Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The "Hot Goalie" Excuse

So yeah, I went away for a week. Sun, sand, private pool, and the single biggest cockroach I've ever seen (who cooperatively went away for the rest of the week after he'd been tipped).

But before I went away, there was this game against the Atlanta Thrashers. Maybe you remember? If not, let me refresh your memory:

October 31 2009, Atlanta at Ottawa: 3-1 (Final). Shots on goal: 21-51 -- not including those blocked or redirected enroute to the net. In other words, Atlanta goalie Ondrej Pavelec made 50 saves, permitting only a single Mike Fisher offering into the net.

And lo, did the commentators say: The Senators were stymied by a hot goalie.

This is what, the third time that this particular excuse has been trotted out? I remember the first game of the year in New York, when Henrick Lundqvist was granted the dubious honor of being dubbed the first "hot goalie" that the Senators ran into this year.

The thing is, it is just an excuse. It only works if the lack of scoring is unusual. If the Senators of early 2007 (who could seemingly put the puck in the net at will) had been stymied by a goalie, then yes, THAT would be a hot goalie.

But if you just can't score, and that state of being is a regular situation, then you can't just hand wave the whole thing off as running into a "hot goalie". The whole point of the game is to put the puck in the net. If you can't do it, then you have a problem.

And the Senators can't do it regularly, which means they have a problem.