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Apr 21, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Anders Lindback (39) against the congratulated during the first period at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Problem with Frantz Jean

I could write a book on why the Tampa Bay Lightning need a new coach for their goalies. Suffice it to say that while Frantz Jean’s philosophy may have worked back in the day of the old NHL, it’s not working in the new NHL.

Here’s a stat for you. Frantz Jean has worked with five Lightning goalies during the past three seasons and not one of them had a save percentage better than .902 during that time. It’s not a pretty picture.

Over-simplistic would be the word that I use to describe the Jean school of goal-tending. He hammers the “let the puck come to you” method while focusing on good positioning. No one can argue the wisdom of solid positioning, but being a slave to technique without accepting the fact that shooting patterns have changed in the new NHL means that your approach isn’t meeting the demands of today’s game.

In the words of Frantz Jean,

Everything is based on being well-positioned in the (crease) and being in the shooting lanes.

And while this might work well for Henrik Lundqvist, Carey Price and others, you better not suggest it to Pekka Rinne or Jimmy Howard. And don’t forget Dominik Hasek, the poster boy for aggressive, mobile, challenge the shooter-type goalies.

The 7 last words of a dying organization are “We’ve always done it this way before.” Let’s hope that someone in the Lightning front office sees the light soon. I don’t think I can handle another season of underperforming goaltenders chained to a philosophy that’s in need of a slap shot to the head.

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Tags: Anders Lindback Frantz Jean NHL Tampa Bay Lightning

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