always important particularly with butterfly styles like Fleury incorporates) but I’d take my chances in the hopes my defense picked-up the loose puck and/or the impact of my stick making contact with the puck would put the puck in the corner out of harm’s way. The key is making the first save which would have happened with the dive.

Goal 2 – http://www.versus.com/nhl?articleID=71148

Fleury could have controlled the puck better but he may have felt pressure from Sammuleson coming from the boards. Fleury swats it to Malkin who gave puck away to Sammuleson right in front of the Pens net. Fleury had no chance – the giveaway was bad luck for Fleury. 

Note to Pens – get Malkin going or this series will be short – he was brutal troughout the game. This was Malkin’s worst game of the playoffs.

Goal 3 – http://www.nhl.tv/team/console.jsp?hlp=8466149&event=DET526

Fleury should have seen his defenseman getting beat and losing the angle on Clearly. The correct response for Fleury was to react more aggresively by jumping out of his net to shoot the puck out of danger, or, at least, dive to poke check puck past approaching Cleary. Instead, the goalie allowed the shot and got beat.

Fleury has been more aggressive out-of-his net throughout the playoffs – one of the stated reasons for the playoff success. What brings you success, utilize.

Goal 4 – http://www.nhl.tv/team/console.jsp?hlg=20072008,3,411&event=DET530

This is why Zetterberg is considered one of the best. Nothing Fleury could do with his right defenseman not picking Zetterberg up in the slot. Simply, this was a beautiful goal created by a mistake by the defense.

Game 2 Monday evening.

Fleury needs to be better (as rest of Pens do). It’s likely Fleury was not controlling his anxiety during the first 25-30 minutes since this is his first trip to the Finals. Hopefully the anxiety is over and he will be able to play more confidently like he did in the first three rounds.

With Osgood, nothing needs to be changed but I would expect the Pens to create more chances for themselves. He will be busier than Game 1.

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