2010.11.16: In which we return from sabbatical to find Karlsson’s pissed himself

Conrad to Pete

So waddya want to talk about? Leclaire gets a bunch of goals dropped on him, including one in the first 22 seconds of a game, and Elliott gets a shutout the next game? Does this mean that we run with Elliott already? Leclaire played ok through the first few games of the season, does he get another chance? Here’s a weird one: if he’s willing to re-sign for $500k, do you re-sign Leclaire?

Believe it or not, I think I would. This team obviously believes that he has a higher ceiling than Elliott – they just keep giving him chance after chance – and we’ve had a few tantalizing glimpses of his talent before a sparrow flew into him and broke his collerbone. Also, if you want to try and get some kind of return for trading away a 2nd line center (1st line in Columbus), it makes sense.

Pete to Conrad

Seems to me such a disparity between tending would show in the effort of the skaters in front of whoever’s between the pipes. But it looks like the same team plays for each goalie, so really I’m scratching my head on this one. Sure, a couple of the Van city goals weren’t his fault and I thought it was a questionable start. (Boston or Carolina would have been better). I think Leclaire is now our backup until proven otherwise. Seems like Bri-Bri needs minutes to be effective and the rascale can’t stay healthy. Clouston has proven to be fluid on this subject so it seems like it’s going to be a question we’ll continually mull and blogiovate upon.

Actually it seems pretty obvious and if Leclaire takes fewer dollars to stick around, it might be in his best interest to shed the expectations of starter’s money and just play, knowing he doesn’t have to carry the load. Hey it could be worse, he could be M-A Fleury.

Conrad to Pete

I walked into a bar with the score 2-1 Philly, watched Karlsson take three minors in a row then bobble the puck at the line on the powerplay to give up a shorthanded breakaway, and the next thing I knew it was 5-1. It happened pretty damn fast, but the play was looking close enough to start out the second period. Philly is looking impressive – that defensive core is insane. I think the Meszaros pickup makes sense for them: he may not be the no. 1 puck-mover that Tampa was hoping for, and he’s still being paid like a no. 1 guy, but as a 3-4 guy playing 18 minutes a night, the depth he brings is noticeable. Also gives them another option should one of their big two on the back end go down to injury.

I also think it was strange that they started Leclaire against Vancouver the other night. We won’t ever hear the conversations on the ice or in practice, but here’s a guy who hadn’t played in weeks, had been healthy for a series of games against weaker teams, and they decided to give him his big chance to play himself back into the lineup against one of the best teams in the league. Suspicious, as if they were setting him up to fail. Stranger still when you consider his blow up in practice the next day. A goalie like Leclaire needs a lot of consecutive starts to play to his potential. Chalk yet another one up to Conrad Doesn’t Understand How Management Assesses Goaltending (exhibit B: Mike Brodeur allows one goal in two games at a time when the team is struggling to find consistent goaltending, and is immediately exiled to the minors.)

And having said that, I’m taking back the assertion that if Leclaire re-signs on the cheap that I’d have him as a backup. He isn’t the kind of positional goalie who just plays the angles, perhaps lets in a goal or two from the point, but is fundamentally solid when the team in front of him plays well. With Leclaire it’s feast-or-famine: an athletic goalie who depends on reflexes. He’s either going to stop everything or allow six goals, including the first shot on net. I say cut him loose.

An anecdote that James would tell better: the Sens had a game-worn equipment sale (seriously). James took a look, tried on Foligno’s glove (it smelled) and then noticed Leclaire’s pads. James then made a very good point: with hockey players being as superstitious as they are, why would any player wear the pads of a goalie as unlucky as Leclaire?

Pete to Conrad

I watched the second and third periods last night, this one wasn’t a question of goaltending to be sure. The Flyers exposed one of Ottawa’s glaring bad habits they showcase against good teams. They lost battles for the puck, forgot to move their feet when trying to get back into position and got lazy, that’s when they get grabby. (I believe you noticed this in the form of Sexy Swede’s hooking penalties.) Though he wasn’t the only one at fault, Ottawa needs to realize they can’t amble into the corners or along the walls and expect they’re going to win the puck, because they don’t and then they have to obstruct to avoid getting stuck.

Plus they gave up 46 shots so for the love of God they better start Leclaire against Carolina tomorrow night. If they don’t I think we can add a little more weight to your “set up to fail” argument c-rad. This would be the perfect spot to start Pascale, two nights after your starter sees a ton of rubber and its against a weaker opponent,

Yeah Philly is really rolling right now. They start a rookie tender, that’s how good their D is. Must be nice. I think the next time Ottawa and Philly play, it’ll be a 6-5 game. I’m sitting here waiting for Clouston to realize that with his personnel on the back end he’s going to have to open it up. He doesn’t have the talent between the pipes to give up 45 shots and win 2-1.

As an aside, last night one of the lines early in the third featured Alfredsson playing with Winchester! I thought it was a mirage but even Deano and Denis were confused. Am I the only person that think Clouston doesn’t get consistent effort from his team because he himself fails to show any consistency with his lines/ice time?

Conrad to Pete

Yeah, Clouston’s a line shuffler. To such a degree that it’s a real problem. Dude, it’s okay for a line to have a bad game. That doesn’t mean that putting Phillips on the point on the PP, or Foligno in net, is going to suddenly yield results.

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