The Big Boys in goal are stealing these playoffs


Gotta say, these playoffs so far have been tremendously tremendous. OT’s almost every night (no skills competitions, either).

And with a few exceptions — the Flyers’ rotation, and for a while there, Roberto Luongo, to name a couple — the goaltending has been spectacular, starting right with one of the first goalies eliminated, Henrik Lundqvist.

Tim Thomas was inexplicably amazing last night in the CoreStates Spectrum, er, First Union, er, Wachovia, I mean, Wells Fargo, ah, whatever the hell it’s called these days. Pekke Rinna (Romano) was even better the other night. Jimmy Howard, too, and Anti (Em) Niemi. Oh, and the old guy, Dwayne Roloson, who hit the lottery when the Islanders gave him away to Tampa Bay.

But I’ve been biting my tongue, because, well, there’s no byfuglien room for people to score. The games have been vicious, they’ve been loaded with skill and will, and players working so hard for every inch of ice. And then, they get a chance, and there’s no bryzgalov room. None. Some goals are scored on perfect, unsuspected shots. Most, though, are going in off skates and deflections and aasens. Or they aren’t going in.

Because there’s no hartnelling room.

Because the equipment these big goalies are now wearing — these big goalies who go to the ice and cover the entire six-foot width with their leg pads — is too damn big. The equipment has robbed us of goal after goal after goal. And I’m not taking anything away from the goalies. They are terrific athletes and they all (except maybe Thomas) have wonderful technique.

But these are skinny guys. I’ve eaten sandwiches that weigh more than Lundqvist and Ryan Miller.

But when they put their Superhero uniforms on, suddenly they’re Refrigerator Perry. The spare tire in my trunk is smaller than their gloves. My golf bag is smaller than their shoulder pads. My Weber grill is smaller than their blockers. And I’m pretty sure the twin beds in my hotel in Washington last week were smaller than their leg pads.

So these goaltenders walk into the lockerroom looking like Olive Oyl, and walk out like Shaquille O’Neal.

And the NHL wonders where the heck the goals went?


AP photo, above.

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  1. onecupin72yearsand counting on

    Anti Em , I like that.
    The players are also better skaters and can cover lots of ice and keep up with the offensive players . You seldom see the nice 3 player passes and a goal .

  2. And This One Will Last A Lifetime on


    We need a cracker-jack statastician to see if your entire premise is true or false. Is goal scoring down this year ? regular season ? post-season ? I would like to see relative stats starting with the most recent modern era (post strike/lock out era).

    The goalie mask started this whole nonsense on goalie equipment. Parent, Cheevers, shame on you.

  3. 4generations 4 cups on

    I disagree that the problem is the size of the pads. The goaltenders have risen the level of play to such a high level it isn’t possible to score if you’re making a BS play. Everyone is trying their hearts out these playoff and from game 1 everyone knew it was anyones game. The Flyers, last year, they changed a lot of things when it comes to the idea of an ‘underdog’. They were a stacked team with goaltending problems (they still are). Regardless, the notion of winning your last game of the season and succeeding, isnt so farfetched. Same with coming back from a 3-0 deficit and making it to the cup on those terms.

  4. Carp, I’ve had the same rant for a couple of years now. Go back and put a picture of Eddie Giacomin side-by-side with Lundqvist and see the difference in the size of the pads. The pads today are humongous. The catching glove can fit a beach ball in there. The blocker is bigger than your refrigerator. The leg pads? Yeah, like you said they’re like a couple of mattresses.

    Cut back the size of the pads and you’ll see more goals scored.

  5. So Carp, the question is, are the pads any bigger than they were in the days of Eddie Giacomin or Bernie Parent. Certainly they are lighter in weight than those old leather bean bag chairs they used to wear. Lighter pads mean faster reflexes. Also, I think their are a lot of taller goalies than their were back in the days when I first started watching.

  6. LMAO, Carp! I was reading your post and thought: there is no byfuglien way a newbie who reads your post first time would understand anything you said. My suggestion- if we want more people to come to this place, you put a link to RR lingo explanation—->

    Well, Boston-Flyers scored 15 goals in 2 games so far, so the equipment doesn’t do much if your goaltender is a back up at best.

    Good morning, boneheads!

  7. Mannyfried on

    It doesn’t even seem fair. I have seen more saves made while a goalie is without a stick and laying on his back it’s not even funny.

  8. Mannyfried on

    I don’t even notice the Lingo anymore! Ha. It took me about 3 weeks to figure out some of the inside jokes around here but that felt like an accomplishment.

    Also – we can’t define most of these “terms” because all of their definitions are curse words that we can’t write in here!

  9. I thought I remembered a rule put in place a couple of years ago that cut down or limited the size of the goalie’s equipment?

  10. Emile Francis goalie mitt was a first baseman’s trapper mitt sewed onto a regular glove cuff. And even with those heavy pads he still could perform like a ballerina.

  11. There is no hartnelling room!!

    I completely agree, Carp. Nice post.

    In addition to the size of goalie pads, I also think having 4 officials on the ice is way too many. Isn’t 2, or even 3, enough? There’s no bryzgalov room! LMAO

    If the NHL wants more offense and scoring, they’ll have to open the game up and those are two easy ways they can do it…

  12. CTBlueshirt on

    Average size of the 87 goalies that appeared in a game in the NHL this season (from

    6 feet 1.75 inches
    197.4 lbs

    Of goalies that appeared in at least 25 games (47):

    6 feet 1.59 inches
    197.8 lbs

    Some notable goalies of recent history (from

    Richter 5’11″/185 lbs
    Vanbiesbrouck 5’8″/176 lbs
    Hasek 6’1″/166 lbs
    Roy 6’2″/185 lbs
    Vernon 5’9″/180 lbs
    Billy Smith 5’10″/185 lbs
    Hextall 6’3″/192 lbs
    Fuhr 5’10″/201 lbs
    Moog 5’8″/175 lbs
    Barrasso 6’3″/210 lbs

  13. Mannyfried on

    It’s true. Too many darn Zerba’s on the ice! Watching worlds just reminds me that there is NO Bryzgalov room on the ice in the NHL.

  14. LOL You rock Carp!
    I agree, the goalie pads do seem bigger than they were a few years ago. If you look back at even Richter’s, they seem smaller than the ones you see now.

  15. No way Panger is 5’5″ I thought he was like 4’10”. See the Hobbit Wizard has perfect size for the NHL. Just make him a goalie!

  16. There definitely was a rule change a few years back when they removed the 2-line pass that made the pads smaller. Am I delusional?

  17. Random_Ranger on

    I thought there was just a change this season that required pads being in ‘proportion’ to the goalie. So Lundqvist has to sacrifice a little size on the pads to comply, but others, like Biron, were fine as is.

  18. i still cannot stop laughing at the ice mets for giving away Roloson for a used bag of pucks given their goaltender “situation”. LOLZ!!!

  19. billybleedsblue on

    Carp, keep it up man. You’re really in some good form here. In the off season and still getting a good read. What a guy!

  20. Manny, Panger is the only goalie in NHL history with a “6-hole”. (The space between the top of his head and the crossbar!) LOL!

  21. word billy it’s hard 2 keep things good in the offseason. Sam would have been hitting the links a week ago


  22. HAHA! Good one NYR. He has another hole now – the one that is his mouth!

    He actually reminds me of that tiny figure skater guy that calls the olympics (Hamm? Scott Hamm?) and he was in Blades of Glory I think.

  23. billybleedsblue on

    oh, btw, “the ice mets?” lol why haven’t I heard that before? Hilarious. :D

  24. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    Great observation – that reducing the number of on-ice officials opens up the ice for more scoring chances. Interesting, too, that the clown/commissioner who opted for adding an official, also suggested “widening the nets” as the antidote to reduced scoring. The officiating is the NHL is so bad, and, in some flagrant cases so biased, how the hell would it hurt anything to dumpster the worst officials under contract, when their contracts are up, anyway? I say we revert to the one referee system. There was a time when the National Hockey League had just FIVE referees under contract – John Ashley, Vern Buffey, Frank Udvari, Art Skov, and Bill Friday. And two of them were not so good, Ashley, a Ranger-hater, and Friday, who was mediocre at best.

    How many NHL referees are now under contract? My guess is 40 or more, but I really don’t know. I do know that thanks to the labor unions, these professional sports leagues cannot get rid of any/all incompetent officials. Baseball could not get rid of Jim Joyce, who blew the perfect game for that Detroit pitcher, last season. He is back for another season. I doubt that admitting he was wrong about adding a second referee is on Buttman’s agenda for review and repealing.

  25. Carp: You’re right – just take a look at videos from even 10 years ago and for me the biggest shock is the size of the goalie pads.

    I concur the goalies are better overall, but those pads are ridiculous.

    The failing of the NHL to address this isn’t surprising – these guys cannot even get straightened out something as simple as reducing/eliminating the cheapshot/headshot to injure acts.

    Buttman and company are beyond incompetent, IMO.

  26. And the NHL needs to go to 4 on 4, but of course that will never happen. Hell, this stupid league can’t even get their collective empty heads around proper discipline.

    Hockey is truly a wonderful sport – the NHL’s version not so much, IMO.

  27. And it isn’t even the leg pads … it’s the gloves and the stuff they wear under their jerseys. Especially the chest protectors and shoulder and arm padding.

    My solution would be to make them all wear the same size shirt — a smaller one than they’re wearing now — and then let them fit whatever they can underneath it, but no more.

  28. i think some pads are too big in general. when i go out on the ice i feel like robocop albeit I’m not facing 100mph slapshots most of the time.

    i swear these new elbow pads i could kill someone if i threw one at someone’s face.

  29. billybleedsblue on

    Keep 2 officials (linesmen) on the ice for face offs, offsides, and scrums. Have officials off the ice (2 or 3 or heck, more if you want) calling the game, and have them ready to replace the 2 guys on ice if somebody gets sick or injured. Heck, they have enough cameras, why not just have cameras follow the players and have officials calling each player on the ice. We have the technology.


  31. I know it’s radical. Here’s some thoughts on easing it in (again, I’m saying this realizing it ain’t gonna happen):

    Starting in the pre-season and move to regular season: 5 on 5 hockey until the 10th minute (or the 1st stoppage in play after) of the 3rd period. If at that point the game is tied, go to 4 and 4 and stay 4 on 4 until the game’s over, regardless of subsequent goals scored.

    If the game isn’t tied at that point, but is tied before the period’s over, go to 4 and 4 (and stay that way).

    That’s year 1.

    In year 2, move to 4 on 4 play following the above rules at the start of the 3rd period.

    Monitor this for X number of years and then consider going completely 4 on 4. You may not even get to the latter – having 1/3 of the game played 4 on 4 might be enough, but certainly you monitor/measure/etc.

    This serves to ease the radical-ness of the change and helps mitigate noise from the NHLPA about job loss.

    I’d also move to 3 on 3 for the 5 minute OT period.

    Also, PO hockey follows these rules, too, but all OT hockey in the PO is 4 on 4 and like today, is sudden death – no abbreviated OT period followed by a shoot-out (leave that for the regular season).


  32. my only suggestion would be to make regular season overtime hockey 4on4 for 10 minutes instead of 5. if you can’t score a goal in 10 minutes of 4on4 pond hockey you deserve be subjected to the shootout.

  33. No matter how you ease it in, it’s a completely different game 4-on-4. There will be no hitting, no fighting, no shot blocking, no battles in front of the net, fewer guys in deep in the offensive zone.

  34. billybleedsblue on

    Jim, that just doesn’t sound like hockey anymore. What happens in the future when 8 goals a game is considered low-scoring? The league moves to a 2 on 2 format? It’s a slippery slope. There’s plenty of things they can do before needing to be so extreme to the point that the game is unrecognizable.

  35. Jim – I like the phase in idea but I am OK with low scoring hockey that is hard hitting and I enjoy 5-on-5. I would suggest making the ice a bit bigger if anything but I would much sooner reduce the goalie padding and limit the Zebra’s on the ice before I take away two players. Those are the exciting things to watch on the ice so I want as many as possible out there.

  36. It would also give rise to more players like Christensen and Wolski and eliminate the need for guys like Prust and Boyle.

  37. Billy – you remove all players from the ice when 8 is “low-scoring”. You get rid of goalies completely and go to the low bar type goals that we used as kids. You then just have one on one like air hockey on the ice. Throwing the puck back and forth.

  38. Jim- not feasible. On too many levels to even start mentioning. Agree with Carp, a little more stringent equipment rules will do. But I also find some low scoring games to be very intense, it may not be very attractive to a casual hockey fan, but for someone with some hockey knowledge, those are very entertaining.

  39. billybleedsblue on

    wow, maybe that IS a good idea! I could go pro at knock hockey! :D seriously though, here’s a short list:

    a) Make the ice surface a little bigger — OK with this (questions would be where and how much)
    b) Take officials off the ice — OK with this (provided there’s a solution that’s at least as good as it is now [bad])
    c) Reduce the size of the pads — OK with this
    d) Increase the size of the goal — NOT ok with this
    e) Reduce the number of players on the ice in regulation — NOT ok with this
    f) No 2-line passes — OK with this
    g) The trapezoid — NOT ok with this: doesn’t this eliminate some long break-out passes by the goalie now? Not to mention, if he’s caught out of position, there’s more goals scored there too. No Trapezoid = more goals IMHO.

  40. was jim not watching the hard hitting games all playoffs? even last night that was ill.

    also in the juniors or whatever world championship Ryan Shannon my boy got two nifty assists. he is a straight Rangers killer we need to get this kid one offseason. he has the work ethic and style of play that fits into our system.

    that’s right i namedropped ;)

    and Kreider is going to be A BEAST!!!!!!!

  41. billy – maybe they can make the space behind the net bigger so guys like Avery can have more room to spin around?

  42. i say keep the ice the same. don’t enlarge the net. this isn’t soccer!

    like carps idea of the biggest jersey possible having to fit over your pads

    as for the trapezoid after long years of thought i don’t mind it. the goaltender would go out to get the puck and any time a player touched him or if the goaltender fell you’d see a penalty.

    get rid of it or turn the goaltender into a skater once he leaves his crease (literally allowed to check him into the boards if he is in posession of the puck).

  43. Noona:
    get rid of it or turn the goaltender into a skater once he leaves his crease (literally allowed to check him into the boards if he is in possession of the puck).

    I LOVE this idea. Have wanted to see it for a long time.

  44. lol great post Carp. I guess you’ve had a Godfather or two from Anthony’s Deli in your day eh?

  45. billybleedsblue on

    Manny, if I made the ice bigger, I would make it a little wider, and add a little space behind the net. Making the goalie fair game is nuts, they should be protected at all times. If not, then the goalie should be able to use a modified blocker that doubles as a stun gun.

  46. Thanks Billy – The space behind the net idea was a joke! I might make the ice a little wider.

    I really agree with ilb that the game is AWESOME the way it is. The only thing the NHL needs to change is its marketing. Remember that there are more than 2 players in the league and start promoting Hockey in better markets. Get away from the dirtbiking, paintballing crew.

  47. The only improvement to the game necessary is getting the team from New York called the Rangers to score more than the opposition. Then they would advance further in the playoffs. They would win a championship or two every decade or so and the people in this room would be happier. Just thinking about it makes me happier.

  48. The 2025-2026 New York Rangers have just won their 10th Stanley Cup championship !!!!!!

  49. Ok so thats a bit more than once or twice a decade. Let’s say they start a run of three in a row next year and four of six!

  50. I disagree on the no hitting, but so what if there’s no fighting in the 3rd period? There’s no fighting in PO hockey.

    I’d rather see guys flying up and down the ice and getting legitimate scoring chances than watching 5 guys collapse in front of the goalie to block shots. I laud the courage of guys like Girardi but it’s aint very exciting hockey.

    I disagree about battles in front of the net – some will still occur, but not as many and not involving 4 to 10 guys rubbing gloves in each others’ faces. More non-exciting stuff for me.

  51. ilb, I have no problem with low-scoring. I’m just saying that too much of the net is now hidden by equipment rather than the skill of the goaltenders — who, by the way, are better now than they ever were before. Just make their bodies and gloves a little bit smaller so well-above-average shots have a chance to go in.

  52. I agree with the making the pads smaller stuff. I am fine with that. It’s either that or make the Goalies cut off a leg and/or arm.

  53. billy the goalie should not be protected at all times. if you leave a certain area you should be fair game. goaltenders knowing this rule and using their brains won’t leave that area unless they think they can deal with the risk.

    you don’t want to turn this sport into the nhl where you aren’t allowed to touch the quarterback anymore.

  54. “I disagree on the no hitting, but so what if there’s no fighting in the 3rd period? There’s no fighting in PO hockey.

    I’d rather see guys flying up and down the ice and getting legitimate scoring chances than watching 5 guys collapse in front of the goalie to block shots. I laud the courage of guys like Girardi but it’s aint very exciting hockey.”

    jimmy are you drunk or just stupid?

  55. you don’t want to turn this sport into the NFL where you aren’t allowed to touch the quarterback anymore

  56. I don’t think it’s a bad idea to make the Goalie fair game. Goalie’s should NOT be protected like Quarterbacks and if you are worried about injury you can just tell your goalie to stay in his stupid crease. There is a solution to a goalie NOT getting hit.

    I for one barely understand why goalie’s come out of their crease ever.

  57. im home all day watching things on youtube including Sean Avery fights!

    i just love this. Motteau gets cleanly checked by Avery carrying the puck into the Rangers zone. Avery know Motteau is going to take exception to the hit and pretty much bucks up like “WHAT YOU GONNA DO?” and helps out his team haha

    never start a fight when the puck is in the offensive zone, kidz!

  58. Further to CTB’s number-crunching, I remember skimming through OHL (junior) rosters a couple of years ago to look at the size of goalies. It struck me just how many were 6-3 or taller (including recent Rangers/Whale signing, Jason Missiaen, who is 7-4, 350lbs or something).

  59. noonan: If you’d rather watch a QB get his brain jellied and/or his knees broken as opposed to seeing him scramble out of the pocket and throw a beautiful strike downfield to a breaking receiver, then we can agree to disagree.

    Preferably without the immature comments, if you’re capable…

  60. LW: Yep, the players are getting bigger and bigger and faster and faster, but the ice surface ain’t growing – another reason to move to 4 on 4 hockey, IMO.


    this is a Rangers website, jimmy.

    now are you drunk or just stupid?

  62. I hadn’t heard this before yesterday’s NY Times article and “The Fridge” picture prompted me to post it.

    Former Chicago Bears Dave Duerson committed suicide on Feb. 17. He shot himself in the chest rather than the head, presumably so that his brain could be examined.
    His suicide note request: “Please, see that my brain is given to the N.F.L.’s brain bank.”

  63. Carp: I see your point about EC and WW vs BB and BP, but the former 2 would be in tough regardless of 5 on 5 vs 4 on 4 because regardless of the number of players on the ice if you bring your A game to table once every 3 or 4 shifts, you’ll be replaced.

    Furthermore, seems to me BB and BP spent tons of time on the PK and in fact, the latter scored a few short-handed goals, so I don’t think believe it’s true that they’d be on the demise.

    In addition, if you go 2/3’s 5 on 5 and 1/3 4 on 4, no jobs getting eliminated. Perhaps, however, you’ll be more inclined to have your 11th and 12th forward with skill as opposed to dressing a 6’8″ slug like Boogaard because of the 1/3 4 on 4 possibility.

    For me, that would be just fine.

  64. Manny that skills idea is really funny.

    As for going 4 on 4…, how the nlpa would scream about the loss of jobs, and the owners would lick their chops over the diminished payroll.

    But just picture that event that calls for the stadium to be filled with folks looking for a hockey game, and get entertained by an hour or so of scoring skills. zzzzzz.

  65. i got no problem with the goalies or the game. im addicted to this sport. i cant get enough. is it 630 yet. get me to tampa/wash game 3.

    go tampa.

    boudreau and the flyers are pieces of carcillo

  66. There is a solution of course and that is simply to go all Olympic standards for rink sizes. That would really open the skating necessity and be on a par with every other viable organization Heck, the beautiful skating and hockey arena we have down here called Space Coast Ice arena, and has a full project of hockey from pee wee right up to seniors, and it’s an Oly[pic rink. Beautiful set up.

  67. I am going to second what Eric said. I love this game. I love it the way it is. Fine make the pads smaller and force more skill. I am ok with that. I just love this game the way it is and as fun as the Olympics are….the NHL is unique and awesome.

  68. fran: Ain’t gonna happen – too much money to renovate, not to mention other than the corporate boxes, you’d be replacing the most expensive seats in the house.

    Millions of $$$ that the owners will NEVER agree to spend.

    The NHL, because it’s run by a bunch of idiots, missed the boat on this one, too: When they started expanding (post 67) should have mandated all new arenas be built to Olympic size ice surfaces. Think of all the new arenas for existing franchises that have come along – those, too, would have been built to that standard.

    Nope, not the ridiculously short-sighted NHL.

    Missed the boat again….the NHL remains afloat despite these nobs, not because of them (mind you, there are something like 10 teams up for sale and at least 1/2 of those are in deep financial trouble – of course Buttman denies it all).

  69. Mannyfried on

    I don’t remember coming to a conclusion that the game needed more scoring?

    I still agree that Hockey is fine the way it is for all of us fans and the marketing needs to change to bring in new fans.

  70. “i still cannot stop laughing at the ice mets for giving away Roloson for a used bag of pucks given their goaltender “situation””

    Yeah, because every GM in the NHL is willing to give up a lot for a 40+ year old goalie.

    LMAO @ 6-hole.

  71. Good morning, Carp! FYI, I’m not quite done yet, not until Friday. Close though!

    Also, not only have I also eaten sandwiches that weigh more than Ryan Miller, I have sold some to him. So skinny!

  72. “i still cannot stop laughing at the ice mets for giving away Roloson for a used bag of pucks given their goaltender “situation””

    Yeah, because every GM in the NHL is willing to give up a lot for a 40+ year old goalie.

    Did they have to trade him this season?

    I don’t get it. Anyone?

  73. i wouldn’t change a thing about the game at this point given that most rule changes are negative.

    the one thing i’d do is if you are going to have the instigator rule you have to enforce it especially for players having to defend themselves after clean hits.

  74. noremry, that’s what they pay me to do. …. oh, wait, no they don’t.

    Good afternoon, Sally! One of the classes you should have taken: Once the clock moves past 11:59 a.m. it is no longer morning.

  75. I just got a mental image of the smaller puck.
    Years ago in the old New Haven arena, ( max 5600
    seats), I took my then girl friend, ( now tbw after 56 years) and asked her later after the game how she liked Hockey, she said she didn’t understand the point of it. So I explained ( some time ago I told this to the old bonesters), the whole routine,.. “” etc. Her response was ‘Puck? What’s that? I explained that, and then she confessed..she didn’t have her glasses with her and didn’t want to admit that she was near sighted. Bottom line, she watched the entire game without ever seeing the puck and tried to make sense out of the on ice antics.

  76. Mannyfried on

    Fran – that story is incredible. I can’t even imagine what Hockey would be like to someone viewing it without seeing the puck! Tell me more about her reactions!

  77. Yeah, they had to trade him. With Robo-Pietro coming back from injury, and Al Montoya playing pretty damn good hockey, there was no room for Roloson, and it’s not like he’s the goaltender of the future for them.

    By the way, they didn’t trade him for “a bag of pucks”, they traded him for Ty Wishard, a 22 year old, 1st round draft pick defenseman. Don’t you remember him? He’s the guy who shut down Gaborik in that one game.

    40 year old goalie who can retire at any moment or a 22 year old defenseman? Seems like a pretty good trade to me.

  78. hey if that 22 year old defenseman turns into a gem it’s a good trade.

    until then lolz at trading Rolston when you know DP is going to get hurt

    now if we’re talking about tanking and taking draft picks there’s a different story

  79. Manny

    There were no more reactions from her. She
    thought I was nutty when after two kids and stationed in Duluth MN, ( yeah I was broke, and needed a job so I re enlisted ( this time in the Air Force), and she loved Panama ( I hated it -98 deg 98 Humid 10 mos of the year, then a transfer to the DEW line 36 below from Nov to May) but I got into a hockey league in town, where the rink was below the local Curling Club who owned the building) and I needed my hockey fix.. I eventually out grew it, but that was great fun, especially those out door rinks when you faced the wind) and they had no curve to the corner boards, they were simply beveled straight lines, and when you shot the puck into a corner you never knew where it was gonna wind up, because some times it three different boards
    ( now and then behind you), but what fun.

    She still suffers in silence during my hockey seasons here in Florida. ( She long since learned that this was my “outlet”.) Hers is sewing and dressmaking.

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