23 Intently Staring Goalies
by lsefton on 03/04/12 at 06:53 PM ET
The Senators are in a situation that usually isn’t seen at this point of the season—they have more goalies than they can reasonably use. Usually when this happens, the happy GM starts filling his post-season schedule with “lunch, 18 holes, and trade talk” with the less fortunate.
Ottawa, however, made the trade to as much fill in the gaps behind Craig Anderson, or to provide some insurance for Craig Anderson, who has had a history of being as streaky as a slab of bacon. The “problem”? Lehner has been playing such a solid game that they don’t want to swap in Auld (or bring up Bishop from Binghamton), and take the chance of breaking his rhythm.
And even though it seems like a problem most GMs woud love to have, Bryan Murray will have to figure out how to juggle three and maybe four goalies in two slots, giving Lehner and Bishop enough NHL experience to be able to make the best decision as how to handle his goalie corps come the off-season.
Ken Warren from the National Post views the overflowing goalie cup in Ottawa:
Ottawa Senators general manager Bryan Murray couldn’t help but muse about his bittersweet goaltending issue as he watched the team practice Saturday before leaving for its Sunday evening game against the Florida Panthers.
With Craig Anderson sidelined indefinitely because of a lacerated finger on his right hand, Robin Lehner has been spectacular as a substitute. Friday’s 2-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks would have been a blowout defeat without Lehner.
The 20-year-old Swede acknowledges that the hype surrounding him has been over the top, but he has certainly looked like a quality NHL netminder while starting the past three Senators games and has earned his share of accolades.
Murray’s dilemma is that he’s also anxious to recall Ben Bishop and give him a shot at the National Hockey League level. Since joining Binghamton of the American Hockey League after being acquired from the St. Louis Blues last Sunday, Bishop has also been superb, posting 41 saves each in consecutive victories, including Friday’s 5-2 decision against the Syracuse Crunch.
“He’s the real deal,” Binghamton coach Kurt Kleinendorst told the Binghamton Press & Sun Bulletin. “There’s just something that goes with a goaltender like Ben that just makes your team better. They feel secure. I think they know they can make a mistake and he’s forgiving. I don’t say that disrespectfully to Mike (McKenna) or Robin. There’s just something about having a goalie like Ben back there that brings out the best in your group.”
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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!