Does Nikolai Khabibulin's Hot Start Mean He'll Be Good All Season?

Jonathan Willis
October 26 2011 04:17PM

Nikolai Khabibulin has had a superb start to the 2011-12 NHL season. After a year where he imploded badly, allowing Devan Dubnyk to steal the starting job later in the season, he appears to be back at the height of his powers.

Prior to the veteran goaltender stopping 35 of 37 shots against the powerhouse Vancouver Canucks, Oilersnation’s own Robin Brownlee took the time to praise Khabibulin’s performance:

Those who scoff Nikolai Khabibulin's .969 saves-percentage through his first four games isn't sustainable are selling him short. Of course it isn't sustainable. So what? While I count myself among those who doubted Khabibulin could rebound from a 2010-11 campaign in which he had a pitiful .890 saves percentage, he has so far SIUTBOHC. He has been outstanding with the minutes he's been given and deserves credit. Will it last? Not like this. Again, so what? If he comes in at something around .910 when this season is in the books, that would represent a pretty decent comeback season, no?

Brownlee is correct on a couple of things here. Khabibulin has been outstanding, and he does deserve credit for his hot start. And, if he can finish the year around the 0.910 SV% mark, it would represent a pretty phenomenal comeback – on par with some of the greatest goaltending comebacks in the last two decades.

When I read that, I started wondering something: how common is it for a bad goalie (i.e. a gaolie who finishes the year with a sub-0.900 SV%) to have a five-game stretch like Khabibulin is having right now? In short, can we be confident that Khabibulin is going to have a strong year because of this phenomenal start?

Here are 10 of the league’s worst goaltenders from last season. I’ve taken their best 4+ game stretches from the year, and calculated the save percentage over that span, placing it alongside their save percentage over the season as a whole:

Player Span Short SV% Overall SV%
Mike Smith 7 games 0.944 0.899
Dan Ellis 4 games 0.971 0.898
Marty Turco 4 games 0.944 0.898
Curtis McElhinney 4 games 0.943 0.897
Antero Niittymaki 7 games 0.940 0.896
Peter Budaj 5 games 0.948 0.895
Brian Elliott 5 games 0.955 0.893
Jonas Gustavsson 4 games 0.959 0.890
Nikolai Khabibulin 4 games 0.957 0.890
Rick DiPietro 4 games 0.945 0.886

It goes without saying that good goalies can put together a solid streak of play, but it’s interesting to note how many bad goaltenders are capable of doing the same thing. It makes sense; players don’t keep getting games if they get shelled every time the coach sends them out.

It also makes sense when we recall that Brian Boucher set the modern era record for consecutive shutouts in 2003-04 as part of a larger streak. Those five shutouts in a row are what tend to get remembered, but Boucher was good for almost three months straight. From November 14, 2003 to January 24, 2004, Boucher played 17 games, collecting just two losses over that span and putting up a 0.948 SV%. He went 2-17-4 in games outside that stretch, and finished the year with an overall save percentage of 0.906.

Because virtually any NHL goalie is capable of putting together a strong stretch of games, the fear with Khabibulin isn’t that he regresses – we know that he will and that it’s just a matter of time. The fear is that this torrid start isn’t the kick-off of a strong season, but rather a momentary blip before poor play sets in.

It would be great to see Khabibulin come back around the 0.910 SV% mark; that kind of performance over a full season would be a huge boon to both the player and the team. Unfortunately, it’s still too early to pencil him in for that kind of record, given what his post-lockout numbers look like.

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#1 Romulus' Apotheosis
October 26 2011, 04:26PM
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Yea!! new thread!

"So you're telling me there's a chance..." Khabbie will be awesome all year?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KX5jNnDMfxA

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#2 Oil Is My Blood
October 26 2011, 04:27PM
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Mark it down - He'll be our FIST Vezina Trophy winner!

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#3 Oil Is My Blood
October 26 2011, 04:28PM
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Oops Spell First wrong

Damn Romulus :)

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#4 Shredder
October 26 2011, 04:30PM
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FIST!

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#5 Ales Hallsky
October 26 2011, 04:31PM
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Yes....yes it does.

*faints*

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#6 Pucker
October 26 2011, 04:34PM
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This begs the question:

Will Khabi be around in 2014 to open the new rink?

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#7 Pucker
October 26 2011, 04:34PM
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This begs the question:

Will Khabi be around in 2014 to open the new rink?

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#8 Shredder
October 26 2011, 04:38PM
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Damn, you guys are fast posters...ok, so I wasn't FIST.

My take on Khabibulin, or goaltending in general: he can continue playing like this but if injuries or a change in style of play occur, his numbers can change drastically...so far good defensive play, and great backchecking by the forwards have helped in a large way. He's been stellar, and he's making all the first saves. Will he have a few bad games, of course...will his GAA go up, no doubt...will we keep the team GAA low though, I think we can. Thinking that Khabibulin will keep his GAA below 1.00 is like saying Paajarvi won't get a point all year long. The difference this year...we've been outshooting teams, we've carried the play, and we've been able to adjust to different styles of play...and we've been doing it against some very defense first teams, or just good teams in general.

On another note...did anyone see me at centre ice last night? I was the guy who won a blackberry for beating my buddy in the "Shapes" game, where you have to turn around and fit through a big board with a weird shape in it. My buddy was dragged along a little as he's a big boy. I had to miss most of the 2nd period, but since I have season tix and go to every game anyways...it was a good thing to do...I wasn't allowed to yell at the Canucks when they came off though...still, great night.

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#9 A-Mc
October 26 2011, 04:39PM
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As a viewer, I'm more at ease with Dubnyk in net. Khabi is doing some great things right now, but i truly feel Dubnyk is the answer long term between the two.

Dubnyk Exudes calmness that the players and fans pickup on.

I Agree with Shredder: i attribute MOST of Khabi's success to the teams overall performance. When our forward are back checking and our defense is considerably better, it makes sense to me that the goaltender has an easier job and thus his stats will reflect as much.

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#10 Dman09
October 26 2011, 04:40PM
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Pucker wrote:

This begs the question:

Will Khabi be around in 2014 to open the new rink?

Sure he'll be around, as a goalie coach of some sort.

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#11 Max Powers - Team HME Evans
October 26 2011, 04:41PM
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The only thing I really got out of this article is that bad goalies can have good stretches.

It would be interesting to do this sort of comparison at the 10-15-20... game mark. Then we could draw some conclusions.

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#12 Clarko
October 26 2011, 04:42PM
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While Khabibulin's great start is nice to see and I would love for him to have an outstanding season, I hope the coaching staff doesn't forget about Dubnyk. He has had a very strong start as well with a 2.30 GAA and .920 save percentage. If he starts Thursday, that will be 9 days between starts since we played Calgary last Tuesday in which he was just a few minutes away from a shutout.

I think it would be beneficial if both guys had at least 30 starts this season providing they are both playing well. It would do nothing for Dubnyk's development if he only starts 20-25 games. It is also isn't fair to throw him in once every couple of weeks and expect him to play great.

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#13 FastOil
October 26 2011, 04:43PM
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I think how far the regression goes will be dependent on all aspects of his health. If he stays completely healthy he might stay over .900.

That would be a tragedy for me. I will miss the lottery.

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#14 Shredder
October 26 2011, 04:47PM
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...with back to back games, one at home, one on the road, look for Dubnyk to get another start soon. This could be the season long debate, and this year I hope it's for good reasons.

Also, I don't think I was clear...I got to go out on the ice at the 2nd intermission before the zamboni's did their thing...I have never been down on the ice before (I was right at the centre face off dot), and the view was incredible...one other cool thing...I gave props to my fellow fans in the 300's...and apparently they heard me. AWESOME!

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#15 Romulus' Apotheosis
October 26 2011, 04:47PM
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@Shredder

They wouldn't let you yell at the nucks... too bad. But at least that shows the kind of stand up org. the Oil are. Van would probably let you berate opposing teams

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#16 Dman09
October 26 2011, 04:49PM
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@Clarko

I have a Theory and it goes like this. If you over play Bulin, like 10 straight starts, he either gets hurt or plays like a$$. But if you divided the games more evenly he plays well. This shouldn't be a surprise as this kind of thing tends to happen with aging players including goaltenders. I think Sutton showed that last night. The guy looked a little tired might need a one game break.

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#17 A-Mc
October 26 2011, 04:49PM
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@Shredder

Did you slip and fall? Oh, how Embarrassing...

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#18 A-Mc
October 26 2011, 04:51PM
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@Dman09

Even though it's unlikely, I'd like to see Dubnyk in net for Washington AND Colorado: especially if he leads us to a win tomorrow night vs Washington.

Give Khabi some rest time. Also, if Dubnyk plays well, khabi will come back in game 3 with something to prove: keeping the competition alive and the Oilers goaltenders on their toes!

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#19 Romulus' Apotheosis
October 26 2011, 04:55PM
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@Dman09

If Whitney is still out (probably) and Renney still won't play Peckham, I don't see how we could afford to sit Sutton...

Also, did he look that bad. I thought he was ok. He looked pretty funny trying not to kill Khabbie by falling on top of him last night though!

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#20 Dman09
October 26 2011, 04:55PM
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A-Mc wrote:

Even though it's unlikely, I'd like to see Dubnyk in net for Washington AND Colorado: especially if he leads us to a win tomorrow night vs Washington.

Give Khabi some rest time. Also, if Dubnyk plays well, khabi will come back in game 3 with something to prove: keeping the competition alive and the Oilers goaltenders on their toes!

I don't like the idea of playing any goaltender in a back to back situation unless the backup is completely useless. The fatigue factor because too big a risk and makes if harder for the goaltender to maintain focus. If Bulin was playing like last season then ya double up for Dub but otherwise, not so keen on the idea. On that note I'm super excited to see them play Wash. I'm thinking it might be WSH and PHI in the conference finals this year so should be an exciting game.

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#21 oliveoiler
October 26 2011, 04:58PM
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@Romulus' Apotheosis

And what makes YOU such an expert Mr. Willis? Are you a retired hockey player or just an armchair wanna be? However well/bad Khabi does is NOT an open prediction of doom re our team this season - every player has good and bad runs. Injuries can't be helped and remember ONE MAN DOES NOT MAKE THE TEAM. Gretzky left - everyone wept, but the Oilers DID win another Cup without him - he didn't. So keep your self occupied with the Canucks and Flames and stop slamming our Oilers.

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#22 Smokey
October 26 2011, 05:02PM
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I got to say its nice Khabby is doing well. To the south of us they are in full rebuild talk from what I can tell. How things have changed.

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#23 Romulus' Apotheosis
October 26 2011, 05:06PM
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@oliveoiler

??? why did you include me in your rant against Jonathan ???

ps. I agree Jonathan's stats can be a bit of a Debbie Downer, but often informatively so.

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#24 Jesse
October 26 2011, 05:17PM
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@oliveoiler

Maybe chill out a bit? The blog post was simply looking at statistics. I've never seen someone take something like statistics as being so personally offensive.

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#25 sofarsogood
October 26 2011, 05:20PM
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Month-month and half ago I posted that habby would start with a 915-920 sv% in his first 10 and end up with a 900-905 sv%. This will screw DD development up.

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#26 gravis82
October 26 2011, 05:20PM
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@Max Powers - Team HME Evans

I totally agree. This was not the best analysis. One could surmise that starting the season strong is perhaps more correlated to a good season than just having a really good 4-game stretch anywhere in the season.

--------------------------------- . use 2010_2011_sv_percent_NHL.dta

. gen SavePer_4game_mean = (g1+g2+g3+g4)/4

. gen good_first_four_games=1 if SavePer_4game_mean>=0.95

. regress percent_season good_first_for_games

Coef.=? Std. Err.=? t=? P>|t|=? [95% Conf. Interval]=?

--------------------------------------

re-run analysis using any good 4 game stretch and compare p-values.

ok, back to work!

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#27 Beavis
October 26 2011, 05:22PM
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@oliveoiler

If you want to complain about downers and negativity, go check out Copper n Blue, where Khabibulin should never start again, every good play Ryan Jones ever made has been through sheer luck (when really only half of his success is through dumb luck...) and the only thing that would fix the team would be Paajarvi playing on the first three lines. Willis is more the voice of cautious pessimism, and he's quite often right (see his prognostications regarding Brule, for example).

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#28 Shredder
October 26 2011, 05:27PM
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Thanks for the recognition guys, it's why I keep coming back to this site...not just my undying love for the Oil...

I'm going to agree with A-MC...no back to back starts for goalies unless needed, because depth is what will win you a cup, or at least a president's trophy.

I'm also going to disagree with A-MC...I did not slip and fall on the ice last night, I dived under to the only part of the shape that would let my fat-@$$ through. Funny nonetheless...

Also, I did a little trolling and man-oh-man, the debate is in full swing in cowtown...they don't know what to do...some guys are pushing the panic button to sell off the team and re-build, others are trying to say things aren't as bad as they seem, and when they will catch lightning in a bottle vs. build a real perrenial contender. I feel for them, as we've seen some pain for a while. But not that much, they are still bashing the oil while talking about what to do with their team...

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#29 Shredder
October 26 2011, 05:31PM
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gravis82 wrote:

I totally agree. This was not the best analysis. One could surmise that starting the season strong is perhaps more correlated to a good season than just having a really good 4-game stretch anywhere in the season.

--------------------------------- . use 2010_2011_sv_percent_NHL.dta

. gen SavePer_4game_mean = (g1+g2+g3+g4)/4

. gen good_first_four_games=1 if SavePer_4game_mean>=0.95

. regress percent_season good_first_for_games

Coef.=? Std. Err.=? t=? P>|t|=? [95% Conf. Interval]=?

--------------------------------------

re-run analysis using any good 4 game stretch and compare p-values.

ok, back to work!

...uh...I took a few stats classes back in the day, even a 400 level sports economics class largely based on stats...and I do NOT remember what p-values...my guess is it was Khabibulin's p-value that got him in the piss tank...remind me again?

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#30 John Chambers
October 26 2011, 05:32PM
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I disagree with the article. Khabibulin is my star and the heavens have foretold that his comeback would be bigger than MC Hammer pants*

Niks strong play is also a function of strong play from the defense and players who've grown tired of losing and who've bought into the coach's system. We're not seeing as much of the Oil running around all spasmodic in their own end, just waiting until the puck ends up in the back of the net.

*which I'm currently enjoying wearing

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#31 gravis82
October 26 2011, 05:37PM
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@Shredder

p>=0.08

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#32 John Chambers
October 26 2011, 05:37PM
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@Beavis

You take that back! Derek Zona predicted 9-11, soured on TaeBo before everyone else, and is adored by hordes of young babes for his wry wit.

He also thinks Omark is a superior prospect to Nugent. ARCH!?

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#33 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
October 26 2011, 06:48PM
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Devan who?

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#34 master of my domain
October 26 2011, 06:49PM
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is Khabi a bad goalie having a good start, or is he a good goalie who had a bad couple seasons? I'm sure the injuries and legal issues didn't help.

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#35 Feynman
October 26 2011, 08:06PM
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There is a strong correlation between good team defense and good goaltending statistics. Khabi's stats last year were negatively skewed by the fact our defense was horrendous. Why have his stats been so good so far this year? It's because the defense has played surprisingly well and have for the most part limited the oppositions quality scoring chances. If the defense falls back to earth any time soon, I don't care how well Khabi plays, his stats will drop significantly. IMO it didn't matter who our goaltender was last year; they could have been the best goaltender in the world and they still would have had terrible stats.

None of what I've said can explain why Dubnyk had such good stats last year. I believe the defense, for some reason, just played more solid in front of him.

I believe Khabi will continue to have an excellent year (perhaps around .920 sv%) due to some quality signings in the offseason such as Belanger and Potter who both have shown they play an excellent defensive game. Even Sutton, although not quick at all, shows very good patience in his own zone and usually makes solid defense plays with the puck.

The longer I watch this game the more perplexed I am in regards to goaltending. If only there was some kind of stat that divided sv% among low and high quality scoring chances.

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#36 Peterborough
October 26 2011, 09:00PM
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I think Turco is the only real comparable on this list. 'Bulin won a cup and played well in the playoffs for Chi-town. He isn't a "bad goalie", just one near the end of his career. I'd be much more interested to see this stacked up against guys who have had problems and bounced back.

Remember he did this same thing in Chi-town when pushed by Huet.

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#37 Robin Brownlee
October 26 2011, 09:45PM
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I have no idea what Khabibulin's numbers will look like at the end of the season, but that's not the point. I picked .910 because that, in most seasons, is a decent saves-percentage and isn't one that a guy who has completely lost his game can attain over a full season.

My point was simple. To read and listen to people -- be they MSM types, bloggers or fans -- rip Khabibulin as washed up and finished this off-season, my take is next-to-none of them thought he could play this well again for five minutes or five periods, let alone five games after his .890 of last season. He has come back and been better than his critics (myself included) thought he could be. He deserves credit.

While Jonathan offers credit in this item, comments he made on Twitter about Khabibulin's saves-percentage being unsustainable (he's right) seemed sarcastic and ignored how well he's played until now while focusing on the inevitability the percentage will drop. That's selling the player in question short.

Once we get set in our opinion -- be it based on gut-feeling or numbers -- of a player, we are sometimes reluctant to re-think our position (I've been guilty of it) even if the player performs markedly better (or worse) than we thought he would. "Sure, he's been pretty good, but it's only five games . . ." Does Khabibulin's hot start mean he will be good all season? No, it doesn't. Again, so what?

A guy who is supposed to be dead and buried the way Khabibulin was according to the vast majority of fans here isn't supposed to have a hearbeat for five seconds, five minutes or five games. Khabibulin could have come back, turned the job over to Devan Dubnyk and sat back and collected his pay and never been heard from again. He hasn't done that.

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#38 james_dean
October 26 2011, 10:27PM
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@ shredder

ive rolled around a few years back in a hamster ball at a afternoon game after only one beer.

brutial part was they make you wear helmet and all so its a double loser move

i had choice of 500$ or jersey and took the cash

then bought more beer

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#39 Romulus' Apotheosis
October 26 2011, 10:34PM
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james_dean wrote:

@ shredder

ive rolled around a few years back in a hamster ball at a afternoon game after only one beer.

brutial part was they make you wear helmet and all so its a double loser move

i had choice of 500$ or jersey and took the cash

then bought more beer

as long as you don't take what's in the box. never take what's in the box

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KezvwARhBIc

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#41 TigerUnderGlass
October 27 2011, 01:57AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

@ Robin Brownlee:

I've certainly made light of the fact that Khabibulin is one of the league's very best in the early going, mostly because it's such an odd situation after the way he played last year. I've been much more willing to give credit in longer form pieces at Cult of Hockey - w/o looking I've been giving him good-to-great grades after each game he's played, because he deserves it.

And I'll admit that I would not have predicted this start; I figured that Khabibulin was done and I still weigh his post-lockout performance more heavily than what he's done this season.

With all of that said, I'm glad he's playing well. It's good for the team, it's good for the player, and there's something heartwarming about listening to an Edmonton crowd cheer a guy most everyone had written off. I'm not inhuman; I may not like the contract but I'm not going to cheer against a guy just trying to do his job just because I've predicted that he's going to fail.

And you're right - it's hard to re-evaluate, to shift opinions. Hopefully, Khabibulin can keep his play up, and force some more shifting.

The one thing that strikes me with Khabibulin is the fact that he looks different. It's weird.

Usually when goalies go through hot or cold streaks they still look like the same guy in terms of body movement, but he doesn't move in a familiar way.

I don't even know how to explain what I mean, and I don't even know what my point is really....it's just something that has seemed odd to me.

When I used to still play basketball I could identify players I was familiar with by how they moved, even if I was too far away to be able to see their face. Especially a guys shot. If I saw someone shoot a ball more than 5 or 6 times I would recognize their shot forever.

When I watch sports I don't look at their jersey numbers, I just watch players move to know who they are. When I watch Khabibulin this year I keep second guessing who is playing.

One summer my cousin broke the pinky on his shooting hand and it changed his shot forever (it bothered me for months before I got used to playing with him after that), so maybe it's just something as simple as a minor physical change to his body...but it has really seemed strange to me.

Wow that was a long comment for no good reason. I hate not getting enough sleep. I don't know what my point is except maybe his newfound rebound control is real. Maybe his back is healthier than it has been or something. I dunno, but even during his "good" seasons he never really had any rebound control.

I very much tend to agree with you on this issue as a whole, I just wanted to point out in the most long winded way possible that I feel like there is a small chance that something has actually fundamentally changed in his game. An incredibly unlikely occurrence at his age, but...

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#42 Archaeologuy
October 27 2011, 07:48AM
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@John Chambers

Zona thinks WHAT?!

I knew he had a man-crush on Larsson, but this Omark business is unexcusable.

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#43 david
October 27 2011, 08:05AM
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Wow, What a ray of sunshine this article was. Isn't it obvious that Khabi, being a former SC Champion and winner, is highly motivated after last year's humiliation. The question is about how long it's sustainable, and let's hope that Renney can stretch it out by splitting games. As for the related story about the Oilers suddenly playing team defense, conspiracy theorists are already saying that Renney (or the Oilers)really was tanking it last year - playing to lose. This year he's coaching to win and suddenly the Oilers look like a professional hockey team. Hmmm

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#44 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
October 27 2011, 08:11AM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:

The one thing that strikes me with Khabibulin is the fact that he looks different. It's weird.

Usually when goalies go through hot or cold streaks they still look like the same guy in terms of body movement, but he doesn't move in a familiar way.

I don't even know how to explain what I mean, and I don't even know what my point is really....it's just something that has seemed odd to me.

When I used to still play basketball I could identify players I was familiar with by how they moved, even if I was too far away to be able to see their face. Especially a guys shot. If I saw someone shoot a ball more than 5 or 6 times I would recognize their shot forever.

When I watch sports I don't look at their jersey numbers, I just watch players move to know who they are. When I watch Khabibulin this year I keep second guessing who is playing.

One summer my cousin broke the pinky on his shooting hand and it changed his shot forever (it bothered me for months before I got used to playing with him after that), so maybe it's just something as simple as a minor physical change to his body...but it has really seemed strange to me.

Wow that was a long comment for no good reason. I hate not getting enough sleep. I don't know what my point is except maybe his newfound rebound control is real. Maybe his back is healthier than it has been or something. I dunno, but even during his "good" seasons he never really had any rebound control.

I very much tend to agree with you on this issue as a whole, I just wanted to point out in the most long winded way possible that I feel like there is a small chance that something has actually fundamentally changed in his game. An incredibly unlikely occurrence at his age, but...

I know exactly what you are saying... it's almost like he looks 10 years younger.

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#45 Romulus' Apotheosis
October 27 2011, 08:22AM
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@TigerUnderGlass

"When I watch sports I don't look at their jersey numbers, I just watch players move to know who they are."

Wow... that's pretty cool. I think we all do a bit of that (also accounting for size, position, etc) but there are definitely times where I am lost watching sports when I can't see the numbers/names on the back.

I'll have to watch Khabbie more closely to see if I can pick up on anything. But I doubt it. I don't have a palette for wine and I don't have a sense for body language, but I'll see if I can pick anything up.

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#46 FastOil
October 27 2011, 09:30AM
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OB1 and Tiger:

Khabi has ability, perhaps he's just feeling healthier than he has over the last few years. Like how you are more energetic and stronger after a really good sleep.

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#47 John Chambers
October 27 2011, 10:39AM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

Zona thinks WHAT?!

I knew he had a man-crush on Larsson, but this Omark business is unexcusable.

Yep. Looks like you and Bruce McCurdy would get along. He had Omark ranked 9th, behind Hartikainen and Lander.

http://www.coppernblue.com/2011/8/6/2265937/oilers-prospects-top-25-under-25-final-rankings

The Jordan Eberle #7 ranking is also inexcusable.

WANYE!

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#48 Archaeologuy
October 27 2011, 10:45AM
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@John Chambers

DZ has said some wacky things in the past. RNH below Omark and Eberle #7 doesnt pass the sniff test.

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#49 Ashley
October 27 2011, 10:55AM
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Could it be that the sub .900 save% was the anomoly? Better yet, could it be that save % is a bad measure of the quality of a goaltender particularly on a bad team? As I mentioned last year and the year before, there are so many confounders....you cannot just look at save % and decide how good a goalie is. Fortunately we have good hockey men in charge that understand this.

On another note, I thought Sutton was going to be a bad acquisition. You posted an article in the offseason that suggested he might be otherwise based on his advanced stats. I have to say you are quite correct on this front. Sutton has exceeded my expectations, but probably not yours based on your excellent article.

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#50 MattL
October 27 2011, 11:05AM
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Khabby looked lights out in the first game last season vs. Flamers. I blame the coaching staff for continually over-working the guy. Since he went to Chicago, he's played best when he's splitting time evenly with a co-number one keeper.

Once they start running him out for 3 of 4 games, he'll either get hurt, or his game will drop off. Figure it out, coaches.

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