Holloway Sets Record and Now I'm Even More Impressed with...Bernier??

Bud Holloway is having himself a great playoffs. His six goals and ten points in the AHL post-season has him tied for third in playoffs goals (four behind the leader, Hershey Bear Alexandre Giroux) and tied for seventh in points. Trevor Lewis has five goals, but we're not hearing about him for some reason. Maybe it's because all six of Holloway's goals are game winners.

Manchester has won seven games in the playoffs so far and Holloway has the GWG in all but one of them. Those six post-season GWGs tie him for the record, and, as the linked article (above) notes, he might have two more rounds to go before he's done.

The weird thing about game-winning goals is, it's kind of a team stat. Because what it tells you is how many times, after you scored, your team's defense shut the door. It's retrospective: as it turns out, no more goals were needed.

Of course, it's the team that deserves credit for shutting their opponents down. Credit where credit is due. But I would note that Jonathan Bernier is the number one goalie in the playoffs so far (as he was in the regular season), by which I mean he is leading the league in GAA (1.54), SV% (.950), shut-outs (2) and wins (7). If there's a reason I might give Bernier slightly more credit than the team defense in front of him, it's that he's also facing the most shots of any playoff team (slightly more than 31 SPG). And that number would be even higher but for Bernier's rebound control (consider that, last season, playing for the same team with the same personnel, Jonathan Quick faced six more shots per game than Bernier; where were these extra shots coming from?).

Holloway's six goals so far is reason enough for Kings fans to be excited. The fact that they were all game-winners is more weird than anything (if they were six OT goals, that would be something else, right? Like some kind of clutch miracle).

In the seven wins, Bernier has allowed 7 goals. Against two teams that finished ahead of Manchester in the regular season. Twice he shut them out, so the door there not only was shut, it was never open. The OT goal Holloway gets full credit; that's clutch, and obviously there's no need for the team to protect the lead after that. But when the team jumps out to a 3-0 lead and Bernier allows one goal the rest of the way, the fact that Holloway scored the second of the three goals is just a happy accident.

Or think of it this way. What if Bernier wasn't playing as well as he is? What if he allowed one more goal each game? Well, for one thing, Holloway would still have six goals, but the number of game-winners he would have would be zero.