Timeless

Justin Goldman

2010-01-25

Vokoun

 

 

Of all the topics that surface while discussing goalies, maybe the most intriguing one to ponder is Demeanor. In fact, if I had to give you one piece of solid fantasy scouting advice, it just might be to never underestimate the revealing power a goalie's demeanor has on their fantasy value.

 

When I think of the word Demeanor, my mind triggers the fairly common definition of how someone behaves or acts in any given situation. And while this is a simple and effective way to approach understanding one's mannerisms and attitude, I can't help but wonder what the word truly means to a pro goaltender.

 

To me, a goalie's demeanor is the way he or she reacts to different aspects of time. By dissecting this dimension, I come to find that it's inescapable. It rules and governs all games, all things. Goalies either want to speed it up, slow it down, stretch it out or skip to a different moment. In fact, that's a word coaches often use when teaching a goalie how to handle time.

 

"Stay in the moment, Jimmy! Don't force things. Let the puck hit you!" In other words, "Don't succumb to the pressure of time. Just focus on the puck." This is a somewhat cliché, but still a very valuable lesson, mainly because you can easily see timing issues in a goaltender. They struggle with rebounds. They mishandle pucks with their gloves. They punch out at pucks with their blocker. They play deep in their crease. The list goes on and includes mental aspects as well.

 

The impact of time on a goalie (and a human) is always tied to the individual. By this I simply mean that every goalie manages a 60-minute game differently. And with the endless situations a goalie will face in a game, some will be impacted by bad goals more than others. This is why veteran goalies seem to manage time better than rookies.

 

So demeanor, which includes how a goalie handles timely things like being scored on, pressure and a heavy or light workload, is not only what makes a goalie unique, but also a way of determining their strengths and weaknesses. Demeanor reveals traits, traits reveal potential and potential acts a way to determine a goalie's overall fantasy overall.

 

One way you can really see a goalie's demeanor is through the "timely" save. A timely save is made very early and very late in periods, in one-goal or tied games, when momentum is boosted in their team's favor, when it is least expected, while shorthanded or also those made with extreme desperation and flexibility.

 

I could go on and on about different ways to dissect demeanor, but the main lesson here is that every year you'll discover a few goalies with the demeanor found in fantasy gems. For at the core of time, the enigma surrounding a timely save often determines the difference between a winning and losing goalie.