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Which position is the most important in a playoff series?

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by hockeybeat, Feb 23, 2008.


Which position is the most important in a playoff series?

  1. Hockey goaltender

    24 vote(s)
  2. Starting pitcher

    3 vote(s)
  3. Quarterback

    5 vote(s)
  4. High-scoring basketball player

    1 vote(s)
  1. hockeybeat

    hockeybeat Guest

    I have the Islanders-Devils game on as background noise while I write. Following a Rick DiPietro glove save, FSN NY Islanders broadcasters Howie Rose and Billy Jaffe began a discussion about which singular position is the most important in sports, particularly in a playoff series. Both agreed that a goaltender was more valuable than a starting pitcher, quarterback or high scoring basketball player because the goaltender can steal a series.

    I thought that it'd make for an interesting discussion, so...
  2. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    Hot goalie you can use every night and can take you a long way.
    Toss QB. Football doesn't play series.
  3. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    Quarterback is No. 4, no question.

    I think a high-scoring basketball star can be neutralized too easily by a great team defense, so he's No. 3.

    Toss-up between an ace pitcher and a hot goaltender, but if the framing of the question is "which is more important in a playoff series" ... you need at least a second ace pitcher to win you that series. One pitcher can't do it all (Mathewson notwithstanding.) So he's No. 2, making the winner:

    No. 1, Hockey goaltender.
  4. rube

    rube Active Member

    Goalie. This isn't even that difficult.
    How many times have you seen a goalie go berserk and single handedly steal a series or several for his team (JS Giguere comes to recent memory, though I'm sure bigger hockey buffs could offer up far better examples) ... And at the same time, how many times have you seen a Super Bowl team win despite a quarterback (I think recent Steelers fans can let you know on that one).
  5. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    I went with goalie as well.
    A good quarterback might win you a game, but defense is what really wins or loses football playoff games (and we'll equate one playoff game to one series for this discussion).
    A great scorer in basketball can take you a long way, but you need some support around him. If other guys aren't making shots when the double- and triple-teams come, it's over in five.
    An ace pitcher is important, but will win you two games at most. That makes a big difference in playoff baseball, sure, but you can work around it if you're the other team. I'd say it's more important in the divisional round, where it's best of 5 and you can take the series with one good game from your other starter. In a best of 7, the importance diminishes.
    A great goalie, though, can carry you all the way. How many times has Martin Brodeur gotten the Devils to the finals? Giguere is another good example, along with some of Ron Hextall's or Dominik Hasek's better moments. You can't win if you can't score, and a great goalie can make it damned near impossible to score.
  6. JR

    JR Active Member

    For further evidence, cf Patrick Roy Montreal 1986 & 1993.
  7. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty Guest

    if you would have said pitching, as in three starters and a reliever, i'd say that. but you didn't, so i won't.
  8. JakeandElwood

    JakeandElwood Well-Known Member

    I'm not much of a hockey guy, but I'd definitely go with the goaltender.
  9. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    Same here.
  10. beardpuller

    beardpuller Active Member

    Goalie, at least unless it's the Stanley Cup finals. In the finals, the better team tends to win; it's hard for a goalie to steal that series.
  11. Hockey goaltender without question. There have been some amazing playoff performances by goalies legendary and nondescript alike that prove the point.
  12. JR

    JR Active Member


    Patrick Roy singlehandedly won the '85 and '93 Cup for the Habs.

    Dryden beat the Bruins in '71.

    You can make a case the Whalercanes won because of Ward.

    A mediocre team can always beat a better team with a hot goalie.
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