Goaltending Poll: Whom Would You Have Chosen in the Offseason?
The Stars are giving up four goals per game in the meaningless preseason. What would you have done differently (or the same) when it comes to the situation in net?
Author's Note: Preseason stats are current as of Wednesday, so I'm sure the numbers will have improved after what will surely be a mammoth victory Thursday evening.
Preseason games are not about the results so much as the content. We know this to be true, and yet we can't help but look at the veritable car accident that is the Stars' 1-4 preseason record. We slow down and turn our heads, hoping not to see what we know we will see: a busted up GAA. Four goals per night is what the Stars have given up, which tops their impressive 3.10+ from last year.
The defense might still be gelling, and hey, they were great down the stretch last year, so it's probably not worth even a moment of worry given the clear upgrade Oduya alone will provide on the back end. This team's forwards and defenders know what they need to do, and they've shown themselves able to do it in meaningful hockey games. Sure, there will be kinks to work out with some of the newer faces, but I have full confidence that the Stars can be a good defensive team. Good enough, anyway.
But if the goals allowed continue to balloon after October 8th, the scene-of-crime officers are going to slap the handcuffs smack dab around the wrists of the goalies. They're already accused of larceny anyway, right?
This team can keep its head above water so long as the piano-tied-about-the-ankles that was last year's barely-.900 goaltending takes an 82-game vacation. This is a group of kids (and a few big brothers) ready to take off, so Jim Nill went and doubled down on veteran goalies in hopes of, at the very least, not holding the team back with a lack of decent netminding. Antti Niemi is a known quantity, if a well-worn one, so it's pretty clear to see why a general manager would find it appealing to go that route rather than banking on a younger goalie.
That said, let's just indulge our panicky selves for a moment and look at the ghastly preseason the Stars have had in goal-prevention. Really, check it out. By my shoot-from-the-hip math, the Stars have laid early claim to the grand and glorious title of most generous defensive team in the league, even beating out Winnipeg and Arizona. For a team that spent all offseason reiterating their need to bow up defensively, it does give one pause. Well, it's preseason, so maybe it just gives one that niggling feeling that shows up when departing the house on vacation. You know you packed meticulously, but you're not perfect. You are 20 miles out of town, and your brain starts to wonder if you might have left all your underwear on the sofa back home.
Thankfully, the preseason is empty and devoid of real meaning, and I don't actually have to care about what happens in any of those games. I can instead choose to just abandon any thread of coherent analysis in favor of performing my favorite science experiment test thing: Coulda Shoula Woulda.
Jim Nill's been clear that the Stars did not want to give up assets in trading for a goalie like (I am inferring) Cam Talbot. Even so, there were other options out there in the Kari Insurance Policy Bazaar, and Jim Nill went with the most, well, bizarre of them: a veteran goalie strikingly similar to Kari in provenance, age, and career numbers.
I'm trying to just sit back and enjoy the ride this year when it comes to goaltending, knowing just how little I have to offer by way of goaltending analysis/insight/divination. The Stars are trying a new tactic this year (and for the next two years, contractually). It might work great!
Here's what I'm most curious about, though: What do you wish Dallas had done in the crease this offseason? Last year, I remember wistful talk of Chad Johnson and Al Montoya, but neither of those folks ended up doing much of anything notable in their handful of games in net, to put it charitably. So what the hey, let's have at it: whom would you have brought in over the summer if you were Jim Nill?
There is a poll* below, so go ahead and tell us what you could have, should have, and would have done, were you the Stars' GM.**
*I'm assuming a few things that seem pretty basic in the listed options: namely, that Enroth wasn't interested in coming back, that Jack Campbell needs at least one solid season of AHL play before he's ready for full-time NHL duty, and that none of the John Gibson/Andrei Vasilevskiy types were realistically available.
**No offense, but I am really glad you are not the Stars' GM.
If you were the Stars' GM back in May, what would you try to do to improve the Stars' goaltending situation? (Keep in mind what each player ended up costing the team that acquired him.)
|Sign Antti Niemi like Nill did||141|
|Trade for Martin Jones||47|
|Trade for Cam Talbot||111|
|Trade for Antti Raanta||25|
|Trade for Robin Lehner||31|
|Trade for Eddie Lack||94|
|Sign Thomas Greiss||10|
|Sign Karri Ramo||39|
|Sign Viktor Fasth||19|