The NHL has seen quite a few significant changes over the past few decades. With the game becoming faster and players finding success in the speed of the game, the NHL is constantly getting a makeover that has seen proven results.
Similarly to the NHL, the NFL has been going through changes that are both controversial and necessary, but there has been a not so controversial change that the NHL may or may not realize they are mirroring. For those fans that play fantasy football, you may understand what I am talking about.
More and more NFL teams are switching to a committee situation in their backfield by keeping more than one viable option at the running back position. Although it is hotly debated as to whether it works, many teams are finding success and are finding that their stars are living longer in the NFL. Teams like the Jets, Panthers, Giants and even the San Francisco 49ers lately are switching to the committee approach.
During the 2012 NHL Winter Classic, the Philadelphia Flyers showcased their backup goaltender, Sergei Bobrovsky. While it is clear that there have been some issues with their $51 million starter, Ilya Bryzgalov, the Flyers, as well as other teams, are slowly beginning to realize that having a viable option as a backup will yield dividends in the long run.
There are a number of NHL squads that have turned to a similar committee approach and it is proving successful for a number of reasons. The most obvious reason is that it allows the starter to rest and it will allow him to produce deeper into the season when it counts most. Yet, much like in the NFL, a good solid backup offers a change of pace option and keeps opposing teams uncomfortable. When you know your opponent, it is easier to remember how to beat them.
Here is a list of teams that have found success at the backup position throughout the NHL and why it has proven successful for that specific team.