from Bob Duff of Detroit Hockey Now,
Saturday, when the Wings play host to the Montreal Canadiens, it’s guaranteed for the eighth successive game that they won’t be facing the No. 1 goaltender of their opponents.
Now, in this instance, circumstances are dictating that it’s likely that Montreal backup Jake Allen will be in the net. He’s been filling the void between the pipes for the Habs since Carey Price voluntarily entered the NHL’s player assistance program.
Similarly, Dustin Tokarski started for Buffalo against Detroit because Sabres’ No. 1 puckstopper Craig Anderson was injured. On the other hand, five other times, teams had made the choice to start their backup when facing the Wings....
There are other reasons why teams will start a backup. A team could be playing back-to-back games. Injuries, of course, can always be a factor.
However, when a team is consistently seeing steady diet of second-stringers, it’s generally because the opposition isn’t considering them to be a serious threat.
Based on the numbers, those teams may have a point. In these past seven games against backup goalies, the Red Wings are 3-4.