Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Is Ottawa’s Goaltending Good Enough?

from Travis Yost of TSN,

Ottawa is in a fascinating transition period right now. Ownership and the front office has persistently guided to the fan base that a contending team is here, and yet despite some impressive prospect development over the last couple of seasons, we are still talking about a club that finished 23rd in the NHL last season. The Senators again opted to defer spending in free agency, though some of that money is surely carved out for upcoming extensions to the likes of Brady Tkachuk and Drake Batherson. Long story short: Ottawa is doubling down on the core of young players it has amassed.

Regardless of your confidence in Ottawa’s rebuild, one thing is certain: the team is betting just as much on a Matt MurrayAnton Forsberg, and (restricted free agent) Filip Gustavsson triumvirate to deliver next year. Nothing can devastate a young team like poor goaltending, and unfortunately the Senators fought through a lot of that last season. Consider last year’s tandem.

 

On the positive side of the ledger: prospect Filip Gustavsson had a great NHL debut over a nine-game stretch last season, erasing some of the stop rate concerns the club was seeing with their AHL affiliate in Belleville. Entering his ‘age-23’ season and with the loss of Joey Daccord to Seattle, the opportunity is there for Gustavsson to earn a bunch of starts.

That opportunity may present itself even faster if Matt Murray’s production sustains for another year. The Senators made a sizable bet on Murray a season ago, signing him to a $25 million deal and contractually entrenching him into a starter role. Ottawa was also trying to buy low on a player whose numbers sank in a contract season.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

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.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com