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Goaltenders Galore In Columbus

from Steven Ellis of The Hockey News,

Replacing your No. 1 goaltender is never easy. It’s even more difficult when said No. 1 netminder is Sergei Bobrovsky, the best the Columbus Blue Jackets have ever had....

For now, Joonas Korpisalo, one of the five European netminders the Blue Jackets have under contract, is slated to lead the team in net, but he’s on a one-year, show-me deal and consistency has been an issue in his career. Is he the long-term solution? His career path says no, though he’s never had a better opportunity. But if Korpisalo isn’t the answer, who is? Columbus may need look no further than Elvis Merzlikins and Veini Vehvilainen, who helped the Blue Jackets to a third-place finish at the Traverse City Prospect Tournament. Vehvilainen, 22, won both starts, while Merzlikins, 25, went 1-1-0, giving his team a fighting chance in both contests despite a rather unspectacular .889 save percentage.

Before either can unseat Korpisalo, though, there are adjustments to be made. The first? The smaller North American ice. Merzlikins had just a handful of practice runs prior to Columbus’ playoff run in the spring to adapt, while Vehvilainen’s lone experience on an NHL-sized rink came at the 2015 World Junior Championship in Montreal, an event at which he struggled.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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