Even though goaltending has not been very important traditionally in NHL All-Star games, I believe that this year will be slightly different. The masked men do face a lot of shots, and though everyone does get to play about one period, there is still some strategy involved in who you put on the ice.
So the next question is: Whose goaltending is better, Team Chara or Team Alfredsson?
Well, if you answer the question based on pure statistics, then I think the answer may be Team Alfredsson. Consider the following numbers:
Thomas 2.12 GAA, .933 Save Percentage
Price 2.14 GAA, .914 Save Percentage
Howard 2.03 GAA, .924 Save Percentage
Quick 1.93 GAA, .934 Save Percentage
Elliot 1.69 GAA, .938 Save Percentage
Lundqvist 1.88 GAA, .937 Save Percentage
Also, Team Chara has 10 shutouts and Team Alfredsson has 16 shutouts.
So, even though Team Chara might have the bigger names in net, Team Alfredsson has a huge advantage when it comes to who has been performing better recently.
Of course, it is my opinion that Team Chara does have the better skaters and so they might be in a better position coming into this game anyway. But the solid numbers being put up by Team Alfredsson in goal this year convince me that they will win the game.
I do think that the crowd support for the goalies on Team Alfredsson will be welcomed and that will help them in this game. However, goalies like Carey Price and Tim Thomas are probably no stranger to the loud boos which they will hear, and so the crowd will probably not rattle them.
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