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The Next Wave

The Next Wave: Hackett, Irving, Bachmann had January to remember

Friday, 02.03.2012 / 10:03 AM / The Next Wave

Justin Goldman - NHL.com Correspondent

Matt Hackett
Goalie - MIN
RECORD: 2-0-0
GAA: 0.85 | SVP: 0.977
Across the National Hockey League, elite goalie prospects are flooding team depth charts with an abundance of talent.

This is due in part to the natural evolution of the position, but it's also due to more NHL teams investing more resources than ever before into full-time goalie coaching staffs. In fact, more than a third of NHL clubs now employ assistant goalie coaches (Chris Osgood assisting Jim Bedard in Detroit is one example) to aid in the development of their organization's minor-league and junior prospects.

With the importance of goaltending growing by the day and depth in the goaltending ranks becoming a key analytic in the health of a franchise, NHL.com introduces a new monthly feature, The Next Wave, which will present the goods on the goalies poised to be difference makers in the near future. We'll include some style analysis, plus provide updates on prospects that earned NHL exposure during the past month.
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For me, it's a great win for our hockey team and for a lot of people back in Columbus, especially our fans in particular … people who have been devoted to this organization, it's big.

— Columbus Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards said after their 4-3 OT win vs. Pittsburgh in Game 2, the franchise's first ever Stanley Cup Playoff victory