Top Ten Goalie Questions for 2009-10 Season

Anderson knows he needs to get down to business in Colorado if he wants to prove he's a true number one.

Anderson knows he needs to get down to business in Colorado if he wants to prove he's a true number one.

10.  Is Craig Anderson ready for prime time?  He showed he could be the go-to guy when Tomas Vokun was hurt last year in Florida and now he gets the chance to prove it in Colorado.  But Peter Budaj is ready to show he can still be the guy if Anderson falters. Continue reading

To Russia With… Emery and Dubielewicz

Seems like the response from NHL GM’s to J.P. Barry, Ray Emery’s agent, was a resounding “no thank you” so Emery is headed to the wild wild west that is Russia’s Continental Hockey League.  In my opinion it may have been the smartest move Emery could have made at this point in his career.

Forget for a moment the combination of a tax-free salary plus the buy-out money from the Senators will actually earn Emery more than he would have made in the NHL; his image needs rehabilitation that money can’t buy.  Emery is was one of the best young goalies in the NHL but clearly he was viewed as damaged goods and bad for team unity.  Whether these labels were accurate or not (Ottawa is the spin capital of Canada) doesn’t really matter, Emery should now be following the old expression “out of sight is out of mind”. 

The best thing he can do is get his game back together (writers who say he needs to get his life back together are making a leap of opinion) and stay out of the headlines… or at least headlines that aren’t written in Cyrillic.  One good season in with Atlant Mytishchi (just outside Moscow) without any news about missing practice or fighting with teammates and Barry’s phone will start to ring again.  But this time he’ll recognize the area code as one from an NHL city.

Not only will Emery face shots from Jaromir Jagr in Russia he’ll also be able to look down the ice to see fellow former NHL goale Wade Dubielewicz tending goal for AK Kazan (sister city to College Station TX, home of Texas A&M University… Wikipedia is awesome).  Dubliewicz’s agent called it “one of those opportunities where it seemed like my client couldn’t refuse it”.  Interpretation:  more money, tax-free, and he doesn’t have to watch Rick DiPietro from the Islanders’ bench.  Good on Dubie… he’s worked hard for the Islanders while toiling in the minors and knew his role on Long Island would never develop beyond that of “DiPietro’s backup”.  Take the rubles and run.

Goodbye or Au Revoir to Emery and Cloutier?

Surprising absolutely no one in the hockey world, Ray Emery and Dan Cloutier were placed on waivers today by the Ottawa Senators and LA Kings, respectively.  If the goalies are not picked up then each team can buyout the remainder of their contracts, making them unrestricted free agents.

Sens GM Bryan Murray was generous in disminssing Emery by saying that one day he will get his game turned around and be a good goalie for someone.  Generous, but still a final slap to Emery after a very unsuccesful and turmoil-filled year for Emery, or as he put it himself “the worst year I’ve had – on and off the ice – it just wasn’t enjoyable at all. I learned a lot of things but that’s about it – not too many positives.”  Continue reading

Any Penneys Lying Around?

Remember John Druce? During the 1990 Stanley Cup playoffs he scored 14 goals in 16 games as the Capitals made it all the way to the conference finals (where they were swept by the B’s). Druce came off the bench, where he spent most of the regular season as a fourth liner collecting eight goals, to become the biggest steal in playoff pool history. I don’t know how or why my buddy Spud picked him in our pool but he sure let us know how smart he was when Druce delivered him the winner’s pot in our pool.

steve_penney1.jpg

Who will be this year’s John Druce and will he be a goalie? In the ’83-’84 regular season Steve Penney played in (and lost) four games for the Canadiens. Rick Wamsley and Richard Sevigny split the crease that season and the Habs struggled to the last seed in the Wales Conference. Penney took over in the first round against the first place Bruins and led the Candiens to a three game sweep. Penney went on to win nine games in the ’84 playoffs as the Habs lost in the conference final to the defending Cup champion Islanders. My memory of those playoffs was the organist at the Forum playing “Pennies from Heaven” as their new hero led the march against their longtime rivals from Boston and their new provincial rival, les Nordiques. Continue reading

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