Go with the “Hot Hand”
What do all of these players have in common?
• The Pitcher (P) in Baseball
• The Quarterback (QB) in Football
• The Point Guard (PG) in Basketball
• The Goalie (G) in Hockey
All of these players are leaders in their prospective sports. They all control the pace of the game. Games are won and lost through them. They often take the blame win or lose. Due to the importance of these positions, it is important to have a definite leader; someone who the team can count on. That brings us to our sport, hockey. Right now, the Penguins have two leaders: Marc-Andre Fleury and Tomas Vokoun.
With Vokoun’s 3-0 shutout of the New York Rangers, it seems like he has the “hot hand.” As a former coach, I believe that sometimes it is crucial to go with the “hot hand” instead switching starters. Thus far, the Penguins have practically switched goalies in every other game. The overall stats are below:
Philadelphia Flyers (WON 3-1)
Toronto Maple Leafs (LOST 5-2)
Ottawa Senators (WON 2-1 SO)
New York Islanders (LOST 4-1)
New York Rangers (WON 6-3)
Winnipeg Jets (LOST 4-2)
New York Rangers (WON 3-0)
Looking at the statistics, it seems that when Fleury wins, then he barely wins. When Fleury looses, then he looses big. We need more consistency in Pittsburgh. Go with the “hot hand.” Start Vokoun in goal tomorrow against the New Jersey Devils. The Devils goals against average shot up to a whopping 2.2 after last night’s 5-4 OT loss against those “pesky” New York Islanders.