Tuesday, May 14, 2024

The one simple rule that explains goaltending in the NHL playoffs

Welcome to the NHL playoffs, where it’s all about goaltending.

It really is that simple, right? Sure, we like to pile on the narratives, arguing about which rosters have the most talent or experience or heart, sprinkling in subplots about who knows how to win or who wants it more. But most of the time, that’s just noise, and deep down we know it.

Want to know who’s going to win a playoff series? Figure out who’s going to get the better goaltending. There’s your winner.

Of course, that leads to an obvious follow-up: How do we know who’s actually going to get that better goaltending?

That’s a tougher question, but it’s one that shouldn’t be all that difficult to figure out. After all, we’re roughly four weeks into the postseason, meaning the 16 playoff teams have been handing the answer to us, one game at a time. If you’re a fan, all you have to do is observe. The rule reveals itself as you go.

This stuff just isn’t that complicated.

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