Monday, April 20, 2009

Bobby Lu, Lowest Career Playoff GAA

Roberto Luongo is currently in the midst of only the second playoff season of his career. Including 2007 he has now played in fifteen career playoff games, not a substantial amount, but a fair sized sample from which to gauge his performance. Luongo’s career playoff Goals Against Average is a miniscule 1.64. This number is the the best of any modern tender since 1945. All-time, Luongo is only bettered by Alec Connell, Charlie Gardiner and Lorne Chabot all of whom retired in the mid 1930’s.
The only other modern era goalies who have bettered a 2.00 GAA in 15 or more playoff games are Ilya Bryzgalov (16 gp, 1.68), Patrick Lalime (41 gp, 1.77), Turk Broda (46gp, 1.84), Gerry McNeil (35 gp, 1.89) and Martin Brodeur (172 gp, 1.96)….quite an eclectic group indeed. Bryzgalov had a somewhat surprising run taking over for JS Giguere in 2006 and played five games in winning the ’07 Cup. Patrick Lalime led Ottawa to a final appearance yet owns a mere 21-20 W/L record. Turk Broda was an all-time legend and won five Cups with the Leafs. Gerry McNeil won the 1953 Cup with the Canadiens yet is perhaps better known as the goalie who allowed Bill Barilko’s OT Cup winner the year before. Then there’s Marty Brodeur, still at the top of his game and possesser of three Stanley Cups.
Where will Roberto Luongo end up amongst this group of six? Perhaps he will join the legends Broda and Brodeur with multiple Cups. He could end up a perennial playoff underachiever like Lalime or he could sneak away with one Cup yet not quite reach the upper echelon status like Bryzgalov and McNeil.
Right about now, I’d say Canuck fans would be extremely pleased if he were to only achieve the latter.

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