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A tough night for trio of netminders

Dec 27, 2011, 10:29 PM EDT

Ilya Bryzgalov, Nathan Horton AP

Every now and then, a night develops an unmistakable theme. Tuesday, Dec. 27 might be remembered as an evening to forget for three No. 1 goalies. Let’s take a look at the low moments for that trio:

Ottawa Senators should-be franchise goalie Craig Anderson made the Montreal Canadiens offense look like an uncontrollable locomotive, allowing four goals on just seven shots. He only lasted 22:03 minutes before the Senators pulled him in favor of Alex Auld, who turned aside 19 out of 21 in that 6-2 loss.

Toronto Maple Leafs starter James Reimer lasted a little longer than Anderson. Reimer got the hook at the 24:13 mark after giving up three goals on eight shots. Jonas “The Monster” Gustavsson was beaten twice himself (16 for 18) as the Florida Panthers topped Toronto 5-3.

The Philadelphia Flyers didn’t yank Ilya Bryzgalov from their net even though he’s likely to blame for a 5-1 defeat at the hands of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Breezy was allowed to salvage his numbers a bit – relatively speaking – as he earned 11 saves on five goals allowed. (At one point, Tampa Bay had four goals on just 10 shots.) The Flyers fired twice as many shots on Tampa Bay’s net, but Mathieu Garon was game to the task; Philly could only beat him once on 32 shots.

Update: tonight bothered Bryzgalov to the point that he dropped an f-bomb during a live press conference. Sam Carchidi censored his reaction:

source:  ***

All three teams expect much more from their respective goalies. Reimer has been struggling since he returned from (what just about everyone thought was) a concussion. Many of Anderson’s wins have been the result of great goal support rather than stellar goaltending. We all love Bryzgalov’s one-liners, but no amount of strange comments about tigers and huskies can camouflage the fact that he hasn’t justified the hype.

On the bright side, it can’t really get much worse than it was tonight.

  1. scottfmullin - Dec 27, 2011 at 11:26 PM

    If I’m not mistaken, Reimer gave up 3 goals on six shots before being pulled. It looks like Toronto has a problem in net, and there’s no way in hell Reimer should be in the All-Star Game this year, much less leading the NHL in voting for goalies.

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Dec 28, 2011 at 12:07 AM

      NHL.com says 8, I was at the game and thought it was 7. Tough night either way, but it’s only one game. I wouldn’t say it’s indicative of a problem in net.

      All-Star voting is another matter. Fans shouldn’t be allowed to pick the starters as far as I’m concerned. It’s not supposed to be a popularity contest.

      • scottfmullin - Dec 28, 2011 at 12:19 AM

        Maybe it is just one game, but Reimer hasn’t been the same since coming back from his concussion. And Lord knows you can’t count on the Monster.

        But I do agree about the All-Star Game: they should make voting like the Pro Bowl: give fans one-third of the vote, let players and managers decide the rest.

      • danphipps01 - Dec 28, 2011 at 1:44 AM

        Aye, there’s a good thought. The fans should have SOME say. It’s a once-annually entertainment event, let ‘em have a say. Just… measure it, you know? Lest they vote in James Reimer, Sidney Crosby and the entire Senators roster. What a dull game THAT would be.

  2. danphipps01 - Dec 28, 2011 at 12:15 AM

    The Bryz isn’t exactly earning his paycheque, is he? He’s… actually not even qualifiable as “good” at this point. He’s 32nd in GAA, 39th in save percentage and being new to the team doesn’t explain those numbers nearly as well as “He was propped up mostly by Phoenix’s defensive play.” I mean, look at Smith. He is NOT as good as this season’s numbers imply he is.

    Meanwhile, Breezy has careened over 3.00 in GAA and under .900 in save percentage. He lets in more goals than quite a few backups and EVERY starter whose name isn’t Miller, Hiller, Ward or Anderson – all of whom are either on terrible teams or not especially good. Miller imploded, Ward and Hiller are on lottery squads and Anderson’s always been mediocre save for one hot streak. This is what he’s comparable to. Mason, Varlamov, Brodeur and Roloson are all worse as well, but they’ve been (wisely) relegated to backups at this point. As for save percentage? His is the worst of all current starting goaltenders.

    And people thought Chicago had a goalie problem. At least when Emery started outperforming Crawford they had the wisdom to switch the two. Bobrovsky’s been better than the Bryz so far and they’ve still not been swapped. If this is typical of Breezy when he isn’t given the luxury of an ultra-defensive team (and I think I can safely say it IS, 35 games into the season), he’s not earning the right to keep starting. Give it to Bobrovsky. He’s been good this year. Give him the chance he’s earned and see what happens. Not like he can be any worse.

  3. rainyday56 - Dec 28, 2011 at 2:49 AM

    NHL goaltending has been single-handedly ruined by Francois Allaire. The shabby state of Leaf goaltending clearly demonstrates this. Nothing left now except for Montreal to hire him as their next French speaking head coach. Based on how he “revolutionized” goaltending, could you imagine his effect on skaters? He’ll have the league look like a giant table hockey set before you know it.

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