How Detroit Red Wings would deal with a goaltending crisis

Detroit Free Press

Dealing with injuries is part of life in the NHL, but there is one position that makes coping way more difficult than others.

Over the weekend, news emerged that the Ottawa Senators had forward Artem Anisimov dress in goaltending gear after losing scheduled starter Anton Forsberg to injury during pregame warmups and losing scheduled backup Matt Murray less than five minutes into the second period. That would be the equivalent of the Wings losing Jonathan Bernier and Thomas Greiss.

Losing two NHL-tested goaltenders is somewhat alleviated this season by taxi squads, but only to a degree. For example, the Senators has Marcus Hogberg on the taxi squad, but after that, Anisimov was next on the depth chart.

WINGS STOCK WATCH: Both goalies finally playing well together

ANALYSIS: 19 thoughts on Steve Yzerman’s first two years running Red Wings

Wings coach Jeff Blashill joked Monday he might have to pencil himself onto the Wings’ depth chart behind Calvin Pickard and Kaden Fulcher or Kevin Boyle. Blashill played in goal for four seasons at Ferris State. Also on staff are Jeff Salajko and L.J. Scapace – who Blashill joked would be contenders to fill an opening.

“I would say it’s probably a close race between myself, LJ Scarpace, and Jeff Salajko, who is the worst goalie of the three,” Blashill said. “Jeff Salajko claims he’s got health reasons why he can’t put the pads on ever, yet he works out every day like crazy. I think an excuse, personally. So I think it would be kind of a battle between the three of us. If I don’t like the way the game is going, maybe I don’t want to be on the bench anymore, maybe I’d put the pads on and go from there.”

BETWEEN THE PIPES: Bernier makes 50 saves, but Stars win in OT, 2-1

Teams don’t have an emergency backup in the building (who could play for either team) because of the taxi squad. There has not been a situation this season where the Wings have had to look beyond the third spot on the depth chart.

“Who the next option would be, I guess we’d have to  look and see who’s available,” Blashill said. “I’d love to tell you we’re prepared for that scenario, but the reason we have a taxi squad goalie is generally for that guy to be able to go in.”

Contact Helene St. James at Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames. Read more on the Detroit Red Wings and sign up for our Red Wings newsletter. Her book, The Big 50: The Detroit Red Wings is available from AmazonBarnes & Noble and Triumph Books. Personalized copies available via her e-mail.

Articles You May Like

On Breaking NHL Logo History
Detroit Red Wings: Can goaltending depth be a key to 2023-24 success?
Detroit Red Wings set to open up training camp; here’s the details
Predicting the Outcomes for Red Wings’ Pending Free Agents
Detroit Red Wings: Is something brewing with the Artem Anisimov PTO?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *