Enjoying watching the NHL Playoffs when it fits in on the crowded sports plate. And as I watch the results roll in, I can't help but notice some level of trend in these playoffs.
Tuukka Rask is a 22-year old Finnish Goaltender who has taken the Bruins job from Tim Thomas, the American netminder in Boston. Rask has been great, and the Bruins are 1 win from the final 4 as a 6-seed.
Rask salary: $850k
Thomas salary: $6m
Jaroslav Halak is perhaps the single reason that the Washington Capitals are already 2 weeks into golf season. Halak is a 24-year old Czech goaltender who entered the season as the clear #2 behind Carey Price in Montreal.
Halak salary: $800k
Antti Niemi is a 26-year old Finnish Goaltender who has emerged from next to nowhere to lead the Chicago Blackhawks deep into the playoffs and is currently the best goalie on the ice in a series against Roberto Luongo. He was an undrafted free agent who was the #1 goalie last season for the Rockford Ice Hogs. Niemi has emerged on a team that paid a ton of money to acquire Christobal Huet last year to be their savior.
Niemi salary: $827k
Huet salary: $5.6m
Luongo salary: $7.5m
Perhaps the only series that goaltending salary and pedigree is proving to matter is San Jose vs Detroit, where Evgeni Nabakov, who makes $6m and is 33, is on the right end of a match-up against young rookie Jimmy Howard, who makes $750k and is playing in front of veteran Chris Osgood.
Rask, Halak, Niemi, and Howard.
Maybe paying a goalie a disproportionate amount of money only gets you so far?
Or, maybe this is just a blip on the radar that makes no sense to anyone.