Mixed Martial Arts

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Welcome to my blog which deals with mixed martial arts betting and preview with a detailed analysis on the world of MMA. This blogs covers anything relating to the UFC, Strikeforce, Dreams or any other MMA organization.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Hot playoff goalies

In most professional sports, the reward for having a successful regular season is a higher seed in the playoffs. That ultimately results in a home field advantage of an extra game being played in “your house.”

In basketball, home court is often the ultimate decider. In fact, since the NBA instituted it’s current 16 team format, the higher seed has advanced out of the first round 70 percent of the time and 82 percent of all Game 7’s have been won by the home team.

It’s not always that way in hockey. Home ice in the NHL playoffs is less important than any other sport. That’s because a series in other sports usually is not decided by a single position player. That’s not the case in hockey where a red-hot goalie will take precedence over home ice advantage.

It happens almost every year. Some No. 6 seed’s goalie catches fire and stands on his head night after night as his team advances against seemingly insurmountable odds.

Neither of this year’s NHL top seeds, Ottawa out of the East and Detroit out of the West, has dominating goaltending. The Senators got off to a brilliant start behind the Dominik Hasek. However, the ‘Dominator” has not played since the Olympics. Ray Emery, his replacement, is just 14-11-4 after setting an NHL record for winning his first nine starts.

The Red Wings had the best record in the league and won the President’s Trophy. The team’s 124 points was a full 12 points ahead of the second-place Senators. Though Detroit starting goalie Manny Legace was third in save percentage, he is an unknown quantity with the money of the line.

A list of goaltenders that could help their respective teams capture the Stanley Cup appears below.

Martin Brodeur (New Jersey Devils)
Brodeur, who has already won three Stanley Cups, led the league in wins with 43. He’s also currently playing his best hockey of the year. The Devils trailed the Rangers by 19 points on Feb. 1 before winning their final 11 games.

Miikka Kiprusoff (Calgary Flames)
Kiprusoff burst onto the scene in 2004 by leading the upstart Flames to the Cup finals. The Fin has had a tremendous year this year with 42 wins, a league leading 2.09 goals against average and an incredible 10 shutouts. Calgary has significantly more offense and defense than it had in its 2004 run.

Jean-Sebastien Giguere (Anaheim Mighty Ducks)
Giguere was impenetrable in leading Ducks to the 2003 Cup Finals where they lost in Game 7. Despite the loss, he was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy (playoff MVP). Giguere sports 30 wins, a 2.77 GAA and a .911 save percentage.