Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 10/28/10 at 10:38 AM ET
from David Staples at The Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal,
Before he went out with a back injury last year, Khabibulin played so well that Oilers GM Steve Tambellini deemed his play to be MVP-calibre for the team, an overstatement perhaps. Nonetheless, Khabibulin certainly looked strong last year and put up decent enough numbers.
This year? Khabibulin started out well and his positioning has been as good as ever, but he and the team have been leaking goals against on the penalty kill. Not all of these goals against, or even many of them, have been Khabibulin’s fault, but he hasn’t always looked sharp. Especially troubling has been his propensity to be beaten on low shots through his legs. He’s not looking elastic enough to get down quickly, to cover off the bottom of the net, and to make those saves. Perhaps that will come, but there’s almost a year of rust on him, and one wonders if it’s just been painted over or truly repaired.
The 2010-11 numbers don’t look good on him.
So far, Khabibulin has faced 231 shots and let in 23 goals, for a .900 save percentage.
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