Sunday, June 10, 2007

The Goalies

The old saying in baseball is that you can never have enough pitching. Its the same for goaltending in the NHL. There no such thing as too many.

Unless you have a workhorse like Martin Broduer, your "backup" goalie is likely going to play in a significant number of games.

So it seems a good thing that Bruins appear to have a fairly deep reserve of goalies in
Tim Thomas, Hannu Toivonen, and Tuukka Rask as well as Joey McDonald, and Jordan Sigalet.

Unfortunately those four are questionalble in terms of quality, experience and durability.

As far as quality goes the, Tim Thomas has been average, or just slightly above it in his two years in the NHL. A 2.77 GAA and a .917 S% in 38 games in 05-06 and a 3.13GAA and .905S% in 66 games last year. These aren't bad numbers, but are not good enough for him to be the number one goalie on any contending team. And he certainly won't be leading this team to sucess anytime soon. Despite only two years in the NHL, Timmy is not an up and comer, he's 34, he is not going to get better and is only poised to decline with age.

However, I believe, given his hot streaks, he could be decent trade bait and would definately be worth keeping around as a nice backup.

Also, despite his aforemention limited NHL experience, he actually is the most seasoned goalie here.

Toivenen has the next most experience, with just 38 games under his belt in two years, partly due to injuries. Hannu was superb in the AHL, playing in 90 games in two years, compiling save percentages of .921 and .932 and goals against averages of 2.30 and 2.05. He continued his great play in 20 NHL games in 05-06, getting a .914 S% and 2.63 GAA. He struggled the following year before going down with a knee injury and eventually being left to sort out his difficulties in Providence.

Given his youth (23 yrs old), history (AHL stats above) and pedigree (1st round pick) I have no doubts in his ability to recover and become the franchise goalie that everyone had envisioned.

Tukka Rask is by far the least experienced. He has never played an NHL game. Or an AHL game. In fact, I'm not sure he's ever even set foot in North America. In fact, the only professional experience he has comes from 34 games in the Finnish Elite League, where he did excell, with a GAA of 2.09 and S% of .926. Given his inexperience, no one should expect him to be anywhere but Providence this season. But he is consider by many to be the best goaltending prospect in the game, so the future looks bright.

McDonald and Sigalet don't have as much as experience as Hannu or Timmy, but they have more than Rask. McDonald has been around the AHL enough to be considered at least a minor league vet and Sigalet has been in Providence for about a season in addition to his college experience. Neither one of these guys are as good as Thomas or Toivonen, and may not be better than Rask right now. Niether one seems to have much in the way upside, but both could maybe sneek in as a backup goalie somewhere. But they would be a true a backup and can only be trusted for a handful games.

So, it appears that the Bruins would go into camp with Thomas and Hannu battling it out. Unless of course the Bruins sign a free agent goaltender...which is a topic for another time

5 comments:

The Duckman Says said...

A little more complicated

Thomas (NHL)
Toivonen (NHL)
MacDonald (NHL) (RFA)
Finley (AHL) (RFA) (former 1st rounder)
Suave (AHL) (RFA)
Sigalet (AHL)
Brown (ECHL)
Rask (---)

The Bruins have 8 goalies. I am sure that some of them would love to get paid without playing. its not going to happen. The goalie problem goes well past Tim Thomas and his flop. Where are the Bruins going to put them all?

Justin said...

i realized I left some out, but that post was long enough as it is. And I only wanted to really talk about the significant guys. Finley, Suave and Brown all fall into the maybe backup role with Sigalet and Macdonald. They all seem pretty interchangable,all are bit short on experience, youth and upside...as well as talent to be part of the future plans.

But you never know, someone could come out of no where and breakout.

shit son, thats what Thomas did

The Duckman Says said...

Thomas didnt break out. It was more like everyone in front of him fell apart.

Finley has shown that he can play some good hockey. So has Brown and Sigalet. If anything, I hope the season starts

Thomas (NHL)
Toivonen (NHL)
Finley (AHL)
Sigalet (AHL)
Brown (ECHL)
Rask (ECHL)

MacDonald and Suave not resigned.

Let's see what happens during camp. Yes, Brown might show everyone up and get the starting spot in Providence (not likely, but who knows).

Justin said...

Well, lets just say that the Bruins realize they have a backlog (because of all the injuries last year) and let the free agents go.

That solves the problem and the depth chart would look like this:

Thomas (NHL)
Toivonen (NHL)
Sigalet (AHL)
Brown(AHL)

Now they could re-sign one of their free agents and keep Brown in the ECHL and put that guy in the AHL. Or Rask might come to America and be in the AHL. Thats what Hannu did, two years and 30 games in the Fin Elite League and then he came to Providence for another 2.

The Duckman Says said...

From what I am seeing, the Bruins will not get anything from giving up the RFA's (draft picks ext.) Although, I have yet to find a current website that explains free agency numbers. More so, atleast anything post lockout.