by Patrick Hoffman on 12/30/11 at 10:25 PM ET
As every hockey fan knows, being a goaltender in the National Hockey League is not an easy job.
You can be great for one game, one season etc. and then the next game or season, completely lose it. Just look at what happened to the likes of Jim Carey or Blaine Lacher.
Another goaltender who has had both good times and bad is recently waived member of the Dallas Stars Andrew Raycroft. After winning the Calder Trophy as the league’s rookie of the year in the 2003-04 season, Raycroft has never been the same netminder.
When Raycroft got started in the NHL in the 2003-04 season, he was absolutely terrific. He played big, was confident, did not allow many soft goals and put up great numbers with 29 wins, a 2.05 goals against average, a .926 save percentage and 3 shutouts.
After that magical season, Raycroft’s numbers were all over the place. After the lockout, Raycroft came back to Beantown as the undisputed No.1 netminder and he faltered in a bad way having only 8 wins and a GAA of 3.70 and save percentage of .879.
The next season, 2006-07, he was the starting goaltender for the Toronto Maple Leafs. While he did win 37 games for the Leafs that season, his numbers were inconsistent as he had a GAA of 2.99 and a save percentage of .894, both numbers below the league average for starting goaltenders.
The following three seasons, Raycroft was a Leaf, a Colorado Avalanche, and a Vancouver Canuck. He played in 71 games and again, his numbers were up and down.
Jump ahead to this season and it is easy to see why the Dallas Stars waived Raycroft. He is 2-8-0 in 10 games this season with a 3.52 GAA and a .898 save percentage, not the kind of numbers a netminder should have if they want to be the backup to Kari Lehtonen.
It will be interesting to see how the rest of Raycroft’s strange story turns out.
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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 email@example.com.