by professor ggrib
Goaltending is perhaps the most sensitive of all the Blue Jacket Fan’s issues. OK, we have Bob for 1 more year…..Who should the backup be??????? Tis a question which finds pretty much no fan without an opinion.
Curtis McElhinny is a UFA at $600,000. A look at his stats tells you That he had 10 wins and 11 losses and relieved Bob in 7 other games. His .909 save % is not too bad for a backup. A 50-50 wining % for a back up is not terrible, and yesssss it could be better. But why not keep him. Fans have a perception that a “real NHL” goalie would have done better, would have won more games, would have stolen some games. Would he? Does the defense have some responsibility for some of these losses, just as for some of these wins? We all can remember some soft goals C Mac let in. But so did Bob.
The NHL is full of examples of back up and called up goaltenders doing great things. In Columbus we don’t have to go far and can use a young Steve Mason as an example. But there are also many examples of back up goaltenders not doing so well either. It’s almost a crap shoot.
We have goaltenders in the pipeline. The closest to NHL level may well be Anton Fosburg. Unnoticed by most CBJ fans is the fact the goaltender Anton Fosburg finished his European season and joined the Springfield Falcons. Appearing in 4 regular season games he won 3, lost none averaged 1.13 goals against and a save percentage. In the playoffs which the Falcons lost in 5 games, he appeared in 2 games. winning o and losing 1 with a .917 save percentage. This is an excerpt from the Falcon’s website. “Anton Forsberg (0-1) made 24 saves on 26 shots in 44:58 in relief of starting goaltender Mike McKenna. McKenna allowed three goals on six shots through 13:33.“
However that does not solve the Back up goaltender issue. It merely points out that We do not have an AHL goaltender ready to step in. Ideally we should get an older steady goaltender that can play a few games here and there and give Bob a rest.
The NHL does not always work that way. So many things can put a player down for games at a time. So we do need a NHL level goaltender for a backup. Is a goaltender avail that could be counted on to do better? Or is this the level of a NHL backup. Now don’t go quoting a bunch of stats. The goaltender success is a function of how the players in front of him are doing as well as the coaching scheme.
Players at Springfield and Columbus have both said Curtis plays calm and calms them down. Maybe we already have a backup goaltender and that is Curtis MacElhinny? Even with a raise, I am thinking of the old sage advice…. Better the Devil you know than the devil you don’t know.
But no fan with any fire in his belly wants to stay status quo on the off season goaltender question. We can always do better, right?
John Davidson [ex goaltender] and Jarmo get paid the big bucks for a call like this one. I can bat 100% in hindsight just as well as the next person, but I’m just going to back whatever decision they make.