Boudreau Has History of Showing No Favoritism Among His Goaltenders
The playoffs have produced plenty of star goaltenders. Just look at what Patrick Roy, Ken Dryden, Tim Thomas, Martin Brodeur, Jean-Sebastien Giguere, and Ron Hextall were able to do when they got their chance in the playoffs and then used that chance to spark their careers.
It appears that if you are a goaltender a goaltender under NHL head coach Bruce Boudreau (Anaheim Ducks), you might get a chance to strut your stuff during hockey's most important time of the season. Not only is Boudreau showing no favoritism among his goaltenders in this postseason with the Ducks, but he had a history of doing that with the Washington Capitals as well.
In the 2007-08 season, the Capitals managed to get back into the postseason since 2003-04. While Olaf Kolzig was still with the hockey club and had been a longtime member of the Capitals' organization, he was not the man that was between the pipes for his team in the playoffs.
Rather, it was Cristobal Huet who was given a chance to show what he can do in the postseason. Huet was acquired at the deadline by the Capitals and went 11-2 in 13 regular season games and then went 3-4 in the postseason with a 2.91 goals against average and a .909 save percentage, things he rode to a four-year deal worth $22.4 million with the Chicago Blackhawks on the first day of free agency.
The following season, it was Jose Theodore who got the chance to help the Capitals go far in the playoffs. The Capitals acquired him on the notion that a proven netminder could get them to the next level and that Theodore, a former Vezina Trophy and Hart Trophy winner, was the guy to lead them to the promised land.
It did not turn out that way for the Capitals as after struggling in Game 1 where he allowed four goals, Boudreau sat him in favor of young Russian netminder Semyon Varlamov. During the regular season, Varlamov played in just six games in the regular season and yet, was given the starting role at the most crucial point in the NHL season.
Varlamov did not disappoint Boudreau. "Varly" he helped his club beat the Rangers in seven games in the first round and got his team toro within one game of advancing to the Eastern Conference Final for the first time since the 1998-99 season.
While Varlamov did not play badly that season, he was not between the pipes the following postseason when the Capitals opened up against the New York Rangers. Rather, that netminder was Michal Neuvirth.