Net Earnings: NHL Load Management Enables Top Goalkeepers to Play Less

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Marc-André Fleury performs in his place.

How a lot he performs has modified.

Ten years in the past, Fleury had performed 61 video games out of 82 earlier than supporting Pittsburgh within the Stanley Cup. He began 58 and 34 instances on the 2016 and 2017 Penguins Cup with Matt Murray, then 46 begins for Vegas and led the Golden Knights growth to the ultimate.

"As a player, I love being there. I like to play the game, "Fleury mentioned. "It's hard to find the ideal number of games. Today, I have the impression that we hear more than ever how we are going to handle two goalkeepers and other things. "

Consider the hockey model of "load management" that’s gaining recognition in basketball. Do not anticipate NHL groups to select video games all through the season to relaxation star gamers – except high goaltenders who’ve extra free nights whereas their substitutes share the web with an eye fixed on success within the playoffs.

The final 5 cup winners have every began lower than 60 common season video games and three of the final 5 finalists. Martin Brodeur had greater than 78 video games to start with – there are solely three goaltenders with greater than 70 begins within the final 5 seasons – and the groups are considering all yr lengthy about the very best how to put together earlier than the month of June.

"The trend is certainly in the direction of net division," mentioned Boston goaltender Tuukka Rask, who led the Bruins to Game 7 of the ultimate final yr after beginning 46 instances within the ultimate. common season. "It's a difficult thing because if your runner wins between $ 8 and $ 9 million, you want him to play. But then, you want to win the cup, so you have to think about it, well, if that guy plays 70 games, will he play 25 in the playoffs at the same level? Versus OK, we are playing 45, 50 really good games, then the other player and guy A are going to play 25 very good games (playoffs). "

Rask and Jaroslav Halak, Braden Holtby and Philipp Grubauer in Washington State in 2018, and Murray and Fleury in Pittsburgh, are two wonderful examples. Jordan Binnington solely took half in his first NHL recreation in January, however 32 video games at work had refreshed him to assist the St. Louis Blues win the Cup final season.

It is a fragile steadiness to have sufficient wage cap house to make use of two expert goalkeepers with play time, to plan the utmost relaxation allowance schedule, and to accumulate sufficient factors to take part within the playoffs. playoffs.

"It's a collaborative discussion among all teams," mentioned Kelly McCrimmon, government director of Vegas. "What we are doing is trying to win hockey games during the regular season, keeping our two goalkeepers and making sure that all of our players are at the top of their game after the playoffs. "

The New York Islanders have alternated Thomas Greiss and Semyon Varlamov for his or her first 24 video games and permit the league's fourth-less targets. Anaheim coaches register John Gibson or Ryan Miller of their 82 video games and revisit progressively to account for accidents and workload.

"It has very little to do with games," mentioned Ducks coach Dallas Eakins. "It has more to do with how much work. We had a game earlier this year where we were overwhelmed by the game against Vegas. I think they managed 50 shots, and we stayed in our zone all the time. It was a match for John, but he really played two, so that's a bit of our way of seeing things. "

Previously, Miller most well-liked to keep away from a celebration with a couple of days of relaxation at every finish for a psychological break. He sees so many groups separating from one another and understands him, however he additionally thinks that combating fatigue in school could be good for a goalkeeper.

"I do not think there's a strict recipe," mentioned Miller, whose career-high was 74 begins in 2007-08 with Buffalo. "I think it's good that some adversities keep your mindset in the right place. It will not be a cake walk, then the playoffs will start and you will feel like participating. You have to analyze certain things, solve them and face the most difficult situations, so that your state of mind does not disappear every night. "

NHL goaltenders consider that trendy video games are harder with greater whole throws than earlier a long time. The groups are averaging 30 photographs per recreation in 2019-2020, whereas the schedule gives extra back-to-back play.

"Nowadays, the goaltender has a lot more work: a lot less suspensions and delays for the D-men, so there's a lot more chance or extra time in the zone," mentioned Brian Elliott, from Philadelphia. , who’s a part of a profitable tandem with Carter Hart. "Even though you may not get shot, you look through the screens, you do a lot of work."

Vegas coach Gerard Gallant appreciates the truth that Fleury needs to play all 82 video games, and he isn’t the one one who needs to take the web and never let him go.

"I felt a lot better every year, I played a lot more games," mentioned Holtby, who led the league with 73 video games performed in 2014-15. "It's a little more a game of sensations than a game of analysis just because of its speed. … it's one of those things everyone is probably different. It probably has a lot to do with your practice and everything. "

Some guards will play greater than others. The Florida man, Sergei Bobrovsky, or Montreal's Carey Price, the league's best-paid goalie, may depart a minimum of 60 as a result of his crew wants an elite degree of play.

"We'd like to have (Price) every game, but it's not realistic," mentioned Canadiens coach Claude Julien. "We give him a few days off because it's not as important as him in games."

The most essential factor, after all, is the playoffs. It's tough for starters who need to play on a regular basis and that requires adjustment, however the proof is within the names of the Stanley Cup that splitting the web is a hit.

"Everyone wants to play," mentioned Rask. "The older you get, I think it's getting a little easier to realize that it's not about me." I relaxation for the crew. "

And relaxation within the hope that supporting much less weight makes the goalkeeper extra doubtless to elevate the trophy on his shoulders on the finish of the season.

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Follow AP Hockey editor Stephen Whyno on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SWhyno.

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More from NHL AP: https://apnews.com/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports


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