Friday, January 22, 2010

Miikka Kiprusoff Jersey Card

Sure, Martin Brodeur is playing the Canadiens tonight, chances are he'll get another shutout, further surpassing Terry Sawchuk, leading the league once again, heading into the Olympics where his team will be favoured to win gold. And chances are he'll add another Vezina trophy to his filing cabinet, and further cement his (undeserved) reputation as ''the best goalie of all time''. Yawn.

The problem with that is that for the past 5 years, Miikka Kiprusoff has been the best goalie in the NHL. He's deserved at least 3 Vezina trophies in that span (Tim Thomas and Evgeni Nabokov could/should have had the others, and maybe one for Roberto Luongo), but Brodeur has practically won them all in what is nothing short of highway robbery.

History will remember Brodeur as the winningest goalie in NHL history, the one with the most shutouts, and the guy who has won most Vezinas in the 2000s, while Dominik Hasek has won the most in the 1990s. Both those facts erase and tarnish the fact that Patrick Roy was the better goalie for most of those two decades (he's even beaten Brodeur in their only Stanley Cup confrontation that went all the way to 7 games, no less), and that, following Roy's retirement, Kiprusoff backstopped a team that wasn't loaded with talent to a Cup Final and several decent regular seasons.

History might also forget that when Brodeur missed half a season to injuries, his replacement, Scott Clemmenson, who had never before played in more than 12 NHL games in a season, played 40, going 25-13-1, a 2.39 GAA (2 shutouts) and a .917 save %; a career backup with stats that rival Brodeur's. Don't tell me it isn't about the system they're playing in. In comparison, when Kipper isn't playing, the Flames usually resort to putting Curtis McElhinney in nets, who has never posted a better-then-.500 record and lets over 3 goals a game in. Kiprusoff, meanwhile, holds the modern-day record for lowest goals-against average in a season, with 1.69...

He has also backstopped Finland to three surprising (considering the country lacks the depth of Canada, Russia, Sweden and Team USA) silver medals: at the 1999 and 2001 World Championships, as well as the 2004 World Cup.

Not bad for a guy who was the Sharks' third-string goalie when the Calgary Flames took a chance on him for a second-round pick.

He is also notable for giving $10 for every save he makes during a season to children's charities - and with the amount of rubber he turns away, that's a hefty sum.

This particular card, from Upper Deck's 2007-08 Trilogy series (Honorary Swatches sub-set, card # HS-MK) shows Kipper in his white Flames jersey moving from right to left to, presumably, make a great pad save before sprawling for the rebound in spectacular fashion for a highlight-reel moment.

For my money, the best goalie of the past 5 years, followed closely by Luongo and Nabokov, with Thomas not too far behind and Cristobal Huet rounding out the Top 5.


  1. i want that card.....what do you want for trade? lets talk dude!

  2. Hehehe, you do have that Danis autograph card I find beautiful... but anything you think would be fair, I'll listen. Always willing to help out a fellow collector! (gmail me at livebabylive)

  3. danis for kipper, ooch i hear sutter growling now....done deal...i emailed you too....

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