I'm going to steal Brad G's thunder a bit here, but this is a question I wanted to put out for Stars fans as they drank their morning coffee: After last night's performance, did Alex Auld instill the confidence in you that he can be starter for the forseeable future?
On Saturday against the Red Wings, Auld allowed two early goals before settling down and playing some very solid hockey in net. He was near-brilliant in the shootout and he helped lead his team to a very important win. The way the team played in front of Auld and the way they responded to the early deficit led the coaches and the front office to declare Auld the starter for the next game. and then they'd determine the next course of action depending on what happens Monday.
Auld started off the game against the Wild with some big saves, the Stars built some more confidence and exploded to a 4-0 lead in the second period. As we feared, the Stars let up off the gas pedal and the Wild came roaring back, bringing the game to within one as the Stars held on to win 4-3.
The first two goals scored were deflections (and some pretty good ones by Antti Miettinen), but does the way Auld was unable to lock things down concern you at all? On both deflections Auld was deep in his crease, not giving himself the positioning he needed to make the save. Now it's tough to criticize any goal allowed by deflections but Brad is right, why is Auld not held to the same standard as Marty Turco? If Turco had allowed those three goals to let the Wild right back in the game, he'd be crucified.
To me the difference is how the team is playing in front of Auld right now, and the history he's built. Turco has not inspired much with the fans or coaches this season, and when he's allowing 3-4 goals in every single game he's going to get a harder look. With Auld, the Stars have won two straight and he's playing decent. Not perfect, but decent.
The big test comes Thursday night against Vancouver. Judging by the post-game comments, Auld will be back in net to face the Canucks. The Stars played well in two games at home, but have been atrocious on the road. If Auld is steady in net and the Stars eek out a win, then we can move forward with more confidence in him and things really start to get interesting with Turco.
But if he allows 3-4 goals, some of the soft variety then we'll be all over him critically and start wringing our hands about goaltending once more.
Winning breeds confidence and glosses over the shortcomings. Was Auld perfect? No. But they won.