Over the last few years, we've seen a lot of two-headed monsters in the nets of NHL teams. We've seen Roloson and Fernandez, Miller and Biron, Giguere and Bryz, Nabokov and Toskala, Vokoun and Mason, and the list goes on...
Roloson and Fernandez were the first to split, and just a few months ago the Miller/Biron monster was broken apart. This summer, it appears we'll lose a few more, but in these cases, how do you decide which one to keep.
We start in Anaheim, where Giguere is set to become unrestricted at season's end. Giguere has done so much for this franchise over the past five years, in my opinion it would be a no-brainer to bring this guy back, but all talk has Anaheim going with Bryz and letting Giggy walk. Lets compare the two Anaheim goalies playoff stats, shall we
Giggy: 6 games played, 4-1, 1.42 GAA, .950 SV%, 0 SO
Bryz: 5 Games played, 3-1, 2.09 GAA, .929 SV%, 0 SO
Both goalies have amazing numbers, which is why its not fair to keep both of them, but clearly JS Giguere is the better goaltender. Yes, he's making more money, but I think it's worth it.
Next we go to Minnesota, where Backstrom is set to become an unrestricted free agent. Backstrom started all five Minnesota playoff games, which to me is a clear statement that he's their guy. How do you start Fernandez next year after you told him he wasn't good enough to play in last year's playoffs? Backstrom went 1-4 in the playoffs, but his GAA was only 2.22 and his SV% was .924. He's good enough to be a #1 goalie, and if Minnesota lets him walk, I think they've made a big mistake. If they can't trade Manny, then suck it up and keep both goalies. Letting Backstrom leave would be a serious negative for this franchise.
We head to Nashville, where there are some serious questions around what to do with their goaltending. Nashville decided to go with Vokoun in all five of their playoff games, and that didn't turn out well. Vokoun went 1-4 with a 2.96 GAA and a .902 SV%. I am confused as to why this team didn't turn to Chris Mason, who played most of the season in Nashville this season, while putting up amazing numbers. Mason had a better SV% and GAA during the season, and has been the better goalie over the past year. Once again, Money is the issue, with Vokoun making a lot more than Mason. If I'm Nashville, I find a taker for Vokoun, and move forward with Mason. This guy is the real deal.
Finally we head to San Jose, where their two headed monster seems to be working best. Both guys are under contract for next season, so this doesn't have to be resolved, but the rumours still swirl that San Jose would like to get rid of one of these guys. Nabokov has started all eight playoff games for the Sharks, going 6-2 with a 2.01 GAA and .922 SV%. Nabokov has been a great goalie for a long time now, and I think he's a permanent fixture in San Jose. With that said, I feel Toskala should be given a serious chance, and that would have to happen on another team. The 30 year old went 26-10 this season, with a GAA of 2.35 and SV% of .908, numbers which are good enough for a starting goaltender to have. Career, Toskala is 65-28 with a 2.35 GAA and Sv% of .914, very good numbers. Nabokov is the man for San Jose, but if I'm a team needing goaltending, I'm trying to find out how to get Toskala out of San Jose. He's cheap, he's young, and he's one hell of a goaltender.
I'd love to hear what you think on these goaltenders, who would you keep, and who would you let go? Which teams do you think would be interested in picking up one of the extra netminders? Email me at [email][email protected]
I've been digging for the last 24 hours on the Mats Sundin story, I'll post what I know in a few hours, stay tuned.
Just a point of clarification because I agree with your points about the Wild goalies. But Fernandez was (is still?) injured which is why he was unavailable for the playoffs. Harding backed up Backstrom and Manny was in the booth. In other words, it wasn't that they "chose" Nik over Manny, it was that Manny was not available.For the record, I would like the Wild to sign Nik and trade Manny.
It was my understanding that Fernandez could have played, but they didn't want to risk further injury with him. I could be wrong, thats just what I heard