NHL GOALIE VS NFL QB…YOU DECIDE
When handed this assignment I immediately thought of how brainwashed the sports world is to football. Also, how poor of a marketing job the NHL, led by Gary Bettman, has done over the years. Is there a way to compare an NHL Goalie to anyone?
The fact that on Tuesday February 9th, at the Prudential Center in New Jersey, the jersey of arguably the greatest goaltender to play the game will be raised and most of society doesn’t even know his name. Even more so, most don’t even know it’s happening or why. Because most don’t know who Martin Brodeur is, does not accurately reflect his importance or any other NHL Goalie. Nor, does it take away from their athleticism. Imagine a 1 inch by 3 inch rock (because that is the equivalent to a frozen puck) coming at you at 100+ mph. Oh, and your job is not to get out of the way of it, it’s the complete opposite. A quarterback has the potential to get hit. So does a goalie….by people moving faster and/or with the possibility of stray stick as well. All of this….WHILE ON ICE SKATES!!! Closing the book on athleticism and bringing us back to importance. The importance comparison is almost as funny, as it is insulting to any NHL Goalie.
A quarterback’s completion percentage isn’t always a good way to judge a quarterback. It relies on someone else doing their job correctly. With that said, it is very fair to say that on an average day for a quarterback, he will miss his target, completely, three times a game. (I told you I’d be fair.) Wouldn’t it also be fair to say that three to five times a game the pass will be off the mark by a foot or two? So, we are at 6-8 times a game, on average, a quarterback misses by a foot or more. That is while a receiver may be standing still or, for your fastest receivers, about 25 miles per hour. So we have 6-8 times and the moving target is travelling less than 25 mph. SOMEBODY PLEASE STRAP ME IN MY CHAIR BEFORE I LOSE IT!! If an NHL goaltender misses his target by INCHES more than 3 times a game…he’s not a starter. Three times a game and HIS target is moving up to 100 mph!!!! Why in the world would I say a goaltender is more important? Because of the NFL’s hype machine, or the NHL’s lack of it, is why we are having this discussion. The NFL has proven you can win with Trent Dilfer as your quarterback. (All due respect to Trent. I am sure he is proud of his accomplishments and should be. But he also knows he is not Montana or Elway either.)
To win the Stanley Cup last year, Corey Crawford (pictured above) had a goals against average of 1.69 in the finals. So during the Stanley Cup Finals, each game he missed his target less than 2 times on average. So are you still asking me who’s more important? Maybe you are the hardest of diehard and still don’t get it.
Final argument, if you don’t see it…bless your Goodell tainted heart. Some will say that the goalie is only as good as his defense. The same argument could be made about a QB. His line or his wide receivers come into play. BUT, we allowed for bad wide receivers and just talked missed throws. Fortunately, there is a stat that is watched closely in the NHL called save percentage. You see, this is the truest mark of a goalie. How many times out of a hundred will a goalie miss his mark? Now remember, if at any time the puck is deflected in off a person, skate or stick and is a counted goal, it counts against the goalie. So, if this object reaching speeds up to 100+ mph changes direction at the last split second, just feet in front of you….tough luck, you should have stopped it. Corey Crawford, and I only use him because he is the defending Champions goalie, had a Stanley Cup Finals save percentage of .938. Meaning no matter what, he did his job almost 94% of the time. NO player in any sport has the pressure to succeed at that rate like an NHL goaltender does. NO team is more reliant on a player like a team is of it’s goaltender…the last line of defense. Maybe it’s time to start putting the NHL on the map in spite of it’s leaders.