Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Question of the Day: How many All-Rookie goalies peaked in Year One?

In the early 90s four goalies came up as Rookies that would go on to have very successful careers. Three will be in the Hall of Fame (Belfour, Hasek and Brodeur) and all four made the All-Rookie team (Potvin was the 4th)

Then 1995 came and ever since then I don’t think anybody truly trusts sophomore goaltenders who had success in Year 1. Those who followed hockey at the time will never forget the net detective, Jim Carey. The reason I’ve been thinking about this is because I’ve been wondering how Henrik Lundqvist will do in his sophomore season. So far he’s gotten off to a slow start but he played extremely well last night. A lot of people think that young goalies get “figured out” by Year 2. Teams have seen them before, analyzed the tapes and figured out their weaknesses.

So I decided to go back and look at all the goalies that have made the All-Rookie team going back to 1982 (excluding the late Pelle Lindbergh), to see how many were able to repeat the success they had in Year #1. I did not include the two most recent winners Andrew Raycroft and Henrik Lundqvist. While many were quick to deem Raycroft the second coming of Mr. Carey last season, it is way too soon to pass judgment on how his career will progress.

Here’s what I found:
19 Goalies named to the All-Rookie team
4 Hall of Famers (Roy, Brodeur, Hasek and Belfour)
2 Stars (Barrasso and Hextall)
4 Experienced at least temporary success and had above average careers (Essensa, Lalime, Potvin and Nabokov)
9 Busts (Penney, Pang, Sidorkiewicz, Carey, Hirsch, Storr, Boucher, Blackburn, Caron)

Note: Blackburn retired due to injuries and Storr was actually on the All Rookie team twice (the Kings fan in me was tempted to count him as a bust twice but that’s for another discussion)

What this means if you believe the trend is that it’s about a 50/50 proposition - Lunqvist could become the next Jim Carey or he could go on to have a very successful career. But if he does avoid the Carey-curse (it actually should be the Penney curse since he was the first) history has shown that there’s a great chance he will go on be a star in this league.

If I had to predict I’d say that Lundqvist will be a star and Raycroft will fall much closer to the second group. Lundqvist is very composed and plays well positionally while Raycroft relies a little too much on his size and has poor rebound control. Of course they are both still very young (Henrik is 24, Andrew is 26) and only time will tell what the future holds for these two.

1 comment:

potvin said...

Raycroft has only had one bad year in his career (including minors). He has been very solid so far this year, and at times spectacular. Needs to work on rebounds and puck control a bit but he is eager to do so.