23 Intently Staring Goalies
by lsefton on 03/06/12 at 02:19 PM ET
The Boston Bruins, looking at a great big empty where Tuukka Rask used to be, signed Marty Turco to play for the rest of the season.
Turco, who had been playing for EC Red Bull Salzburg (which maks you wonder if they have a special rate for NHL goalies—Arturs Irbe finished his career with Red Bull) while waiting for a call from an NHL franchise. Now he gets to wait a bit longer while he goes through waivers.
Wherever Turco lands, I’m looking forward to watching attacking players being confounded by a goalie who handles the puck and sets up plays. We’re not seeing a lot of that these days.
But, could some other franchise decide to stick it to the Bruins and take Turco? Both Toronto and Ottawa keep showing up in the chatter, although that may say more about reflectors than anything else. Tampa pops up every once in awhile as well.
This is a different situation that what happened with Nabokov last season. The Red Wings signed Nabokov well before the trading deadline, and Nabokov has a little more gas left in the tank than Turco. Nabokov, if he had stayed with the Red Wings, could have played the rest of the season, and into the playoffs. Turco would only be available to whatever team claimed him for the rest of the regular season, and then he’s either signing autographs in the stands, or making tee times. Turco’s a six-week rental, with a “we’ll think fondly of you” thrown in. He might be able to catch the eye of another team, but he’ll be moving on, one way or another, after the season is over.
So, whoever is interested in Turco has to be looking for someone for an end of season fill-in role, and/or has to be willing to have Turco take up a roster spot to sit on the bench in the stands. How many teams on the bubble would be willing to do that? Those GMs would be doing some serious dice rolling, especially if they sent one of their current goaltenders down to the AHL to make room.
While there are times I’m tempted to think that some GMs aren’t using their brains to think, this is a situation where a GM should think things through before pulling the waiver grab trigger.
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About 23 Intently Staring Goalies
23 Intently Staring Goalies comes from the 23 close-up photos of goalies that used to line the walls of my office.
On the good side, it kept down interruptions, but it also made sure I had to leave my trash outside my door if I wanted it picked up.
I've been watching and analyzing goaltenders for going on 40 years. Some of that was spent drawing goalies on my grade 8 math homework. Then it was taking my card decks and printouts to Indianapolis Racer games. Luckily, the Internet took off, and by 1991 I was half of the duo that would ultimately become the Plaidworks hockey mailing lists. I wrote "Handicapping the Goalies' for the San Jose Sharks mailing list, and took a lot of photos of goalies in action. I have around 5000 slides of mostly goaltenders in action from 1989 through 2001 from the WHL, IHL and NHL. Since I've gone digital, I've added about 10,000 more images to the library. During summers and when the league went dark, I was reading through multiple SF By area news papers, tracking ice hockey from the 1917 recreational leagues up through the California Seals.
We'll be talking about goalies and goaltending. We'll talk about whats going on now, who's in the system, and when the doldrums hit, I'll haul something out of the big bag of history, or something from the photo archives. We'll talk about who's hot and why, and who's not and what they can do to get back on track. We'll take a look at the trends in scouting goalies, and why a style may work for one team but not another. I'll battle with my dictation software to get it to understand Bryzgalov and Bobrovsky.
It should be interesting--hope you want to come along for the ride!