If the Rangers think they "have the book" on Jonathan Quick, they're wrong

There’s a hockey expression you've probably heard a hundred times that doesn't make a ton of sense. That would be “having the book” on a goalie. You know how it goes - last year the Boston Bruins scored a bunch of goals high glove on Corey Crawford, so that was the “book” on Crawford - go high glove.

And so it goes with all tenders: if a guy gets scored on in one spot enough a lowlight reel is created featuring him getting lit up over and over again. 

Only, that’s not really fair at all. These guys are NHL goaltenders - if they were weak enough in one area, they wouldn’t be in the NHL. Remember, there’s really only five places to shoot the puck.

I’m not obtuse enough to suggest that certain goalies aren’t better at stopping certain shots - we all have tendencies, strengths and weaknesses - but it’s unlikely that it’s worth going out of your way to fire the puck anywhere other than the spot that’s most open.

As a shooter, you know a few things. You know where goalies tend to give up the most goals, so all things equal, you're starting with the usual favorites. My personal order for that is high glove (closer to the goalie's ear than the actual corner), low blocker (flip that order if you’re a left shot), five hole, low glove, high blocker.

It doesn't matter who you're shooting on, for a righty, that's a pretty standard "best chance to score" order.

After Game 2, my favorite goalie analyst Kevin Woodley had a Twitter chat with current analyst and ex-goalie Darren Pang about the shooting habits of the Rangers on the Jonathan Quick.

Nine to the blocker side does seem awfully high, but it just seems unlikely to me that the Rangers had someone stand up in the dressing room and say “shoot high blocker on Quick, he’s weak there."

This guy is an extremely successful NHL starter. The Rangers are crazy if they think they’re on to some major flaw nobody else picked up on over Quick's 408 NHL games.

Woodley followed up my comment about that with a bang on analysis:

That's fair, and it's very possible - actually, likely - that it is indeed a good spot.

But in general, shooters are looking for room (or where room is going to be, depending on the course of play), then ripping the puck there. The Rangers may be targeting Quick's blocker side, but if they are, it seems like a fool’s errand to me. The best goalies in the world are rarely “weak” anywhere. You’ve just gotta get your head up, take what’s given to you, and let 'er go.

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If the Rangers think they "have the book" on Jonathan Quick, they're wrong
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