I think most all of us would agree for a 1st year NHL head coach with a limited payroll Gully has exceeded or at least met all expectations. However I for one at least have questioned the games used in starting the goalies.
The Stars have had 4 instances of back to back games so far this season and Raycroft and Lehtonen have each started one of these back to backs. Of these 4 instances one made perfect sense (the home and home openers vs the Hawks), one was curious (Ducks and Kings Oct 21/22) and two have I blatantly question (Pens/Wings Nov11/12 and Avs/Sharks Nov 18/19). My reasoning is as follows:
1) The importance of the opponent: This issue only applies for the last two instances listed above. Lehtonen was given the start against a non conference opponent in the Penguins while Raycroft was left to start against an intraconference opponent in the Detroit Red Wings, then later Gully chooses to start Lehtonen against the Avs while suiting Raycroft up against a San Jose Sharks team that is one point behind us in the standings in our own division.
2) The second game factor: It only makes sense that your team is going to be tired when traveling and playing a game the night before less than 24hrs between starts. It is during these games you almost expect defensive lapses, and turnovers as a result of fatigue, in these games you want your best goalie to cover the mistakes. Many of you will point out Detroit also were playing the on back to backs, while the Wings did also play back to back games both of their games were at home and the game before against the Oilers, they were also completing a back to back with travel.There is no disputing Kari is the better of the two goalies and who knows if the score would have been different in the 3rd period when the stars goal drought ended and thus making the last 13 plus minutes quite different. The fatigue factor caused me to question the decision of starting Raycroft before the game against the Kings but he played exceptionally well so the point was moot.
I would like to read other's thoughts and opinions on this matter. Please comment.