Goaltending In A Strike Shortened Season
With a 48 to 50 game schedule on deck, teams have to hit the ground running. There's no time to waste, as before you know it, the playoffs will arrive. While it's always a big factor when analyzing the strength of a club, having solid goaltending is more important than ever in a strike shortened season.
So with that in mind, let's take a look at three team's which could have a distinct advantage early, and three which could be in serious trouble:
Pittsburgh Penguins: Marc-Andre Fleury. Fleury backstopped a team which played most of its season without its best player, racking up 42 wins. He'd finish with 67 GP, going 42-17-4 with a 2.36 GAA and .913 save %.
Detroit Redwings: Jimmy Howard. The Wings are down a few pieces, but Howard posted a career best 2.13 GAA last year, playing in one of the toughest divisions in the league. He'd finished with 57 GP, going 35-17-4 with a 2.13 GAA and a .920 save %.
New York Rangers: Henrik Lundqvist. Lundqvist won the Vezina last year, and has what many consider to be the best team in hockey playing in front of him. He'd finish with 62 GP, going 39-18-5 with a 1.97 GAA and .930 save %.
Chicago Blackhawks: Corey Crawford. Once dubbed the "goaltender of the future" by the club, there is a lot of second guessing going on right now in Chicago. Crawford was shaky at best last season, and had a brutal postseason performance. He'd finish with 57 GP, going 30-17-7 with a 2.72 GAA and 9.02 save %.
Philadelphia Flyers: Ilya Brzgalov. Signed a huge contract last year, and did not impress his rabid fan-base. He'll be on a short leash if he doesn't perform out of the gates, and a mid-season change in the strike shortened season can not be considered a desirable move. He'd finish with 59 GP, going 33-16-7 with a 2.48 GAA and a .909 save %.
Toronto Maple Leafs: James Reimer. It's easy to pick on perennial cellar dwellers, so I will. Reimer showed promise early in his career, but suffered a head injury last year, and was never the same after. He'd finish with 35 GP, going 14-14-4 with a 3.10 GAA and .900 save %. (this of course could change if Toronto does in fact acquire Roberto Luongo).
And two more teams to keep your eyes on:
Vancouver Canucks: Cory Schneider. Schneider has been brilliant in his backup role to All-Star Roberto Luongo, but is now the No. 1. It's one thing to dominate off the bench, and it's entirely another to do so as the "main guy" in a market like Vancouver. He'd finish with 33 GP, going 20-8-1 with a 1.96 GAA and .937 save %.
LA Kings: Jonathan Quick. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the defending Stanley Cup Champion, and Conn Smythe Trophy Winner in this article. Quick would prove to be the difference in the playoffs, posting a 1.41 GAA and .946 save %. After signing a 10-year, $58 million contract extension, LA will look to duplicate its success from a year ago.
And in case you were wondering, here are the current odds for each team to win the Stanley Cup in the 2012/13 season:
Western Conference Eastern Conference
Chicago +1050 New Jersey +2000
Columbus +10000 New York Isles +6000
Detroit +1300 New York Rangers +800
Nashville +2000 Philadelphia +1150
St. Louis +1250 Pittsburgh +600
Calgary +4500 Boston +1200
Colorado +4000 Buffalo +2500
Edmonton +3500 Montreal +5500
Minnesota +1400 Ottawa +3500
Vancouver +800 Toronto +4500
Anaheim +3000 Carolina +2500
Dallas +4000 Florida +3500
Los Angeles +1000 Tampa Bay +2200
Phoenix +3000 Washington +2150
San Jose +1500 Winnipeg +5000
- LA Dodgers
- Larry Ness
- June 30, 2015 - 9:40 PM
- Offered at:
- williamhill @ -115 LA Dodgers
I want NO part of De La Rosa against LA (12.50 ERA in two tries TY) or an Arizona team which LA has beaten 23 of the L30 meetings...
My free play is on the LA Dodgers at 9;40 ET.
The Dodgers scored six runs on 10 hits Monday night but Arizona overcame deficits of 4-0 and 6-4 to win 10-6. LA had been 26-1 when scoring at least six runs. LA had allowed just 11 runs during the first seven games of its 10-game road trip but the D'backs almost equaled that total in the opener of a three-game set Monday, as Arizona pushed across 10 runs over its final four at-bats in the 10-6 victory, halting a stretch of SEVEN straight losses to the Dodgers.
The teams are back at it tonight, as Carlos Frias (5-5, 4.31 ERA) squares off against Rubby De La Rosa (6-3, 4.69 ERA). De La Rosa has faced off with all four of the Arizona's divisional opponents in his last four outings. He's had no problems with San Francisco, San Diego and Colorado from June 14-25, going 2-0 with a 0.82 ERA in that span. Opposing batters hit just .222 over those three contests with a .547 OPS and De La Rosa walked only one in seven innings while allowing one run Thursday in a 6-4 loss at Colorado.
However, back on June 8, De La Rosa (a former Dodger) got 'rocked' in Chavez Ravine, allowing 10 hits, one walk and nine ERs is just five innings of a 9-3 loss to the Dodgers. It was reminiscent of his May 1 start in LA, when he allowed three hits, five walks and five ERs over five innings on an 8-0 loss to the Dodgers. That's 10 IP, 13 hits allowed, four walks and 14 ERs for a 12.60 ERA against his former team in two meetings this year!
I want NO part of De La Rosa here or for that matter the D'backs, as prior to last night, the Dodgers had won SEVEN straight and 23 of their previous 29 against Arizona. Frias had gone 0-3 during a four-start stretch before defeating the Chicago Cubs in his last outings, when he pitched five shutout innings against Chicago and allowed seven hits and three walks to land his second victory (4-0) in his last nine starts.
Frias pitched opposite De La Rosa in the May 1 meeting and also took down Arizona on June 9, 3-1. His 'line' is 12 IP, with one ER allowed for an 0.75 ERA In the two starts vs the D'backs here in 2015. A concern here is with Frias' endurance, as he has gone more than six innings in only THREE of 11 starts this season and has not reached 90 pitches in any of his last four appearances. That could become a problem considering LA's fatigued bullpen, as SIX Dodgers relievers combined for 107 pitches and allowed all 10 runs Monday after Mike Bolsinger exited after four innings with flu-like symptoms.
That said, I repeat, I want NO part of De La Rosa against LA or an Arizona team which LA has beaten 23 of the last 30 meetings!
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