Friday, October 24, 2008

Never Too Early For Controversy

While we're not ten games into the new season, you can bet that the wheels are starting to turn on goaltending controversies around the league. Off the top of my head, three teams are coming to mind when it comes to who's going to start over who in net on any given night.

We'll start with the Ottawa Senators, and I know what you're thinking "I thought this was over when Ray Emery went to Russia." Well, you thought wrong. Coach Craig Hartsburg and his staff are growing tired of Martin Gerber's subpar performances and are letting Alex Auld get a look this weekend. For some reason, Gerber isn't successful unless there's no pressure on him. He worked out as a back-up in limited showings and worked out in Carolina when there was no pressure-- then the playoffs hit. He moved to Ottawa and had his ups and downs, but the downs are mostly more notable. Alex Auld has played well for the Sens in his limited showing, but will he have enough to be a starter or even in a goalie-by-committee state?? Only time will tell.

Another place where controversy could reign is the Windy City, where waiver bait Nikolai Khabibulin has been on top of his game in his past few appearances, which not only makes him look good to other teams who may be interested in him, but also make the Hawks brass look a little silly when it comes to the thought of getting rid of him. All the while, the new guy Cristobal Huet hasn't looked bad, but hasn't looked overly stellar either. For the amount each of these guys make, you'd expect nothing but the best from them, but you know as well as I that it's never the case when it comes to money and performance.

One developing situation could be in Washington, where Jose Theodore's start with the Capitals hasn't been as rosy as many would have hoped. Brent Johnson has played relatively well in terms of filling in, but as a whole-- the Caps could be stuck with two mediorce goaltenders, which will probably be their downfall in the end. Of course, you could always wonder what could have happened if Huet was re-signed but look at it like it is....don't know if that would have helped matters at all or not.

Another problem that could arise is in Edmonton, where they have three goaltenders rostered and nowhere to put them. While Mathieu Garon seems to be the consenus #1, Dwayne Roloson and Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers are battling for the back-up spot. However, they can't risk sending Drouin-Deslauries down to the minors because that exposes him to the waiver wire, where odds are he'll get picked off from there.

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