Ironic Pierre McGuire Quotes: "Miikka Kiprusoff is a hero with the glove!"


Thanks to NHL.com, we can all see the glory of Martin Havlat's game-winning goal, 12 seconds into overtime.  It's a goal that emphasizes yet again the one area where Calgary is substantially weaker than Chicago: in net.

Now, sure, Kiprusoff being down on the game winning goal was probably at least somewhat connected to that crease-crashing Blackhawk forward, and obviously that's where Mike Keenan was going to point after the game:

"I believe it was Ladd who did not try to stop," Keenan said after the game. "That's goaltender interference."

Watching the replay, though, it doesn't seem nearly that clear cut to me, and even if Kiprusoff was knocked over what does seem clear is that he didn't have a strong game.  The first Chicago goal (Cam Barker) was not only from a distance but also from a tough angle; the kind of goal that no goalie wants to give up.  On the second goal, the primary responsibility doesn't fall to Kiprusoff, since with three Calgary players and one Martin Havlat sitting in front of the net there really wasn't any way that Havlat should have been able to get his own rebound.  Then again, Kipper overcommitted to the left hand side of the net while simultaneously kicking the rebound directly in front, so he really wasn't blameless there, either.  It simply wasn't a strong game for the Flames netminder, who has been getting talk of Vezina consideration but who really hasn't deserved it this season.  A quick comparison to the other goaltender in this series:


GP MIN W L T EGA GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
2008 - Miikka Kiprusoff 76 4418 45 24 5 3 209 2.84 2155 1946 .903 4


GP MIN W L T EGA GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
2008 - Nikolai Khabibulin 42 2467 25 8 7 1 96 2.33 1192 1096 .919 3

 

It seems to me that these two met once before in the playoffs... I remember that Kiprusoff had put quite a run together, but as I recall Khabibulin still skated away with the series win.  Except of course that it's different this year; both teams are in the first round and this time Kiprusoff would seem to be a liability, rather than a strength.

Calgary fans, I'm sure, will be quick to point out that Kiprusoff made a number of good saves (and he did) but even so a few of those saves were only required because of poor rebound control to begin with (with the save on Kyle Versteeg at 11:22 of the 3rd period being the best example).

With all of that being said, I really don't think that Mike Keenan has any choice but to watch and give his goaltender as much support as he can.  After all, it isn't like his backup is a realistic option:


GP MIN W L T EGA GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
2008 - Curtis McElhinney 14 518 1 6 1 3 31 3.59 280 249 .889 0


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