Kipper Vs. Khabby: Round 2
You probably aren't going to get two teams with more opposing methods of handling their netminders during the regular season than these two. While Khabby and Huet pretty much split the duty right down the middle, Kiprusoff started damn near every game for the Flames.
From what it looked like at the end of the season though it looks like Khabby is going to get the starts against the Flames with Huet mostly subbing in on occasion.
It'd be shocking, and stupid, for the Flames to do anything but start Kipper for every game for this series.
Looking at goalies makes it a lot easier to get all the stats up quickly. First up the Flames goalies - Miikka Kiprusoff and Curtis McElhinney
|2008 - Miikka Kiprusoff||76||4418||45||24||5||3||209||2.84||2155||1946||.903||4|
|2008 - Curtis McElhinney||14||518||1||6||1||3||31||3.59||280||249||.889||0|
Against the previously two-headed monster that is/was Khuetibulin:
|2008 - Nikolai Khabibulin||42||2467||25||8||7||1||96||2.33||1192||1096||.919||3|
|2008 - Cristobal Huet||41||2351||20||15||4||5||99||2.53||1087||988||.909||3|
Of the 14 games McElhinney played this year only 6 were games game that he started and completed. The rest were starts that ended up with him getting pulled or subbing in for Kipper (such as the Jan 4th game against the Hawks where Curtis played the third). So lets not even focus on him - it's all about Miikka for the Flames.
And it's not been a great year for the Kipper. Since his first full season with the Flames in '05-'06 he's played in a ridiculous amount of games for a goalie in this day & age. The fewest he's played in has been 74 games in the first two full years. The past two he's played in 76. So that's an even 300 games in 4 seasons. Combined, Huet and Khabby have played in 373 in the past 4 (171 for Huet, 202 for Khabby).
And things haven't been going well for Kipper. His GAA has risen every year with the Flames and his SV% has dropped. His 2.84 GAA and .903 SV% this year are his worst numbers since the '02-'03 season with the Sharks when in 22 games he was at 3.25/.879. Part of the decline the Flames saw over the past month and a half was the result of Kipper in poor form.
Meanwhile, Khabby is enjoying some his best stats ever. His .919 SV% is the third best of his career (.920 in '01-02 and .923 in '98-99). His 2.33 GAA is the second best he's ever put up. He had the exact same average in '03-04 which is a season the Flames remember well.
Huet hasn't put up great numbers but he's certainly a better goalie to have in your pocket than McElhinney (who has only played in 19 games total in his NHL career). So lets just leave it at that. If things get really bad though - maybe the Flames can sign this kid: