There isn't really a shortage of writers or TV analysts who suggest that, when it comes to selecting goaltenders at the IIHF U20 world championship, coaches are better off going with the 'hot hand.' The deployment of Canadian goaltenders at the world junior championship is always heavily scrutinized, particularly in the last few years when there hasn't been a clear-cut No. 1, and also several much better goalies playing for other nations.
So how do you solve the riddle of whether to go with Malcolm Subban or Jordan Binnington? Which of the two should Spott start, on Boxing Day against Germany, and then farther along into the tournament? My suggestion would be that, rather than going by some illusory "hot hand," Spott ought to create a schedule and stick to it, barring injury. Subban has the higher save percentage in his OHL career and is used to the big ice surface and regardless of how he played in camp, he ought to be the No. 1. Play him in the opener against Germany, and then against the United States and Russia, as well as the semi-final and final. Binnington ought to see the start in the round robin against Slovakia, and then in the quarter-final, if necessary.
Why not just go with the hot hand? Because the data doesn't show that either Subban or Binnington are better coming off of a win than coming off of a loss.Read More »from World junior championship: Why Steve Spott should not play the ‘hot hand’ when deciding on goaltenders