A Goalie’s View of the Vancouver Olympics

After five hectic, glorious days at the Vancouver Winter Olympics I thought I’d share some images of the trip as seen through the eyes of a goalie.

There were one or two of these banners around town!

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Goalie Shot of the Day

Couldn’t resist the Statue of Liberty save by Evgeni Nabokov against the Penguins last night!

Vezina: Brodeur, Lundqvist or Nabokov?

Tonight in Toronto the NHL will host its annual award ceremony (viewable on NHL Network in the US).  One goalie award is already known as Dominik Hasek and Chris Osgood will share the Jennings Trophy for best goals against average.  The real goalie award is the Vezina, which will go to Martin Brodeur, Henrik Lundqvist or Evgeni Nabokov.  For Brodeur a win would be his fourth (in five seasons); for Lundqvist or Nabokov it would be their first.  As with any subjective award there are two ways to predict the winner… who should win it and who will win it.

How about a quick look at their statistics for the season (I’ve included playoff success even though the award is voted upon at the end of the regular season):

 77 GP, 44 Wins, 4 SO, 2.17 GAA, .920 SV% and a first round playoff loss

 

 

 72 GP, 37 Wins, 10 SO, 2.23 GAA, .912 SV% and a second round playoff loss

 

 

77 GP, 46 Wins, 6 SO, 2.14 GAA, .910 SV% and a second round playoff loss

 

 

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Nabokov On His Way To Quebec City

For those of us in NHL playoff cities the World Championships have been a bit of an after-thought (or even a non-existent thought). While national teams routinely pick up a few late additions from NHL teams eliminated in the first round it’s extremely rare to add a player eliminated in the second round. Due to the late start of the tournament this year, the Sharks loss to Dallas in game six and the fact that Quebec doesn’t require a trans-Atlantic flight Evengeni Nabokov will be pulling on the Russian jersey in a couple days.

Alexander Eremenko, Russia’s starter so far, injured his right ACL on Sunday in Russia’s 5-4 win over the Czechs. Backup Mikhail Biryukov played in a 4-1 win over Denmark today but because Russia only brought two keepers (Canada named three at the beginning of the tournament) they are allowed to add an emergency replacement for Eremenko.

I love watching gloves saves like this when Nabokov is wearing the Sharks’ teal but I’m not looking forward to what he’s going to do to Team Canada when they inevitably hook up in the medal round. Follow the IIHF results here and be sure to check out great shots of the action from each game here.

Lord Stanley resides in California… is the Vezina Next?

Ask any NHL writer or hockey fan “who is the best goalie?” and for the last few years the overwhelming answer was always the same: Martin Brodeur. Yes, guys like Roberto Luongo and Marty Turco were mentioned in the same breath but in the end it has been Brodeur winning the Vezina three of the last four years. One goalie who hasn’t really been mentioned at all in that debate (but should have been) is now making his strongest case yet: San Jose’s Evgeni Nabokov.

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Tenders Lounge is located in San Francisco, one hour north of the Shark Tank, so we’re a little biased towards our local goalie but Nabby’s numbers look good from anywhere. Even from New Jersey. Nabokov leads the league in wins with 46 and would have a chance at tying Brodeur’s record for wins in a season (48) but Sharks coach Doug Wilson has decided to play Brian Boucher in one of the Sharks’ last two games (read more about that decision here). Continue reading