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Tuesday Tire Pump: Curtis Sanford

Nov 22, 2011, 3:34 PM EDT

Curtis Sanford Getty Images

Every Tuesday at PHT, we’ll pump a player’s tire. Because every player likes it when nice things are said about them.

This week’s tire pumpee: Curtis Sanford, Columbus Blue Jackets

Based on the Jackets’ past three games, it’s almost like goaltending is a really important part of hockey. Columbus is 2-0-1 with Sanford starting in net. The 32-year-old has a 1.46 goals-against average with a .943 save percentage, numbers that stand in stark contrast to Steve Mason’s 3.63 and .875, respectively.

Look, nobody’s about to say the Jackets would be a winning team if Sanford had been the starter from the beginning – Mason hasn’t been their only problem – but it sure makes you wonder where they’d be compared to now. Would making the playoffs still be a realistic goal? Because it’s not now. To match the record the Blackhawks snuck in with last season, Columbus would have to go 39-16-7 in its last 62 games.

In case you’re wondering why it took so long to get Sanford into action, it would’ve been sooner – unfortunately, he hurt his groin during a practice on Oct. 18 and had to sit out a month.

It’s been a long road back to the NHL for Sanford, who spent the past two seasons with Hamilton of the AHL. But now he’s back and bailing out his teammates with saves like these:

Curtis Sanford, everyone.

  1. cowboys282 - Nov 22, 2011 at 4:11 PM

    This should be an indictment of Scott Howson. To go and make all the moves he did before the season and during the season and never once address the goalie situation was a huge over site.

    After last year what possibly made him think the Jackets could compete with a full year of Steve Mason and no legitimate back up plan at goalie. If my job was on the line I would have not trusted it to Steve Mason thats for sure.

    • east96st - Nov 23, 2011 at 1:27 AM

      It’s always tough to know whether a move – or no move at all – is what the GM wanted or what Priest demanded. Howson will be the fall guy, but everyone knows it’s Priest that has the ultimate say. Knowing Priest’s past track record, Howson wanted to go after someone and Priest overruled him because of the money they already put into Mason. That whole front office needs to cleaned out and experienced, competent hockey personnel put in place to run the team like it should be run. After 11 years, this show has gotten old.

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