If a coach is only as good as his goaltending, you can understand why so many bench bosses have been gulping Tums and stocking up on Grecian Formula lately. It's been an ugly couple of weeks for starting NHL netminders, with half a dozen munching popcorn in the pressbox rather than stopping pucks on the ice.
In some cases, teams are willing to ride it out and hope for the best.Others might not have that luxury.
In Pittsburgh, the Pens planned to take their chances with
Although Fleury, the first overall draft pick in 2003, had picked up his play of late, Sabourin's been the more consistent of the two through the early going. There was some thought the he could handle the transition to starter in the wake of Fleury's injury, but after watching Sabourin melt down against the Flyers on Tuesday, and fail to support a solid effort by his teammates on Thursday night against Ottawa, that plan may have been a bit ambitious. Little wonder that rumors are swirling that the Pens will turn to 40-year-old
Cujo, last spotted battling bravely behind a porous defense in Phoenix, is rumored to be part of the Canadian contingent headed to Switzerland next week for the Spengler Cup tournament. He might have to settle for Swiss Chalet the restaurant chain instead of Swiss Alps the mountain chain if the Pens come calling. A free agent, Joseph won't cost them an asset -- an important factor for a team that's young and still rebuilding -- and he has a better track record than Toronto's
Given the Penguins' struggle to match last season's scoring pace, and the disastrous loss of forward
In Vancouver, the Canucks are turning to St. Louis castoff
Fact is, there's no single player more responsible for his team's success than Luongo. When he struggled to find his game in October, Vancouver floundered, going 5-7. When he got his game back on track in November -- posting a stingy 1.57 GAA and a stout .940 save percentage -- the Canucks went on an 8-2-2 tear. With local wags calling it the best month of goaltending ever in Vancouver, it's obvious that there's no replacing Sweet Bobby Lu.
Luongo's status is day-to-day, but after watching an average performance by Sanford that was made to look worse by the foibles of his defenseman on Thursday night in San Jose, Bobby Lu may try to rush back into the lineup, perhaps as soon as next week's playoff reunion against Dallas.
In Boston, the Bruins learned on Wednesday that they're likely to be without Fernandez for the rest of the season. At this point, that qualifies as good news. The play of the former Minnesota stopper, acquired last summer to be the team's No. 1, brought to mind the regrettable
The capable play they've gotten from the Thomas-Auld duo suggests the Bruins will use the cap space cleared by putting Fernandez on long-term injured reserve to bring in something other than a netminder. Anaheim's
In Montreal, the Habs are hoping that Huet can return Saturday for a marquee matchup against the Leafs on
In St. Louis, Legace has confirmed that he'll need surgery after the season to repair cartilage loss in his right knee, but he was back in net Thursday night after missing five games. He looked sharp in a 1-0 loss to the Panthers, but given his history -- his 2006-07 season also was curtailed by knee problems --the Blues are one misstep away from relying on the uneven
As tenuous as that situation seems, it's better than the goalie curse that haunts Los Angeles. Injuries forced the Kings to employ five of them last season, and they've almost matched that total already, calling on rookies