Hockey has never made sense to me on a number of levels. One of the top things I find annoying is the fact that, once the playoffs start, the teams change the way they’ve been doing things.
I’m talking about the way goalies are used, of course.
Over the course of the season, teams alternate goalies a lot. You don’t want a goalie playing everyday since it is such a demanding position physically and mentally. It’s like giving a catcher off day games after night games in baseball.
Still, goalies are used in place of each other at a rate that is higher than almost any other “backup” in sports.
That’s why I never subscribed to this “No. 1 goalie” theory for the playoffs. It simply isn’t what teams do the entire year, so why change it in April?
Which leads me to this: Peter Laviolette should just alternate using Sergei Bobrovsky and Brian Boucher (hell, throw Leighton into the mix if you want) based upon what he sees in practice and skate-arounds. He should play this like he does the regular season when Bob started 52 games and Boooouuuuch started 29. Keep the guys fresh. Both are capable of winning games for you provided you have solid defense and a scoring power play around them.
Bobrovsky was solid in Game 1, even though the Orange and Black lost. But, does that mean Bob must start every game? No. Does that mean he had to start Game 2? No.
Lavvy has shown he will have a quick hook and switch goalies. Did it last year en route to the Finals. I have no doubt that he will make a good choice for the Game 3 starter.
But, win or lose, that doesn’t mean the Game 3 guy must be your netminder in game 4. Go with your gut. Play the guys the way you did all season. That’s what got you here in the first place.