March 1st 2010
Wings VS Avalanche
Right after the Olympic break Jimmy Howard, who has been sensational this year, was haunted by the phantom stick. The Phantom stick was discussed in great length in the mastering technique section of GOALIEREVIEW. The aforementioned article discusses how costly a big gap between the goalies stick and pad can be. If you pause the highlight at the 0:28 second mark you will see how the puck sneaks between the blocker pad and stick. Yes, Howard’s stick was on the ice but it was not covering the entire 5 hole. If Howard simply brought his stick a bit closer to his pads Stewart’s goal would have been a routine save.
Although I could not find a clip, the overtime goal in the Olympic Gold Medal Game was also a result of the Phantom Stick. Similar to Howard, Miller’s stick was too far out leading to a gap that Crosby exposed. Go to CTV and watch the highlight and you will see how avoiding the Phantom Stick could have led the Americans to a Gold Medal. Every time I see this goal I will be reminded of the Phantam Stick Phenomenon.
Either way Miller played lights out and proved once again that he is the best goalie in the world.