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Old 12-15-2005, 12:35 PM   #430
Bronx33
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Default New rules shooting down goalies

By Mike Brehm, USA TODAY
NHL coaches are quicker with the hook this season.
Florida's Roberto Luongo makes a save. The Panthers goaltender has been pulled from five games this season. Florida's Roberto Luongo makes a save. The Panthers goaltender has been pulled from five games this season.
By Wilfredo Lee, AP

As goals-against averages swell because of smaller pads and offense-friendly rules, goaltenders are being pulled once every 5.6 games. They were pulled once every 7.2 games in 2003-04. (Related item: Who's doing the pulling)

If this pace keeps up, there could be 28% more in-game goaltending changes this season:

Of 80 changes through Tuesday, 61 were coach's decisions. Nineteen were the result of injuries. Only the Philadelphia Flyers haven't made a switch.

Florida's Roberto Luongo has been pulled five times in 28 starts, matching his total in 72 starts in 2003-04 when he was a Vezina Trophy finalist. St. Louis' Patrick Lalime, pulled four times, was sent to the minors Tuesday.

Anaheim's Jean-Sebastien Giguere has left three games with an injury, including when he returned too soon from a strained hamstring. Buffalo's Mika Noronen was replaced during a shootout when he strained his groin muscle.

The Atlanta Thrashers have changed goalies six times, three because of injuries, but they have forced opponents to switch seven times.

Goalies are more vulnerable because a crackdown on restraining penalties is allowing players to charge the net with speed.

Scoring is up 24%, and shutouts are down 55% to the lowest per-game rate since 1992-93.

Many individual goalie stats are taking a hit. Luongo sports a once-gaudy 3.30 goals-against average.

Boston's Andrew Raycroft, the 2003-04 rookie of the year, is at 3.46. Dallas' Marty Turco, whose career average had been 1.91, is at 2.55 this season.

But Turco has won 12 of his last 14. Evaluating a goalie's worth might have returned to who makes the big save at the right time.

"You're going have to let things roll (off your back) a lot better and continue just to try to make the difference for your team every night, whether it's giving up one goal or four," Turco said in a conference call.

"Worrying about stats is kind of out the window right now."

How many times each team has pulled its goalie this season (through Tuesday), how many times its opponent's goalie has left the game and why:
Team

Switches

Coach's
decision

Injury

Opponent
switches

Coach's
decision

Injury
Anaheim

5

2

3

2

1

1
Atlanta

6

3

3

7

6

1
Boston

1

1

0

3

3

0
Buffalo

3

2

1

3

2

1
Calgary

2

2

0

1

1

0
Carolina

4

2

2

4

3

1
Chicago

1

1

0

5

4

1
Colorado

2

2

0

4

3

1
Columbus

5

5

0

1

0

1
Dallas

1

1

0

6

4

2
Detroit

3

1

2

3

3

0
Edmonton

4

4

0

2

2

0
Florida

6

6

0

2

1

1
Los
Angeles

2

2

0

4

4

0
Minnesota

1

1

0

1

1

0
Montreal

2

2

0

1

0

1
Nashville

1

0

1

0

0

0
N.Y.
Islanders

2

1

1

1

1

0
N.Y.
Rangers

2

1

1

5

3

2
New Jersey

2

1

1

3

3

0
Ottawa

1

1

0

4

4

0
Philadelphia

0

0

0

1

1

0
Phoenix

1

1

0

4

4

0
Pittsburgh

5

5

0

0

0

0
San Jose

4

1

3

2

2

0
St. Louis

4

4

0

1

0

1
Tampa Bay

3

3

0

3

1

2
Toronto

1

1

0

2

2

0
Vancouver

4

3

1

1

0

1
Washington

2

2

0

4

2

2
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