Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Play Your Tits Off - The FHF Round One Preview: Goaltenders


Boston's Tiny Tim is going to need to carry his team on his back.

Undoubtedly the most important position in all of sports (not that I'm biased), FHF turns it's in-depth "analysis" to the teams' respective goaltenders, Carey Price - aka The Franchise Saviour (tm), and Tim Thomas - aka Tiny Tim.

Age: TFS is 20, TiTi will be 34 in a week.
EDGE: TFS is green, TiTi is a geezer (sorry HF29). Let's call this a draw.

Playoff experience: both TFS and TiTi go into this series with zero NHL playoff games. In TT's entire professional career, however, he's played 31 career playoff games - and only 2 of those were on this side of the pond. Meanwhile, everyone is Montreal knows by now that TFS led the Hamilton Bulldogs to the Calder Cup last year in the AHL, playing in 22 games. Plus, TFS is cool as a Chicoutimi cucumber and it seems unlikely that he will be rattled too badly or too long by his first playoff NHL experience. Plus it's not like there is no precedent for a 20 year old carrying a team to a Cup. But a soon-to-be 34-year old journeyman?
EDGE: TFS.

Size/Durability: TFS is 6'3", 225 pounds. TiTi is 5'11" and 180 pounds. Who's going to stand up to being run 30 times a night when goalie interference calls require use of a firearm?
EDGE: TFS - his frame guarantees that a couple of pucks a game will simply hit him even if he doesn't react to a shot, which is critical when there are 2 guys with their ass in

Style: TFS is a prototype hybrid goalie, while TiTi style can best be described as "Hasekian" - i.e. calculated guesses and allot of scrambling. The difference is, TiTi doesn't guess right nearly as often as the Dominator at his peak.
EDGE: it's easy (and tempting) to give this one to TFS too, but I'm calling it a draw because when TiTi is guessing right, he can look like Hasek, and he's more prone to streaky play - and I'm not going to tempt fate (and piss off HF10) given the list of marginal Bruins' keepers who stole playoff series against the CH.

Team support: much has been made of the Bruins' commitment to team defence as they cut their goals against by something like 350 goals under Julien. But this category is more about the goalie's place in the team . Remember in TFS's first start against Pittsburgh, when guys were throwing themselves in front of shots to ensure he picked up the win? Meanwhile, the Bruins GM had so much confidence in TiTi before the year that he traded for an assaholic goalie with spaghetti for knee ligaments to be his starter.
EDGE: TFS. You can just see how Montreal has adapted their game to his play. This is TFS's team, not doubt about it (HueT who?). It seems like TiTi is slotted into the backup role every pre-season (next year it could be behind Tuuka Rask).

Intangibles: TiTi has something to prove as he's been doubted all season, where I don't think TFS really does. TFS is getting all the hype, and if I where TiTi I'd be pissed off and looking to prove something. Let's hope TiTi isn't like me (well, maybe if you've ever seen me play...).
EDGE: TiTi.

Backups: burgeoning FHF cult hero Jaro vs. Alex Auld. I'm betting that it is more likely to see Mr. Auld than Jaro. Good for us, because when Jaro's riding the bench he has more time to do interviews with HF4.
EDGE: Auld has more experience, even if he hasn't played an NHL playoff game either.

PREDICTION: TiTi is pulled at least once in the series, and by the end of April TFS can pretty much walk into the back room of any strip club in Montreal any time he wants, sans wallet (and pants).

5 comments:

panger76 said...

Jeff, ending with "pants" is my tribute to you, buddy.

Bryan said...

go pants. go hockey. go habs go.

Zwirb said...

Thinking of Jaro as 'burgeoning' seems only fitting, giving it's springtime.

Zwirb said...

[given], of course. But who cares. Go hockey.

fezworth said...

Go Pants, Go Hockey.

Bryan, I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to make it. This frakking snow, I got to work 3 hours late today. I'll be there in spirit though.