Bits: On goalie demeanor and 'proof' in Cup games

Proof of inattentiveness and poor bounce-back-ability right there.

No matter what has happened in the first four games, this has become the best kind of Stanley Cup final series: A best-of-three. With the exception of Nathan Horton and Aaron Rome's unavailability, nothing from before matters.

Yet depending on how tonight goes, we are going to hear one of: 1) The Rome hit on Horton changed the series; 2) The Thomas-Burrows altercation changed the series; 3) Someone is choking and someone is stepping up.

I am still stunned that as quickly as people wrote off Boston after Game 2 people are writing off Vancouver after Game 4 or even Game 5, depending on the result. Amateurs, Dude.

In yesterday's Bits post I surfaced how Roberto Luongo's body language really does make me and others wonder about the player and how teammates perceive him. But I took pains to explain that doesn't make me conclude he's a bad goalie -- just that, all told, he could be a better teammate. (I find the psychology of the game interesting, even if we can't quantify it.) Today I'll go the other way: How on earth does nhl.com publish statements such as these [emphasis mine]:

 

So with the Bruins now up 1-0, Luongo's defeated demeanor slowly surfaced, becoming dominant. It forced him to battle even harder to track the puck, absorb shots and control rebounds.

[...]

In a game where there's simply no time to appear fragile, Luongo relinquished three more goals that proved he was not alert or attentive enough to bounce back.

[...]

In a must-win game, especially during the Stanley Cup Final, it's not enough to just think you're confident. You also have to show it.

Even if any of these suggestions are plausible...how can they be stated as fact? I guess I'm open to all sorts of speculation about what goes on in the mind of a player -- particularly goalies, who studies prove are patently crazy. But I can't buy that any goals "prove" something about the mental anything of a player. Certainly not three goals that were at least 66% also on the defense.

Put another way: When Tim Thomas allows five goals, is he mentally inattentive -- or does he make a couple of mistakes while suffering the 5 percent of times when his calculated risk style does not pan out? (Even when he checked Sedin A, he was but inches away from being too late and conceding a goal.) So much of goaltending is playing the percentages and reaping your luck. Some goals are awful, but many goals just aren't your bounce.

Islanders Links

NHL Links

Parting Thought: Not even getting into Drury, the Rangers still owe Wade Redden more than* twice what the Islanders still owe Yashin. I'm just saying.  *pardon my a.m. math **I was right the first time.

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