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Why Ron Hextall believes in having goalie tandem for Flyers

Why Ron Hextall believes in having goalie tandem for Flyers
Published On: Tue, Aug 07
December 27, 2015; Anaheim, CA, USA; Philadelphia Flyers Claude Giroux (28) controls the puck against Anaheim Ducks defenseman Sami Vatanen (45) during the first period at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Sports could easily compile an endangered species list.A 

In baseball, ita€™s the complete game pitcher.

In football, where have all the 300-carry running backs gone?

And in hockey, ita€™s the eradication of the 70-start workhorse goaltender.

Ten years ago, you knew exactly where to find one: New Jersey, New York, Calgary, Vancouver. But today, theya€™re almost nowhere to be found.A 

Looking back at the 2007-08 season, amazingly, there were six goaltenders that racked up 70 or more starts that season a€”A Martin Brodeur, Evgeni Nabokov, Miikka Kiprusoff, Ryan Miller, Roberto Luongo and Henrik Lundqvist. You could expect to see those same names year after year. Luongo and Lundqvist had four straight seasons of 70-plus starts. Kiprusoff ripped off seven in a row and Brodeur was on a whole other level reaching 70 starts an astonishing 12 times in his career. A A 

By comparison, only six goaltenders have reached that mark in the past seven years, with Edmontona€™s Cam Talbot being the last in 2016-17. Just like baseball general managers closely monitoring pitch counts of their starters, NHL GMs are working in the backup netminders much more in todaya€™s game.

And who better to understand this shift in the crease than goalie-turned-GMA Ron Hextall, whose personal high in games played was 66 in the 1986-87 season. A 

a€œFifteen, 20 years ago, therea€™d be 18 to 20 games where you said, a€˜Wea€™re going to win all those games,a€™A and youa€™d win 90 percent of them,a€ Hextall said. a€œNowadays, therea€™s not one game where you go in saying wea€™re going to win tonight. Thata€™s a change in terms of workload on a goaltender. Therea€™s close games, no 7-2 games.

a€œFor the most part, there are one- and two-goal games and you need to be at the top of your game every night, whereas back then, you didna€™t have to be at the top of your game and still win.a€A 

Read the complete news article here...


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