Inside the NHL: To get a good goal, teams have to get lucky sometimes | Buffalo Sabers news

That’s the question this angle has been asking since the Buffalo Sabers season ended with great promise. Its momentum is building through the Stanley Cup playoffs, particularly during the Tampa Bay-New York East Final, and will continue all the way to free agency. We won’t stop hearing it.

How will Saber find one of the those Goalkeepers?

Sad to say, there is no great answer to the question. It seems that the key to finding the number one goalie in hockey may be as much as the hot button topic on how to build a baseball game.

All you have to do is take a look at the 2014 NHL Draft in Philadelphia. It’s been nearly four months since Cypress replaced Ryan Miller for St. Louis. They had Jonas Enroth in the organization and other immortal names in the net like Matt Hackett, Nathan Lewin and Conor Knapp. They captured Michal Neuvirth in a trade, and like Enroth, he was at least a talent worthy of the NHL.

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But Tim Murray, then general manager, knew the pipeline in goal was weak and this was the year when there were plenty of goalkeepers to choose from. So in the third round, 61st overall, Murray made the sensible decision to pick one. A Swedish child named Jonas Johansson. Major Oof.

The Sabers traded him with Colorado 15 months ago after two years of waiting to come to North America and five years of being mostly unable to stop the disc puck whether they were in Cincinnati, Rochester or Buffalo. The 2014 draft was also the year the New York Rangers snatched a kid named Igor Shesterkin from the Russian junior ranks at 118th overall. You may have heard of him now.

Admittedly, you can’t criticize Murray too much for that. Everyone in the league passed Shesterkin three times over that weekend, and owner Terry Pegula wasn’t going to jump back on a Russian player while still dealing with a disaster that was 2012’s No. 1 Mikhail Grigorenko.

However, in taking Johansson it was a gut shot to see the other goalkeepers recruited that year that Murray didn’t get.

Vancouver’s Thatcher Demko (#36), Detroit’s Alex Nedeljekovic (37-Carolina) and Washington’s Vitek Vanessek (39) all came in in the second round, while the Sabers ran away from non-NHL strikers Eric Cornell and Vaclav Karabacek. The third round saw Columbus’ Elvis Merslikens take 76th and Ilya Sorokin of the New York Islanders ranked 78th. Round 4 saw St. Louis go Phil Hosso in 94th, Kabo Kahkkonen of Minnesota ranked 109th and then Chesterkin.

That’s a lot of lawful guards in one draft year.

The Eastern Final, which continues with Game 4 Tuesday night in Tampa Bay, was billed as a massive goalkeeping game and the Rangers’ 2-1 lead in the series was built on Chesterkin’s head-to-head victory with Tampa Bay giants Andrei Vasilevsky.

Shesterkin has a 2.35 goal-to-average and 0.943 save percentage in three games against Tampa Bay after the 1.72/0.949 that made the difference in a seven-game win over Carolina in the second round.

Vasilevskiy hit 3.73/.880 in the series (thanks mostly to that six-goal game), having netted 0.75/981 in a sweep of Florida’s four games by allowing only three goals from 154 shots.

Remember that Lightning spent Vasilevskiy’s first player back in 2012 at 19th overall but even that wasn’t a guarantee. They are still waiting for him to play for two years in the KHL before coming to North America and later to take first place from Ben Bishop. Outside of Shesterkin and Vasilevskiy, how many goalkeepers in the last eight teams remaining in the playoffs were the draft and development type? He had St. Louis along with Husso and Jordan Binnington while the remainder was acquired through free trade or agency.

The Sabers still have high hopes for Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, but next year will be an important one for him even though he is just 23 years old. It’s now been five years since they had him in the second round and he’s only played 13 NHL games. It should show that it can be permanent and efficient in the network.

Sword is clearly similar to Lukonen’s game, so much so that it is generally assumed that the 23-year-old will start next season as half of the goalkeepers.

Want to talk lucky, you might have to consider Devon Levy. Selected in the seventh round of Florida in the Sam Reinhart trade, he is blasted to be one of the best young Canadian goalkeepers and a potential winner of next year’s Hobey Baker Award at Northeastern.

Turning Levi into a franchise goalkeeper is the kind of luck teams need but it remains a simple project. The Sabers still need a free mining agency and don’t imagine it’s all going to be involved with big-money men in the long run like Husso, Jack Campbell of Toronto or Darcy Kuemper of Colorado.

The NHL Scouting Combine over the weekend at LECOM HarborCenter was mostly short of goalkeepers. Most notable was the 6-foot-5 in Finland, tipping the scales at 233 pounds here. Best European goalkeeper in Central Scouting, he had 5.02 / 0.825 in four games in the Finnish First League. This is certainly a small sample size but these numbers were his numbers nonetheless. He’s 18 and expected to be an average pick, so you’re looking at 3-4 years before you can consider the NHL in most cases.

It’s hard to play the long game when you’re a team like the Sabers looking to make a big leap. Lokonen should be good in 2022-23. One or both of Levi’s and Michigan’s Eric Portillo need to sign after next season. It is the most difficult position ever and the most difficult position to fill.

• Jimmy Snuggerud of the US National Development Team isn’t the only name associated with Sabers alumni heading into the draft. Minnesota high school student Zam Blunt—yes, son of Derek—follows Casey Mittelstadt’s path splitting time between his high school team and the United States Hockey League before heading off to college. He’s committed to playing in 2023-24 at Minnesota Duluth, where Derek is the assistant coach, and is expected to cruise in the fourth round of this year’s draft.

Zam Plante is smaller at 5ft9 but can play on both the center wing and the left wing. He had 24 goals and 64 points in just 22 games for Hermantown High School, including two in the state’s win in the title game at the XCel Energy Center at Minnesota Wild. He also collected 10 goals and 21 points in 31 games for USHL’s Chicago Steel. He did not participate in the pool tests due to injury.

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It’s a first-round pick in nearly any mock draft you find from 15-25.

• What happens to the Russian players in this year’s draft given the situation in Ukraine? They weren’t in the pool, and Central Scouting Director Dan Marr said it remains to be seen what happens to the much-appreciated stock.

“On the exploratory side of that, I’m sure the club management will say, ‘Your job is to tell us what this player is as a potential NHL player on the road, skills, assets, how he competes and how he might behave.” “None of us know what is going to happen two or three years from now. So everyone is wondering how the teams are going to deal with it. … Pinch your fingers and hope the world is in a different place two years from now?”

• Pittsburgh’s Logan Cooley, a Lock who will go either second or third in the draft, said he likes to model his game style after South Buffalo native Patrick Kane. Juraj Slavkowski, who pushes Shane Wright for number one, loves Colorado’s Mikko Rantanen.

Wright wouldn’t be a Conor McDavid or Austin Matthews type, but many feel he could be the same as Patrice Bergeron in Boston for the past decade. not bad.

Former Niagara player Eric Cooley inspired his brother Logan on a trip to the NHL Draft

While Cooley was on his way back from a traumatic injury, Logan was always watching. Inspired by Eric’s recovery and driven to pursue a lifelong dream, Logan has developed into a potential No. 1 pick in the 2022 NHL Draft, which will take place on July 7 in Montreal.

• Florida’s quick exit made the playoff four years in a row, dropping the President’s Cup winner four straight games to be disqualified from the series. The Panthers (by Tampa Bay) and 2019 Lightning (Columbus) were swept away, while the 2021 Avalanche hit four consecutive Vegas goals after taking a 2-0 lead and the 2020 Bruins slipped four goals in a row to Tampa Bay in the Toronto bubble after winning In the opening game.

The last Presidents Cup winner to reach the conference final was the 2015 Rangers, who lost Game 7 at home to Tampa Bay. The last regular-season champion to win the Stanley Cup was the 2013 Blackhawks in just 48 games. In an entire season, you have to go back to the 2008 Red Wings.

Only eight of the 35 winners have won the cup and only 11 of them made it to the final. More than half (19 of 35) lost in the first or second round.

• All you hear from the Philadelphia media is that Calgary superstar and South Jersey’s Johnny Goudreau are coming home this summer on free agency. There will either be a lot of I-tell-you-sos or a lot of cheese sauce to the face when Gaudreau (115 points, NHL rating-high plus-64) makes his decision.

• It’s June. ESPN broadcasts televised hockey matches all season. Why can’t a global leader detect audio in NHL TV shows? The crowd noise constantly drowns out the broadcasters, whether it’s those in the press box calling out the game or those on the ice doing analysis or reporting. And studio performances weren’t on site for the East Final, as TNT is doing for the West Final.

ESPN’s talent was very good. It seems that Sean McDonough hasn’t quit hockey even though he hasn’t fired for 18 years. But the production quality was poor at times.

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