by Patrick Hoffman on 02/09/11 at 10:56 PM ET
Over the past few seasons, goaltenders who filled in for New York Rangers’ starting netminder Henrik Lundvqist did not work out so well.
There was Steve Valiquette, who seemed to never be the same after allowing a 2-0 lead to slip away in Toronto to the Maple Leafs back in early November of 2008 and then faltered early in the 2009-10 season as well. Then, there was youngster Chad Johnson. Johnson was not terrible but was not ready to handle a full-time backup NHL goaltender role.
Today, the Blueshirts no longer have that problem as Martin Biron seems to be the right answer. In 17 games (15 games started) this season, Biron is a remarkable 8-6 with a 2.13 goals against average and a .923 save percentage. With statistics like those, it is no wonder that head coach John Tortorella is not afraid to give Biron back-to-back starts.
On Saturday and Monday, despite losing both games, Biron showed that he is more than capable of playing extremely well and giving his team every opportunity to win a hockey game. In Montreal on Saturday afternoon, Biron was solid in making 27 saves on 28 shots in a 1-0 loss to the Canadiens. On Monday night against the powerful Detroit Red Wings, he made 32 saves on 35 shots in being the team’s best player on the ice.
In no way will Biron ever replace Lundqvist but it is certainly nice to know that the team has a terrific goaltender backing up their franchise netminder.
What are your thoughts on Biron?
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org.