Tag:Johan Hedberg
Posted on: February 9, 2012 1:22 am
Edited on: February 9, 2012 1:28 am
 

Miikka Kiprusoff earns win No. 300 in style

By: Adam Gretz

On Wednesday night Calgary Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff became just the 27th goalie in NHL history to record his 300th win by stopping 34 of the 37 shots he faced in a 4-3 win against the San Jose Sharks, the team that originally draft him in the 5th round of the 1995 draft.

His best save of the night came with just under four minutes to play in the third period when he made what is being referred to as "the scorpion" save by somehow snatching a bouncing puck out of mid-air with his legs, behind his back, and keeping it from heading into the net for what would have been a game-tying goal.

Observe:



No idea how he did that, and as amazing as that save is, he managed to pull off a similar move back in 2009, also against the Sharks (click here to watch).

Along with being a milestone win for Kiprusoff, it was also a huge win for the Flames in their quest to reach the Western Conference playoffs and it pulls them to within just one point of the No. 8 seed Minnesota Wild. While Kiprusoff was making big saves in net, Olli Jokinen picked up a hat trick to lead the charge offensively.

Kiprusoff, as he has been since joining the Flames during the 2003-04 season, has been a workhose this season, and even though there was talk before the season about limiting his starts, he's already started 45 of their 54 games. He's started at least 70 games in each of the past six seasons, a number that looks to be within reach once again.

As always needs to be pointed out with post-lockout goalies and win totals, Kiprusoff has had the benefit of picking up wins in the shootout (goalies prior to the '05-06 season would have had such games result in ties, of course) but it's also worth mentioning that he never had an opportunity to become a full-time starter in the NHL until 2005, when he was already 29 years old.

Pretty impressive career for a guy that came up through the Sharks system around the same time as Evgeni Nabokov, Vesa Toskala and Johan Hedberg.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: January 17, 2012 12:32 pm
 

Brodeur 'leaning toward coming back next year'

By Brian Stubits

Did you think this season was your last chance to see Martin Brodeur manning the crease for the New Jersey Devils? Not so fast.

The Devils longtime goaltender and owner of a handful of NHL records including wins and shutouts isn't having the best season of his storied career. His goals against average (2.90) and save percentage (.894) are both the worst of his career outside of his rookie season when he only played in four games.

But he is having fun. So at this point, he isn't ruling out a return for next season one bit, according to the New York Post.

“I feel differently about it now than I did last summer, or at the start of the season,” Brodeur said. “It’s not 100 percent, but I’m definitely leaning toward coming back next year.”

The possibility of a lockout next season could muddle his plans, but Brodeur previously insisted he was undecided about playing after his contract ($5.2 million) ends this season.

"There’s a bigger chance now than before,” said Brodeur, 13-10-1 in this, his 18th NHL season. “A few people I’ve spoken to have told me that if you think you still have that little flame, keep it going, because once it’s out, it’s out.”

For nostalgic purposes, that's great. Who wouldn't love the chance to see Brodeur play into his 40s, all with the same franchise -- assuming he'd get his wish and return to New Jersey. But if his numbers are slipping this season, wouldn't the Devils be a little concerned what they'll do with another season?

However it's not like they have any heir-apparents waiting in the wings. Backup Johan Hedberg is only a year younger than Brodeur.

It's great that Brodeur is still having so much fun, it really is. And I would not dare to begrudge him the ability to play another season. But it could put the Devils in an awkward, Brett Favre-like position. The only difference is they don't have Aaron Rodgers waiting for his turn.

H/t to Pro Hockey Talk

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: December 3, 2011 10:43 am
Edited on: December 3, 2011 11:01 am
 

Is it time for more Johan Hedberg in New Jersey?

hedberg1By: Adam Gretz

The New Jersey Devils have a goaltending problem.

Martin Brodeur had one of the shortest outings of his career on Friday night, receiving the hook just eight minutes into the first period of the Devils 4-2 loss in Minnesota, after allowing three goals on just four shots. Devils coach Pete DeBoer defended his future Hall of Fame goalie after the game, saying that he re-watched each of the goals and concluded that he didn't think Brodeur "could have done much on them," pointing out that at least one of them went in due to a deflection off of a skate.

Even if that is true, Friday's game was hardly the first time this season Brodeur has struggled. Over his past three starts he's stopped just 43 of the 55 shots he's faced for a terrible .781 save percentage. In his previous start, a 6-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday, Brodeur allowed six goals on just 25 shots, including three on the first eight shots he faced in the opening period.

Said Brodeur after the game, via Rich Cere of the Star-Ledger, “You can’t say you played well when you allow three goals in eight minutes or so. But when you look at the quality of the goals scored, it’s not like I was weak or anything. The puck doesn’t hit me. That’s a couple of games. I’ll try to work harder, I guess, and figure it out. You have to go back and work harder and hopefully the pucks will hit me.”

Unfortunately, the puck hasn't been hitting him all that often going back to the start of last season, and it's getting to the point where you have to ask, once again, when backup Johan Hedberg begins to get the majority of the starts. The two veterans have already split the starts this season, due in large part to Brodeur's injury earlier in the year, with Brodeur getting the call in 13 games while Hedberg has started 11. But since Brodeur returned from his injury in early November, he's received bulk of the playing time and it's hard to ignore the results.

Of the 39 goaltenders that qualify for the NHL's save percentage lead, Brodeur is currently 38th with a .879 mark. The only goalie that's been worse is Columbus' Steve Mason at .875, and he's recently lost playing time to his backup, Curtis Sanford. Brodeur finished last season 35th out of 47 goalies. His .872 save percentage during even-strength situations this season is currently the worst in the NHL.

He is one of the all-time greats, but right now he's not even the best goalie on his own team, as Hedberg has outplayed him going back to the start of last season (Hedberg's save percentage over that stretch is .914 compared to an even .900 for Brodeur).

The bigger problem for the Devils, from a long-term outlook, is that neither one is going to be much of an option in future seasons as Hedberg, set to turn 39 in May, is the youngest of the two, while both are set to become unrestricted free agents after this season. And this summer's group of potential free agent netminders leaves plenty to be desired once you get past Minnesota's Josh Harding.

Photo: Getty Images

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Posted on: November 3, 2011 10:39 pm
Edited on: November 3, 2011 10:42 pm
 

Should Briere's shootout goal have counted?

By: Adam Gretz

The New Jersey Devils picked up a 4-3 shootout win in Philadelphia on Thursday night, thanks to a goal from Patrick Elias in the third round of the shootout. Not only did it give the Devils an important win within the division, it also may have bailed out the NHL for potentially blowing a call earlier in the shootout.

In the second round, with the Devils already up 1-0 in the tiebreaking skills challenge, Philadelphia's Danny Briere beat Devils goalie Johan Hedberg with a nifty stop-and-start move. The play had to be reviewed because there was a question as to whether or not the puck came to a complete stop before he shot it, which is not allowed according to the NHL's shootout/penalty shot rules.
The puck must be kept in motion towards the opponent’s goal line and once it is shot, the play shall be considered complete. No goal can be scored on a rebound of any kind (an exception being the puck off the goal post or crossbar, then the goalkeeper and then directly into the goal), and any time the puck crosses the goal line or comes to a complete stop, the shot shall be considered complete.

Here's a look at Briere's goal (.gif via HFBoards):




Did the puck stop? It's certainly close. And if you're wondering why the spin-o-rama move is allowed, which does not invovle the puck continuing to move forward, it's considered to be a legal move (Rule 24.2) because it involves the puck moving in a continuous motion. Did Briere's move involve a continuous motion?

After a brief discussion between the referees and the NHL's war room in Toronto (you don't often see shootout plays reviewed) it was determined that it was, in fact, a good goal. The NHL's situation room offered the following explanation: "On the second shootout attempt by Philadelphia, video review upheld the referee's call on the ice that Daniel Briere kept the puck in motion and that the puck never came to a complete stop and thus it was a good goal."

There appears to be plenty of room for debate on that one.

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Posted on: October 19, 2011 4:27 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2011 4:35 pm
 

Martin Brodeur to miss 7-10 days

Mb2By: Adam Gretz

The New Jersey Devils are off to a 3-1 start this season and they've done it, for the most part, without the presence of their future Hall of Fame goaltender, Martin Brodeur, who has been bothered by a shoulder injury in the early going. That injury is going to keep him on the shelf for at least another seven to 10 days, according to the team on Wednesday afternoon.

Said first-year coach Pete Deboer, "Obviously when you’ve got a guy like Marty you want to take a cautious approach and a long-term approach, anyway, that he’s with you for the entire year. But it definitely makes it easier when you’ve got a guy that’s capable of coming in and playing like Heddy has.”

"Heddy," of course, is a reference to Devils backup goaltender Johan Hedberg, who will continue to make starts in the absence of Brodeur. And given the Devils' upcoming schedule, including five games over the next week, four of which come on a road trip through the Western Conference, he'll have plenty of opportunities. Fortunately for New Jersey Hedberg has proven himself to be more than capable of filling in.

Is he a player that you want starting 60 games for you over the course of a season? Not at all. But as a backup and fill-in he's a solid option, and has played well in his three appearances this season, stopping 69 of the 73 shots he's faced. Over the prevous two full seasons, one of which was spent with the Atlanta Thrashers and the other (last year) with the Devils, he's recorded save percentages of .915 and .912. So things could certainly be worse in the short-term.

Still, the Devils have a rough stretch of games coming up starting with a home game against San Jose on Friday, before heading on the road for games at Pittsburgh (the following night), Los Angeles, Phoenix and Dallas.

Photo: Getty Images

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Posted on: June 29, 2011 5:51 pm
Edited on: June 30, 2011 12:06 pm
 

Free agency: Vokoun headlines goalie market

If this were real estate, we'd call it a seller's market and Tomas Vokoun would be the blemished old house down the road that ends up looking like a palace.

NHL Free Agency

That was one of the many things that resulted from the Ilya Bryzgalov-to-Philadelphia story. Vokoun was left as the clear cream of the crop for teams in search of goaltending, which figures to be a short list. Teams like Colorado, and possibly Phoenix and Edmonton will need to address their situations -- as will the Florida Panthers.

Now there is no guarantee that Vokoun will have a new address as Panthers GM Dale Tallon said this weekend at the draft that the team's next priority would be to talk to Vokoun and figure out where both sides stand. But at this point it sure seems like Vokoun won't be coming back to the Panthers as the talks reportedly went nowhere.

Because of his status as the best option available, Vokoun will likely command another high salary, not necessarily because his play warrants it but the market could dictate as such. In the end that will largely depend on how many teams decide to take a gander at the goaltender.

Here are this year's best goaltenders (in alphabetical order).

Brian Boucher -- Flyers: The veteran was much maligned in Philadelphia, but he was serviceable. Last season he played 34 games for the Flyers, going 18-10-4 with a .916 save percentage and 2.42 goals against average. While he doesn't figure to be a starting goaltender for any team, he certainly still has value to a team looking for a solid backup.


Ray Emery -- Ducks: Once upon a time, Emery looked to be a promising up-and-comer in the NHL with the Senators. Since then he struggled, went to the KHL then returned to Philly before finding out he had avascular necrosis which led to the removal of 13 centimeters of his right fibula. But he came back last season for the Ducks, earning a Masterton Trophy nomination, winning seven of his 10 regular-season starts before going 2-3 in the playoffs. Point is, Emery appears able to be a contributor again for a team in net.

Jean-Sebastien Giguere -- Maple Leafs: A long way removed from his Conn Smythe run in 2003, Giguere has spent the last two seasons in Toronto, no longer a starting-quality goaltender. In 33 games for the Leafs in 2010-11, he had an 11-11-4 record with a less-than stellar 2.87 GAA and .900 save percentage. Now 34, Giguere's demand won't be very high but would provide a veteran backup for some team in need.


Vokoun -- Panthers: There are varying opinions about Vokoun, some point to him playing just five playoff games in his career while others note how bad the teams in front of him in both Nashville and Florida have been. His .922 save percentage is proof he can play. Vokoun is streakier than your average goalie, capable of having a month-long run where he is unbeatable followed by a bevy of three-, four-goal games. Teams in the hunt will be those looking for a full-time starter, most likely Colorado.

Others of interest: Mike Smith (TB), Jose Theodore (MIN), Josh Harding (MIN), Johan Hedberg (NJ), Pascal Leclaire (OTT)

By Brian Stubits

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.


 
 
 
 
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