Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Nicholas Lorenzi on 08/10/11 at 07:36 PM ET
The past few days the news of Marty Turco still being available has been directed toward Columbus. Have we no faith in our once amazing young Steve Mason? Well, no. This has been the backdoor flung open for the past couple seasons. The famed season he had with 33 wins in 61 games has turned into 44 wins in 112 games. Now let’s just say by some stroke of luck the hockey gods gift the Jackets with another playoff run. Considering this, like every team, we have to look to our goaltending to get us to the cup.
At this very moment Columbus has two goaltenders that never experienced a winning playoff game. You know, Steve isn’t ready and probably still has nightmares about the 17 goals that got by him from Detroit in the first ever playoff appearance of the Blue Jackets. Hell, newly acquired Mark Dekanich hasn’t ever had the chance. The one and only time he got the opportunity to play in an official NHL game was as a backup in Nashville. Starting goaltender Pekka Rinne was pulled after 3 goals went past him courtesy of the L.A. Kings and Mark got his chance. Maybe it was the excitement or the fact that he was stepping into the highest level contest of ice hockey, but he collected 3 goals in his net after 25 shots ending in a 6-1 loss.
As far as the Jacket’s go everything that you could think of is covered. Allow me to break down the grocery list from this off season:
- Jeff Carter, a Center with a career high of 84 points
A Fill-in for an injured Huselius-CHECK
- Vaclav “Vinny” Prospal, a Left Wing with a career high of 80 points
Power Play strong Defenseman- CHECK
- James Wisniewski, a Defenseman with a career high of 30 points and 16 power play points (in 43 games)
A reliable Goaltender to back up Steve Mason-
- Mark Dekanich, a Right handed Goaltender with a career high of 27 wins and 16 losses…in the AHL
- Curtis Sanford, a Right handed Goaltender with a career high of 23 wins and 11 losses in the AHL but has seen action in the NHL 5 times with the Blues and Canucks with a combined record of 37 wins and 48 losses.
Now we have a problem and I have a bone to pick with Scott Howson. What were you thinking when you decided to spend money on players that you hoped would succeed? These aren’t your kids, and I hope you’re not doing someone a favor. We are already taking a chance with our young goaltender starting for the past 3 seasons and look where that has gotten us.
Let’s go back to thinking we’re in the playoffs. Let’s dream that after the 2011-2012 season we made it. Mason bombs the first game, we hold our breath. Again it happens. Oh my, what to do? Put in Dekanich? Well, no, let’s give Mason another chance. Same story, we’re out. Why not use the money left to pick up a goaltender that has playoff experience like the available, over the hill Turco? His playoff runs are frequent although he hasn’t gotten his name on the Cup yet. He knows the waters and can teach young Mason to swim. What in God’s name is stopping Howson from making this deal?
35 year old Marty Turco has proven himself in the past and now it’s time to let him rest as a backup and give Mason pointers on how to handle the puck as well as he can. You get what you wanted with him. He isn’t left handed. That’s why you traded Garon in hopes it would improve our shootout attempts on a goalie that catches with his left after having the team practice on 2 right catching keepers. He’s got the numbers, even last year he was better than Mason’s goals against average by a hair and exceeded his percentage of wins and losses. He’s Blue Jacket material and perfect for our purposes. I don’t care how old he is after seeing that Roloson, at 41, was resigned.
I can’t imagine how badly Turco wants to play another season, and if it works out he might be on for a few more. We have room for him to play with $7,000,000 still hanging in the air. So, please Scottie, do Columbus a favor and make the right choice. We’re as desperate as Turco right now.
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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.
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