Great nuanced breakdown. I've been thinking recently about incremental improvement through analyzing my own play. After my recent OHPL loss to Schmidt (with some ridiculous stats), I went back to the drawing board. I had some good strategy discussions with Scribe99 and with an extra set of eyes, was able to make some adjustments that have made an immediate difference in Classic.
I love these evolution of the game discussions. Your examples of Mikhail's goalie strat and the Plabax CB strat remind me of Thomas Kuhn's "Structure of Scientific Revolutions". These breakthrough strats are like Einstein's theory of relativity, compared to Newtonian mechanics; an extension of accepted knowledge. These jumps in collective knowledge cause immediate progress in the game, but earlier strategies are still commensurable.