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A Post about Posts (and Crossbars)

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A look at a goalie’s best friend

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-New York Islanders at Washington Capitals Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

There’s nothing quite like the sound of a booming slapshot clanging off of the goal cage behind a beaten netminder and the accompanying rush of relief or disappointment a fan feels depending on the shooter’s sweater.

Just yesterday, late in the second period with the Caps up 3-0, Mike Zibanejad hit the post behind Ilya Samsonov. An inch to the inside and it’s a 3-1 game going into the third and maybe the Rangers threaten to make it a game (what ever happened in that third period anyway?).

Samsonov was bailed out by “the goalie’s best friend” on that one, something his net-mate Vitek Vanecek has had happen 22 times this season (19 posts and three crossbars, for those of you keeping score at home), tied for third-most in the League and an average of nearly one per start (he has started 23 games).

At the other end of the ice, yes, Jakub Vrana has drawn some iron. Two posts and two crossbars, in fact, which leads the team (but is well back of Auston Matthews, Kyle Connor and Elias Pettersson, each of whom has hit the pipe eight times).

Put it together, and the Caps (and Vanecek in particular) have been pretty fortunate so far in this respect:

raw data via Evolving Hockey

In sum...