Roloson, Thomas best in 'Danger Zone'
Goalies in Eastern Conference finals have excelled against high-percentage shots
Goalies make their reputations in the playoffs and the line between a superhuman effort that steals a game and one that ultimately sends the team packing is usually a thin one.
If they make key saves at key times, they give their teams the best possible chance at winning and earning the label of "clutch" along the way. One large part of earning that label -- and helping a team to victory -- is how a goalie handles dangerous shots.
Dangerous shots are those that originate from within the scoring chance area, which is loosely defined as the square area from the top of the circles inside the faceoff dots to the goal line. By looking at only these dangerous shots, we help level the playing field among goaltenders and eliminate routine saves.
Game 3 of the series between the Washington Capitals and Tampa Bay Lightning is a good example of how not all shots on goal are created equally. After only four minutes of play, Washington had three shots on net -- all saved by Dwayne Roloson -- that all originated more than 80 feet from the net. (The shots were more attempts to get past coach Guy Boucher's 1-3-1 trap than actual attempts to score.) By eliminating those types of shots, we gain a better understanding of how goaltenders fare when faced with legitimate scoring chances. And we can see which of the remaining goalies has performed best when their opponents have had the best chances to strike.
To read more about which goalies are performing best against "dangerous shots" in the playoffs, you must be an ESPN Insider.
We see that you are not an ESPN Insider. Upgrade today and gain access to our exclusive coverage.
MORE NHL HEADLINES
- Canadiens rally for shootout win vs. Devils
- Flyers score 4 in 3rd to overcome Detroit
- Sources: Gretzky to get Coyotes back pay
- Red Wings' Zetterberg out at least 2 weeks
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
NHL Insider Content
STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS
Prospectus: Rating B's, Canucks' depth
CapGeek: Bs, Canucks provide cap blueprints Conn Smythe Watch: Thomas takes the lead
Greenberg: Projecting Tyler Seguin
Greenberg: Lapierre is Canucks' MVP
Prospectus: Special teams aren't that key
Conn Smythe Watch: Kesler's charge
Joyce: Sharks stars lack 'it'
Greenberg: Best Gs vs. the best shots
Conn Smythe Watch: Thomas rises
Button: Philly's crisis of crease confidence
Greenberg: Can blocks carry Bolts to Cup?
Prospectus: Ranking Caps' playoff failure
Prospectus: Top playoff rooks since 1998
Conn Smythe Watch: Roloson No. 1
Prospectus: Datsyuk remains underrated
Conn Smythe Watch: Neuvirth shines
Greenberg: Best D pairs vs. Alex Ovechkin
Prospectus: Thomas doesn't give B's big edge
Prospectus: Playoff team depth rankings
Cooper: Preds try to ditch Rd. 1 jinx
Prospectus: Team-by-team odds to win the Cup
Prospectus: Ranking the first-round netminders
Prospectus: These Sharks built to last
Prospectus: Puck luck could pluck Ducks
Cooper: Why playoff hockey is so different
Team Scouting Reports
How to beat the Boston Bruins
How to beat the Philadelphia Flyers
How to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins
How to beat the Washington Capitals
How to beat the Anaheim Ducks
How to beat the Detroit Red Wings
How to beat the San Jose Sharks
How to beat the Vancouver Canucks
May 11: Why Wings may soon fall off
April 28: Strome surges in Mock Draft 2.0
April 13: Nashville tries to overcome history
April 11: D. Sedin tops final player rankings
April 7: Coaches feeling the hot seat
April 6: How Caps' draft strategy has worked
March 30: Can Flyers win Cup with Bobrovsky?
March 9: Re-ranking Top 50 draft prospects
Feb. 28: Traded prospect evals
Feb. 28: Rating trades in the West
Feb. 28: Rating trades in the East
Feb. 17: Worst. Trades. Ever.
Feb. 17: NHL Mock Draft 1.0
NHL Rumor Central
Get news and rumblings before anyone
NHL Experts Blog
Daily ice shavings of insight
NHL Draft Blog
A look towards June 2011