Drance Numbers: Who is Alain Vigneault really sheltering?

Drance Numbers is the silly research wing of PITB. While Messrs. Wagner and Mooney blog nationally and solve mysteries, Drance Numbers will look into the minutiae of quantifiable NHL data and bore you with it every Friday. Today, Drance looks at Alain Vigneault’s quickly zone start schemes.

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Everyone but the Canucks learned the wrong lessons from the Cup Final

Whenever a team wins the Stanley Cup, there is an inevitable copycat syndrome throughout the rest of the NHL. When the Blackhawks and the Flyers went to the Final in 2010 with bargain basement goaltenders in the same year that Jaroslav Halak went on a marvelous run for the Canadiens, the bottom fell out of the goalie market, teams with high paid goaltenders were soundly mocked, and teams looked to cheaper options in net as the key to playoff success.

One year later, two of the highest paid goaltenders in the league, Tim Thomas and Roberto Luongo, were facing each other in the Finals.

The Blackhawks and Canadiens didn’t seem fooled by their own goaltenders’ performances, as the Blackhawks and Canadiens said farewell to Antti Niemi and Jaroslav Halak. It took the Flyers an extra season to figure things out, but they emptied their pocketbook to sign Ilya Bryzgalov in the offseason, perhaps seeing what good goaltending did for the Bruins and Canucks.

And now, since Boston won the Stanley Cup, teams are looking to follow their example as the path to success. In particular, teams seem to be looking to follow Boston’s example when playing against the Canucks.

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