The Goalie Competition: Is it Costing the Team Wins?

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After a busy off-season for the Red Wings, it appears that some of the moves they made may be hurting them more than helping.

The Detroit Red Wings went into the season with two very talented goalies. Goalie number one, based upon longevity with the club, was Alex Nedeljkovic.

Alex Nedeljkovic showed a lot of promise at the end of last season. He seemed like he was finally finding a rhythm in net and was getting more and more comfortable. In fact, he even had a shutout in his last game of the season. However, inconsistency throughout the season forced the organization’s hand, and so they went out of the box to find other options. And another option they got.

During the second day of the NHL draft, the Red Wings traded for St. Louis Blues goalie, Ville Husso. Which was presumed to be a move that gave them their starting goalie for the season and moving forward. Additionally, the acquisition allowed the Red Wings to have a very good option to compete alongside Nedeljkovic for the starting goalie nod. But the question that we now need to ask given the fact we are two weeks into the season is: Is the goalie competition costing the team wins?

Looking at the current standings in the Atlantic division, the Red Wings currently sit sixth. The only two teams worse than the Red Wings are the Maple Leafs and the Senators. Which, given how those two teams have played this season, it’s makes the Red Wings look that much worse. And I know it’s hard to put it all on the team, so I’m not going too, I think the goaltending is the root of the problem currently.

When looking at the Red Wings games since the Los Angeles Kings game on October 17th, it’s clear there is a issue that needs to be fixed. Since the LA Kings game, the Red Wings have a record of 2-5. That’s without overtime loses. In this article I want to focus on the idea of wins and loses. Therefore, a majority of this article is going to be written in a metaphorical sense- pretty black and white.

In those past seven games the Red Wings have played in, they are being outscored 20-30. So they’ve given up 10 more goals than they have scored in the past seven games. Additionally, if you do the math, you’ll notice that they are giving up 4.3 goals per game. Which isn’t good.

There is a very common phrase used in hockey that goes a little something like this “You can’t win if you don’t score”. And they aren’t wrong. But there’s more to it than that. The truth of the matter is, you can’t win if you don’t stop shots. And in this case, our goalies are letting in a good majority of shots. Now, because I know this sounds rather harsh on the goalies I will cut them some slack and say that the defense isn’t helping much. But on the other hand, their job is literally to stop shots from going into the net, and right now they are doing that about 4.5 times a game on average.

If the Red Wings truly want to compete, they need to find a way to keep the opposition from finding good lanes to shoot because right now, they won’t be able to find ways to stay competitive at this rate.

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