23 Intently Staring Goalies
by lsefton on 04/07/12 at 05:25 PM ET
We’re seeing more than the usual share of backups and a mix of kids ad oldsters from the AHL as the season winds down. Some teams are slotted in and want to give their #1 a rest. And some, well because they don’t have a choice.
The Washington Capitals fall into the latter category, and the big arrow stops on… Dany Sabourin!
From the Washington Post via Jeremy Long at AP:
In an unsurprising move given the injuries to both Tomas Vokoun and Michal Neuvirth, the Capitals have recalled Dany Sabourin from the AHL’s Hershey Bears and he will join the team in New York for Saturday’s game against the Rangers.
The recall has not yet been formally announced by the Capitals, but Sabourin confirmed he had been summoned by Washington, according to tweets from Tim Leone of The Patriot News this evening.
“I’m going for the game against New York tomorrow,” Sabourin told Leone following Hershey’s 4-2 loss to Wilkes-Barre Friday night. “I’m coming back on Sunday and we’ll see after.”
Sabourin, 31, a journeyman netminder who hasn’t appeared in an NHL game since 2009 with Pittsburgh, will presumably back up Braden Holtby against the New York Rangers on Saturday.
The Boston Bruins brought up Anton Khudobin to start against the Ottawa Senators, and he delivered with 44 stops in a 3-1 win over the Senators. Khudobin, unlike Turco, is available for playoff duty, just in case Tuukka Rask hasn’t completely healed from his abdominal injury.
Khudobin started out in the Khazahk system, but finished his junior level play in Russia, where he also played for the Russian National Junior team. He was drafted into the Minnesota system, and came over the Boston in a trade last season. Style-wise, you can see some influence from Evgeni Nabokov—Khudobin plays with a narrower split than what’s usually seen in butterfly goalies. However, at somewhere between 5ft 10 and 5 ft 11, playing with a narrower split makes the most of his height. It would be even better if he had Nabokov’s glove placement—for some reason goalies from that “school” have a tendency to have their gloves wander towards their midsection, instead of staying at their side.
More on Khudobin from Fluto Shinzawa at the Boston Globe:
On Tuesday, Anton Khudobin stepped onto TD Garden ice for the first time this season as a full-fledged Bruin, serving as Marty Turco’s backup. Had luck gone Khudobin’s way last month, he would have made his 2011-12 season debut far sooner.
On March 3, Tuukka Rask suffered a lower abdomen/groin strain. As Providence’s No. 1 goalie, Khudobin should have been recalled immediately to back up Tim Thomas and see some NHL action. But on Feb. 25, Khudobin suffered an injury of his own.
During a game against Bridgeport, Khudobin injured his wrist while trying to fling away a puck. Instead of being promoted to Boston, Khudobin was shelved for nearly a month. Khudobin didn’t play again until March 23 against Manchester.
“Of course. I’ve been waiting for this call,” said Khudobin when asked if he were frustrated with the timing of his injury. “I’m really happy to be here. I just was getting ready there. I was getting practice and games. Playing good and playing well.”
Khudobin served as the No. 3 goalie during last year’s playoff run. When the Bruins opted to rest Thomas, Khudobin stepped in to be a go-to practice goalie.
And in some places, we’re already looking to next season. The Anaheim Ducks are about to sign Viktor Fasth. From the OC Register:
Fasth, 29, played in 48 games for AIK during the regular season and had 23 wins, 21 losses, a 2.12 goals-against average along with a .931 save percentage. AIK is set to play Game 7 of the Elitserien semifinals against Skelleftea on Saturday.
General Manager Bob Murray scouted Fasth in February and is scheduled to head to Europe next week. Fasth’s deal would likely be a one-way in nature and could possibly become the Ducks’ backup goalie for next season.
At 30, Fasth is no longer a prospect, but his level of play should give him a good shot at being Hiller’s backup next season. The Ducks have had a lot of “Hiller, hold your breath, and hope” this season, and could use a seasoned backup, especially one who could take on the load if needed.
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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!