Game 2 goal for Stanley Cup goalies is to start limiting them

Updated May 29, 2018 - 6:16 pm

He once went 332 minutes, 1 second without allowing a goal. So if there’s anybody qualified to talk about how red-hot playoff goalies can go tepid before the sun sets over T-Mobile Arena on a Memorial Day evening, it’s Brian Boucher.

Boucher spent 13 seasons stopping pucks in the NHL, including four stints with the Philadelphia Flyers’ organization. But it was when he was with Phoenix during the 2003-04 season that he didn’t allow a puck to find the back of his net for 5½games.

It was a modern-day record, a streak of stinginess that has never been surpassed. It’s one that Washington’s Braden Holtby no longer has to fret about matching after letting five pucks into the back of his net during the Capitals’ 6-4 loss to the Golden Knights in a Stanley Cup Final opener that alternated between exhilarating and slipshod.

SHORT DESCRIPTION (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Holtby posted consecutive shutouts in Games 6 and 7 of the Eastern Conference Final as the Caps rallied (again) to knock off Tampa Bay. But on Monday against the Knights, his impenetrable wall crumbled in the manner of one of our imploded hotel-casinos.

Knights’ counterpart Marc-Andre Fleury didn’t exactly uphold his or the building code either, even kicking a puck into his own net that gave the visitors a 4-3 lead early in the third period.

“They both could have been better, but at the same time nine goals against is not always an indication of how a goalie plays,” said Boucher, who is providing a national TV audience with insight from a netminder’s perspective as an NBC analyst. “Sometimes (a goalie’s performance) is dictated by what happens in front of you.”

Chaos rules

A lot of stuff was happening in front of Holtby and Fleury in Game 1. If you remember the old TV series “Get Smart,” it was a battle between CONTROL and KAOS, with the goalies losing control thanks to the chaos (preferred spelling) created by those passing and shooting and redirecting the puck, and by those not minding them.

Of the nine goals scored with a man between the pipes, only two or three probably could be considered of the soft variety in what Boucher described as a “scrambly” game.

“A lot of pucks were coming off the boards and a lot of guys were left alone in front,” he said. “From a goaltender’s perspective, it was a difficult game to get into a groove.”

Boucher said he was watching a replay of the game before we chatted. After putting that puck into his own net, he thought Fleury more or less reprised his form of the first three rounds.

“They were still able to win the hockey game because he made some big saves down the stretch. That’s something we’re used to seeing in these playoffs,” said Boucher, adding that he also expected the Capitals to tidy up in front of Holtby for Game 2.

The suggestion was that one of these goalies — or both — could embark on another hot streak despite the firebrand nature of Monday’s game.

See the puck

There’s a lot that goes into being a hot goalie, Boucher said. It’s more than just keeping the puck out of the net.

It’s limiting rebounds, directing shots with your stick instead of letting them carom off your pads which Holtby has done, even in the shutouts against the Lightning. It’s the quality of saves as well as the quantity, and it’s the timing of them. Big saves in the third period (or overtime) are much more magnified than those in the first two periods.

And don’t forget luck.

Boucher said during his record scoreless streak there were a lot of pucks that clanged off posts and crossbars, a lot of pucks that he never saw that didn’t go in.

“There are times when the game slows down, and there are times it goes so fast you can’t catch up,” he said of seeing the puck the way a baseball hitter sees the ball during a hitting streak. “When the game slows down, you’re able to read the game and see things before they actually happen.

“When you get locked in like that, it’s really a good feeling.”

And when you don’t, and you let a couple in, you hope to keep a couple out if the game is still on the line, which is what Marc-Andre Fleury did against Washington in Game 1. You also hope that when your defense leaves Lars Eller unmarked in front of a wide-open net with time running out and the game up for grabs, he whiffs like Mudville’s Mighty Casey with ducks on the pond.

More Golden Knights: Follow all of our Golden Knights coverage online at reviewjournal.com/GoldenKnights and @HockeyinVegas on Twitter.

Contact Ron Kantowski at rkantowski@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0352. Follow @ronkantowski on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Golden Knights Videos
Golden Knights prepare for road trip after 4-2 win over Stars
Vegas Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant and team players talk about carrying the momentum off their 4-2 win over the Dallas Stars into their 4-game road trip.
Golden Knights Suffer Heavy Loss To Kings - Golden Edge
Vegas Golden Knights lose to the Los Angeles Kings 5-1. Review-Journal sports writer Adam Hill goes over the Knights loss.
Golden Knights Head Coach Gerard Gallant On Loss To Kings
Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant talks to media about the Knights 5-1 loss to the Kings.
Golden Knights on their 4-3 victory over the Blackhawks
Players from the Vegas Golden Knights reflect on their third period surge and what else led them to a 4-3 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks.
Deryk Engelland at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas was a new experience for Golden Knights defenseman Deryk Engelland on Wednesday night. He said he was looking forward to spending time with family and going for a skate, as well as lighting the Christmas tree for fans.
Golden Edge: Ryan Reaves will face no further penalty for hit
The Golden Knights' Ryan Reaves will not be suspended following a hit on the Washington Capitals' Tom Wilson on Tuesday night. David Schoen and Adam Hill report from team practice at City National Arena.
Vegas Golden Knights Christmas Display
In the Las Vegas Valley, the chances of getting a white Christmas are slim. But this year, you can have a “Knight” Christmas. A Henderson resident has a Christmas lights display that is synchronized to the entrance music for the Golden Knights. GG Misa’s Knights light show is played every 30 minutes from 5 to 10 nightly. His light show consists of two songs: Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” and the entrance music, “Le Castle Vania,” from the movie “John Wick.” The display is located at 730 Bollons Island St. (Richard Brian/Las Vegas Reivew-Journal)
Golden Knights Avenge Final Loss, Top Caps 5-3 - Golden Edge
The Golden Knights rally to defeat the Washington Capitals in a rematch of last year's Stanley Cup Final. David Schoen and Adam Hill discuss the win and Ryan Reaves big hit on Tom Wilson.
Golden Knights, Schmidt on their emotional win over the Capitals
The Vegas Golden Knights talk about their emotional victory and playing physical against their 2018 Stanley Cup opponent, the Washington Capitals.
Golden Knights head coach happy with team's effort in win over Capitals
Vegas Golden Knights' head coach Gerard Gallant says he was happy with the team's effort in their 5-3 win against the Washington Capitals, the 2018 Stanley Cup winners.
Golden Knights License Plate Sales
Twenty-Five year Las Vegas resident, Bernard Turner, loves the Golden Knights and couldn’t wait to get the team-inspired specialty license plate on his new vehicle. Over 11,000 of the plates have been ordered since becoming available in October, according to the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles.
Golden Edge: Golden Knights Fall to Oilers 2-1
The Golden Knights come up short in Edmonton against the Oilers. David Schoen discusses the game.
Alex Tuch on Golden Knights' 2nd line
Alex Tuch talks about the chemistry between players on the Golden Knights' second line. (David Schone/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights Win Five Games Straight, Beat Canucks 4-3
Golden Knights win five games straight after beating the Vancouver Canucks 4-3. Golden Knights beat reporter David Schoen goes over the Knights win.
Gerard Gallant on Marc-Andre Fleury
Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant talks about Marc-Andre Fleury af the Knights win in Vancouver. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Reaves faceoffs 3
Reaves faceoffs 2
Reaves faceoffs 1
Gallant pre Vancouver
Golden Edge: Knights Have Strong Game Against Chicago
Golden Knights get strong win over the Chicago Blackhawks with an 8-3 victory. Golden Knights beat reporter David Schoen breaks down the knights fourth straight victory in a row.
Golden Edge Mailbag
Ben Gotz and Adam Hill answer all your burning Vegas Golden Knights questions and comments
Golden Edge: Golden Knights defeat Sharks 6-0 for 2nd straight shutout
William Karlsson scored the fastest goal in franchise history, and the Knights finally looked like the team that advanced to last year’s Stanley Cup Final with a 6-0 shellacking of first-place San Jose. Adam Hill and Dave Schoen report from T-Mobile Arena.
William Carrier Talks About the Knight's Win
Golden Knight's forward William Carrier scored his fourth goal of the season to help the team beat San Jose 6-0.
Marc-Andre Fleury Speaks After Shutout
Golden Knight's goalie Marc-Andre Fleury puts up his second shutout in back to back games. The Knights defeated the Sharks 6-0.
Golden Edge: Golden Knights Shut out Calgary
Golden Knights shutout the Calgary Flames 2-0 after coming home from their three game road trip. Adam Hill and David Schoen recap the Knights victory over the Flames at T-Mobile Arena.
Gerard Gallant says team's play is improving after win over Flames
Vegas Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant discusses the team's play and credits Marc-Andre Fleury's performance in their 2-0 shutout win against the Calgary Flames.
Golden Knights talk about their 2-0 win over the Flames
Vegas Golden Knights Nate Schmidt, Colin Miller, Marc-Andre Fleury and Alex Tuch discuss the team's 2-0 win over the Calgary Flames.
James Neal Talks About Being Back In Vegas
Former Golden Knights forward James Neal talks to media about playing his former team in Las Vegas.
Golden Edge: Pacioretty and Knights Come Away with Two
Max Pacioretty scored his second goal of the night in overtime to defeat the Arizona Coyotes as the team takes two points. They got 3 of 4 points overall on this road trip putting them at 21 for the season. Adam Hill reports from Arizona.
Coach Gallant Talks with Media After Win
The Golden Knights defeated the Arizona Coyotes in overtime with a Max Pacioretty game-winner. Coach Gerard Gallant speaks on the teams performance.
Max Pacioretty Talks After Scoring Game Winner
Golden Knights left wing Max Pacioretty scores in overtime to defeat the Coyotes.
Golden Edge: Knights In Flames After Loss To Calgary
Golden Knights fall to 7-2 to the Calgary Flames. Review-Journal sports writer Adam Hill and columnist Ed Graney go over the Knights loss before heading to Arizona to play against the Coyotes.
Golden Knights Forward Reilly Smith On 7-2 Loss
Golden Knights forward Reilly Smith talks to media about loss to the Calgary Flames.
Golden Knights Head Coach Gerard Gallant On Loss To Calgary
Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant talks to the media after their 7-2 loss against Calgary.
Golden Edge: Golden Knights Have Stellar Second Period Against Oilers
Golden Knights have stellar second period against the Edmonton Oilers on the road. Review-Journal sports writers Adam Hill and columnist Ed Graney break down the Knights 6-3 win over the Oilers.
Golden Knights Assistant Coach On Win In Edmonton
Golden Knights Defenseman Nate Schmidt On Win Against Oilers
Knights coach welcomes Schmidt back to lineup
Coach Gerard Gallant looks for contributions from Nate Schmidt as the defenseman returns to the Golden Knights lineup to start a road trip at Edmonton.
Gallant on Toronto loss
Gallant on Pacioretty
Gallant on how season has gone
Pacioretty on possible return
Gallant and Marchessault on Perron
Coach Gerard Gallant and Golden Knights Jonathan Marchessault comment on former Knights player David Perron (Dave Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Coach Gerard Gallant on former Knights player David Perron
Coach Gerard Gallant on former Knights player David Perron (Dave Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Marchessault on Perron
VGS themed games from AGS at G2E Global Gaming Expo
A Golden Knights-themed slot machine was on display Tuesday at the G2E Global Gaming Expo as AGS showed two products that came out of a 3-year contract with the Knights. A video roulette game featuring a Knights helmet and an enormous slot machine were on the floor along with Knights cheerleaders, the Drumbots and Chance, the Knights' mascot. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights talk after practice
Marc-Andre Fleury, Max Pacioretty and Cody Eakin in the locker room on Wed. October 3, 2018.
Vegas Golden Knights show support at blood drive
Members of the Vegas Golden Knights NHL team showed up for a community blood drive on the first anniversary of the Las Vegas shooting, Oct. 1, 2018. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada Task Force One Cheers Golden Knights
Nevada Task Force One Cheers Golden Knights
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like