Burke v Tippett, For Some Reason, The Debate Rages On


Tippett_Burke_325This former Coyote is about to get ugly!  Get it?!  That was a popular popcorn movie from the year 2000 that teenage males such as myself flocked to the theatre to see expecting something that was borderline porn only to see a damn chick flick!!  I vowed that night Piper Perabo would never star in a movie again, so I did get some measure of revenge for spending 6.50 (back in my day, 10 bucks would get you into a movie and a 590 ml pepsi…)


So the Minnesota Wild decided that to fix their goaltending they would go out and get a guy they could have had for free just 11 months ago.  They get a guy they could have got as a UFA just 7 months ago.  No.  The way they see it, if they think he’ll be the answer in net, is they just got a guy who has been touched by the hand of god A.K.A. the goaltender “whisperer”, Sean Burke.


Ask anyone around the NHL, and I’m talking some of the most respected people, and they seem to all say the same thing and that is everything Sean Burke touches turns to gold and he is the greatest goaltending coach that hockey has ever seen.  Ok….


Some of you may recall one of my first blogs.  Ok, so none of you will remember this.  Either way, I did a piece on how I found it pretty laughable that Ilya Bryzgalov was supposed to be the answer to Philly’s problems in net and nobody seemed to notice that this is what happens to goaltenders while playing for Dave Tippett.  3 years later, and a few more goaltenders to prove my point, these people STILL DON’T NOTICE!


How can nobody figure this out?  Sean Burke is not some amazing revelation!  If Burke is so incredible, then why is it that Marty Turco and Mike Smith looked amazing playing for Tippett while he was the head coach in Dallas, then once they were with new teams there numbers fell way off?  Smith in 4 years in Tampa only once had comparable numbers.  Above .900 save percentage once out of 4 years in Tampa, his lowest playing for Tippett was .906.  That was his worst year under Tippett.  .910 or above every other season for Tippett until of course this season which we will see how it plays out.


Bryzgalov looked amazing playing behind Tippett’s teams, leaves, and he’s a career journeyman since.  Why wouldn’t what Sean Burke taught him have kept working?  Why did this amazing knowledge take only 50 games to be forgotten by Bryz?  It’s almost as if it’s not the goaltending wizard, but the coaches system?


So now here comes the latest guy, Devan Dubnyk.  Obviously I, like many Oiler viewers over the years know him well.  I had said in the past that he needed to go to Phoenix (at the time) and that he would thrive, not because of the “magic” of Burke, but because of the “magic” of playing for a coach who is all about limiting quality scoring chances which in turn will boost a goaltenders confidence.  I for once got it right, that’s exactly what happened with Dubnyk.


But now we will see.  Again, like Bryz I would think that if it’s all Sean Burke, then obviously what he learned from master Yoda (never watched a Star Wars in my life, unless the Family Guy ones count) will always be remembered and he will go on to thrive in the NHL from here on out….right?!


Here is what I bet actually happens.  He comes in with some confidence so maybe he helps the Wild get out of this horrific slide they’re currently in (and by the way, I had that right too while every media guy in Canada was slurping them as this “emerging power” before the season).  But before long, Dubnyk is going to fall back into bad habits, lose his confidence and he’ll be out of a job again.  Can his confidence hold up long enough to get this team back into the playoffs?  I don’t know, but I give it no more than until seasons end for it to last.


This guy isn’t a starting NHL goaltender, it’s that simple.  And the Wild don’t play the Jacques Lemaire style they used to.  Part of the reason their goaltending is so bad is they play very loose defensively.  But that’s not very fair of me to give Jacques Lemaire all the credit for how they used to play, it must have been their goaltending coach…


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