Offseason Journal, Day 12: Last Night the Pens Shelled Craig Anderson, What Does That Say About Evgeni Nabokov?

Kevin Schultz

In playoff action last night, the Ottawa Senators got absolutely shellacked by the Penguins 7-3, including a four-goal third period. Ottawa netminder Craig Anderson was given the hook after 48 minutes, allowing six of those goals. While it was bounced around on Twitter last night, and may seem like a convenient and lovely narrative, Anderson’s struggles do not automatically endorse Evegni Nabokov being an excellent goaltender who happened to fall victim to a high powered Penguins offense.

The Penguins have a hell of an offense, there’s no doubt about that. However, Anderson has still played much better against the Penguins in this series, and throughout the 2013 season, than Nabokov did. And Nabokov’s play, or trying to relate Anderson’s play to Nabokov, doesn’t change the fact that the Islanders have a goaltender question to solve this summer.

Keith put the stats together quite succinctly last night: namely that Anderson has an .899 save percentage in this series against Ottawa, while Nabokov had an .842 mark. What that translates to is at least an extra 5-6 goals allowed by Nabokov. Think the Isles could have used a couple of those against the Pens?  All that is over a really similar sample, too. Nabokov faced 152 shots, while Anderson has faced 139. And on top of that, Anderson has had to work harder, facing those shots in four games as opposed to six for Nabby.

We can also look at the regular season save percentage between the two goalies, which are worlds apart; Nabokov at .910 and Anderson at a stellar .941.

So what can we learn from all this?

Well, first that the Pens will make any goalie l0ok bad, as both goalies played well under their season averages in their respective series. The Pens offensive is really good. But, at the end of the day, a better goalie is still better, even if a powerhouse like the Pens makes them look below average.

THAT NEW ARENA SMELL

Via Deadspin, some uh, interesting news on the Barclays Center:

DNAinfo reports that the Barclays Center has its own signature scent wafting through the HVAC system, meant to “enhance the consumer experience and build brand identities.” That phrasing is gross, but it is often said that scent is the most evocative of the senses. The sickly-sweet fragrance that one ticketholder compares to Axe body spray? That’s the Nets’ madeleine.

The fragrance is the work of ScentAir, a company that does nothing but make places smell like things. The Barclays Center is far from their first foray into the sports world. Cowboys Stadium and Philips Arena? ScentAir. The Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis smells like cotton candy.Blame ScentAir.

SOUNDS OF ROUND 1

This is a few days old, but it’s worth a listen if you haven’t seen it:

YOUR MOMENT OF ZEN