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Playoffs 2004

Comparing goalies

By BRANT JAMES
Published April 8, 2004

A hot goalie can lead a team on a bull-rush through the playoffs. Just look at Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who caused the Ducks' stock to soar into the Stanley Cup final last year. Here's what the squawk box tells us about this year's 'tenders:

MARTIN BRODEUR, DEVILS: He's the champ until someone takes the Stanley Cup away.

JOSE THEODORE, CANADIENS: You dare doubt a French-Canadian playing for Montreal? Enters playoffs with 11 wins in past 12 starts. MARTY TURCO, STARS: Allowed four goals in winning four in a row before four-game suspension.

RICK DIPIETRO, ISLANDERS: In fairness, produced big numbers down the stretch, but a playoff neophyte at age 22.

MANNY LEGACE, RED WINGS: Looked good until thumped by Ducks, Sharks last week.

DAVID AEBISCHER, AVALANCHE: Proved susceptible on road down the stretch.

DAN CLOUTIER, CANUCKS: Has 3.43 goals-against average in 22 playoff games.

MIIKA KIPRUSOFF, FLAMES: Struggled in final weeks; played in just four postseason games.

MARKET IN FLUX

ANDREW RAYCROFT, BRUINS: Rookie showed poise in beating playoff-bound Lightning, Leafs and Senators in final weeks.

ROBERT ESCHE, FLYERS: Big against big teams, but playoffs a different matter.

EVGENI NABOKOV, SHARKS: Former Calder recipient won five of final six.

ED BELFOUR, MAPLE LEAFS: Won a Vezina, won a Cup, counted on to push Leafs to next level.

NIKOLAI KHABIBULIN, LIGHTNING: The occasional softie could cost his job.

TY CONKLIN, OILERS: Rookie another facet of Edmonton's gritty run.

PATRICK LALIME, SENATORS: Balky knee not an asset under playoff grind.

CHRIS OSGOOD, BLUES: Playoff-tested, but out early out since '97-98 Cup win.

[Last modified April 7, 2004, 11:23:20]

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