NHL Preview: Goaltending Issues across the league


NHL Season Preview

During the next week we’ll be previewing some pressing issues going into the NHL season and previewing the coming season. Today we will be focusing on goalies.

Boston

This one might come as a surprise but the Bruins have no stability in the back up goalie position. It appears like a battle between Chad Johnson and Niklas Svedberg. Svedberg had an outstanding season in the American Hockey League last season while Chad Johnson played for the Connecticut Whale (Now the Hartford Wolf Pack) in the Rangers system.

I think Johnson will win the battle but I think only because Svedberg could be molded into a very good goalie, which could be used as trade bait in the future.

The Bruins could be in trouble if Rask is injured or struggles this season, they have no experience behind Rask so this could be do or die for the Bruins.

Calgary

This season is looking like a down year for the Flames, they’ll be riding Kari Ramo this season according to reports after the not so surprising announcement of Mikka Kiprusoff’s retirement. The Flames however do have a goalie in the waiting named Leland Irving who is expected to play in the American league this season. Backing up Ramo or even contending for the starting job is Joey MacDonald.

The only good news is that this appears to be a re-build for the Flames this season and possibly next so there it no need to rush Leland Irving in this case. Which is why I expect him to be in the AHL playing for the Abbotsford Heat.

Pittsburgh

The Penguins are now forced to go with Marc-Andre Fleury after the unexpected injury to Tomas Vokoun who is dealing with a blood clot in his pelvis. Backing up Fleury is likely minor league goalie from the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins Jeff Zatkoff.

The biggest problem for the Penguins could be the confidence of Marc-Andre Fleury who has had two straight bad playoffs. Fleury is and should be the Penguins future goalie, but should his issues in the playoffs resume, does that mean the Penguins face an issue in the one position that seemed like it should be stable for the foreseeable future? Only time will tell, but the Penguins do have to be concerned internally.

Vancouver

The Canucks had their hands forced in this situation. They wanted to hang on to Cory Schneider but once they realized that Roberto Luongo was worth very little on the trade market with his bloated contract. They traded Cory Schneider to the Devils for a 1st round draft pick which ended up being Bo Horvat.

The Canucks do not appear to have a suitable replacement in place should Luongo struggle this season. I mean, would anyone feel good if Eddie Lack had to start because Luongo struggled? I can’t say I would if I was a Canucks fan.

In fact, I can see a major move by the Canucks should they consider Luongo not suitable to start for them because of performance. There is a lot riding on this season for Luongo and the Canucks moving forward.

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Posted on September 24, 2013, in All Sports, Hockey, National Hockey League and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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