Hottest Recent Goalie||Goalie Back-ups||Surprise Play

A goalie that was never given a chance until rudely misused by his 1st team and put on the expansion draft.

Back up goalies don’t get much credit, and are never mentioned. HEY! They are still part of the team.

Surprise play:

A player with skills, is playing on his 12th season, and had seven 30+ goal seasons.

Darcy Tucker said it all Monday night. Mike Dunham has been the hottest goalie in recent games. He is playing superb goaltending and doing just about anything to give the Rangers a chance. Rangers are finally playing a more defensive game. Not to mention that Malakhov and Mironov have immediately become a solid defenisve pair. Dunham is 6-5-2 as a New York Ranger.

The second best US born goaltender (he won’t be first until Richter officially retires -sob-) is 4-1-1 in his last six starts with an excellent GAA of 1.64 and more than superb save percentage of .944. He will play against another hot team, the Washington Capitals, next. A good win would mean that he will be a solid fantasy league pick up (if available).

That’s right, what about the back up goalie? Doesn’t he get credit for sitting on the bench often and just be the only unused player? He should! You always need a solid back up goaltender, especially since he can be your next starter.

Anaheim Mighty Ducks:

Martin Gerber: 11 Games, 2.29 GAA, .911 SP

He isn’t a young goalie, 28 years of age. However, those numbers are very solid for a back up goaltender who only played 11 games. Gerber gets a B with those numbers, and I have seen him play once…he looked quite solid.

Atlanta Thrashers:

Byron Dafoe: 14 Games, 4.15 GAA, .868 SP

It was hard to name the back up goalie in this one, but it obviously is Byron Dafoe. Pasi Nurminen has been more than good for this Thrashers team. His style reminds me of a young Richter. Dafoe has got to fire his agent. This is just a career killing season for him. He wanted $6M a season from the Bruins (he would have been worth it ahd he been with them) then his price went down to $4M a season. His last and only offer was from GM Waddell, and he got $1.25M for this season. However, his agent did call the Rangers before signing that deal, and it was reported on MSGNetwork that he wanted at least $3.5M from the Rangers. Can you be any smarter than that? He failed to get Dafoe a good contract and made hi surrender to a slowly building team. Dafoe is now a back up goalie of the Thrashers, since he cannot outplay Nurminen. How horrible is that? He gets an F.

Boston Bruins


No real back up between Shields and Grahame. Shields played 17 games while Grahame played 23. No real back up. Goaltending was pretty strong before Grahame’s injury, but then cost the Bruins a lot of games. Goaltending in general receives a B- for putting up a solid, but inconsistent, season.

Buffalo Sabres

Mika Noronen: 7 GP, 3.54 GAA, .865

Now lost his job to Ryan Miller, and would Martin Biron lose his job as well? Miller appears to be very good and makes Biron expandable. If Regier were smart, after new ownership comes in he can easily make this team solid in the future since he has the tradable players. Noronen’s numbers are well below average, and he gets an F as well.

Calgary Flames

Jamie McLennan: 14 GP, 2.89 GAA, .898 SP

Though he only won twice, I recall Jamie playing strong. He is a pretty good back up to have. His numbers are affected by the team’s poor play overall. No scoring support and no defensive support. He tried very hard, allowed some softies and made many great saves though. I might be too nice to give him a C since his numbers aren’t that good at all, but neither was his coach and team.

Carolina Hurricanes


Not a real back up on this team. It was Irbe, but he has played more games than a usual back up goalie and even with a “healthy” Weekes, he still starts games. After all the good years he has given to the Canes, management mistreated the goaltender by making him a permanent back up at the start of the season and not even giving him a start in 12 straight games. You do that to the goalie that made your team solid in nets for 4 straight seasons? Talk about disrespect. Irbe is still a good goalie, but now is unhappy and probably wants out. Dunham wanted out and played poorly in Nashville, then gets hot in New York. Same should happen to Irbe. Goaltending gets a B for solid performance, but that solid performance is once again needed.

Chicago Blackhawks


Can someone tell me what ever happened to Passmore? He was solid last season. The Hawks do not have a back up goalie and they are leaving it up to Thibault. Fair? Not at all. Back up goalies are available…and no, let’s hope GM Mike Smith doesn’t not get any leftovers from the Maple Leafs this season…

Colorado Avalanche

David Aebischer: 14 GP, 2.29 GAA, .911 SP

Twenty four years old, pretty solid numbers there, and he is not Swiss cheese. I noticed that he is very strong on the blocker side and uses his stick well to make saves. Sure, he is not at the level of Marc Denis, but he is doing a good job behind the Masked Great One. Aebischer still doesn’t convince of a solid starter yet, however, I feel confident that he does have the skills to be one. Obviously, he isn’t the best out there and the Avalanche do have Phillipe Sauve who will be a top 10 goalie in the NHL one day. His name will be heard next training camp. David Aebischer is maturing and does get better, his numbers are good and he eanrs a B

Columbus Blue Jackets


No back up goalie here, just former career minor leaguer J-F Labbe. Denis 42 games played…I mean, maybe a back up goalie would be nice to have, no?

Dallas Stars

Ron Tugnut: 10 GP, 2.31 GAA, .913 SP

Tugger was and always will be one of my favorite goalies. He came up huge so many times in his career. Still isn’t that old either. I keep hearing he isn’t doing such a great job…but maybe he needs more stars Probably, I’d say. Tugnut is a safe pick though, just in case (knock on wood) Turco goes down with an injury. Solid numbers, and Tugger is still a cool goalie, he gets a B….well, he only played 10 games!

Detroit Red Wings

Manny Legace: 12 GP, 1.73 GAA, .942 SP

Only 12 games? I thought he played more. Well, no doubt in my mind he has been the best back up of the season, his numbers are just too good even if he played 12 games (would have been more had he not been injured for a few minutes). This is easy, he gets an A+.

Edmonton Oilers

Jussi Markkanen: 11 GP, 2.45 GAA, .911 SP

I expected Tommy Salo’s numbers to be better, but the Oilers did face a long slump at the start of the season. Salo still is a super goalie and very solid come playoff time, his stats prove so. But, Jussi has done his part as well and has been a very good back up goalie. He is perfect, not expensive, and there is just no reason to seek a popular back up. I don’t think he has the ability to be a starter, so he fits as a very good secondary goalie for the Oilers. His stats are pretty good, not as good as I expected, but solid….and that is what you want from a back up goalie, solid numbers. Markkanen and his numbers get a B. I am very picky when it comes to save percentage, and his s-p is good.

Florida Panthers

Jani Hurme: 17 GP, 2.81 GAA, .915

Well, he deserved an A before his team humiliated him. I watched that game (12-2 loss) and Hurme went in the hallway when pulled out, and he started smashing his stick around. He had every right to be angry, the Panthers were a complete joke that night. I talked to titans about that game and he criticized Captials Head Coach Cassidy for letting his team kill the Panthers till the 3rd period’s buzzer. He found it disrespectful. Sure, I would accept that, but the Capitals were not even playing such a solid game either. I mean, you have an empty net because the defenseman left you open, what do you do? Miss the net on purpose? Seriously, it was a joke. The defense deserved to have 12 goals against, not the goaltending. I could pick out hockey players on this site and put them up against that defense, you would have seen a similar score. Obviously I’d have to bench titans for playing too dirty and take stupid penalties.

It amazes me how Hurme’s numbers are still very good, imagine what he had before that. Sorry Hurme, not your fault, but you still get a very good grade, B.

Los Angeles Kings

Jamie Storr: 13 GP, 2.97 GAA, .891 SP

I never realized how badly the goaltending was for the Kings, Felix the Cat’s numbers are not even good at all. I have not watched Storr play, just that one good shutout against the Blue Jackets. Kings don’t look bright at all with this goaltending. Grade: D.

Minnesota Wild

No back ups

It’s just too bad that Manny Fernandez is injured. The Wild had the best goalie tandem ever since the Rhodes-Tugnutt tandem in Ottawa. These two guys have superb numbers. Fernandez a GAA of 2.38, which is decent to good, and an amazing save percentage of .921. WOW! The situation gets better, Roloson finally gets his best season of his career. His stats: 2.03 GAA, .927 save percentage. Uneblievable. These guys stop a lot of shots, Wild have the best goalie tandem this season, A+.

Montreal Canadiens

Jeff Hackett: 17 GP, 2.51 GAA, .927 SP

Where would Montreal have been without this guy at the start of the season. Theodore is starting to play his outstanding game, and he’s almost 100%. But, Jeff Hackett gets an automatic A+. Just come to think of it, Andre` Savard had a very good reason to request such a high prospect in Jamie Lundmark at the very least. Hackett stops pucks, save percentage says so and if a team wants him, then they have to pay up. But, he is risky since he could always miss a season. Most valuable back up goalie, but he should be a starter.

Nashville Predators


Ever since trading Dunham, they lack a back-up. They have the goalies in the minors, yet both of the two young goalies only got one game a piece. Vokoun is finally a starter, and goalies that have a right glove hand are not that easy to beat. Predators need a back up.

New Jersey Devils

Corey Schwab: Incomplete

Only 4 games and Brodeur gets back to back starts. I thought Schwab was signed exactly for that reason. Brodeur is tired by season’s end and doesn’t perform as well in the playoffs. GM Lamoriello got Schwab so Brodeur would not be as tired. My guess is that Schwab will start more games in the last 15 games or so by the end of the season. His stats are good, but…it’s just 4 games.

New York Islanders

Garth Snow: 14 GP, 2.58 GAA, ,891 SP

Only won two games, and goaltending has not been hat good for the Islanders. Some changes will be made though, and there was just no reason to keep Snow when Rick DiPietro did well in training camp and pre-season. The guy is ready to start games, and probably win more than Snow. Snow’s numbers are not horrible though, and in some games his defense didn’t support him at all, especially against his former team (Flyers). Snow gets a C-…his Save Percentage isn’t that bad…

New York Rangers

Dan Blackburn: 24 GP, 3.20 GAA, .890 SP

The kid started well when made starter after Richter’s injury. He kept the Rangers in the game enough times for a 19 year old. However, after too many starts, The Kid got just could not handle it as much and his big saves weren’t coming up. After a nice rest with Dunham as starter now, Blackburn played extremely well against the Canadiens, but he didn’t get the win. He comes up big when rested, and when he gets a lot of work. He should work on penalty shots, though, and he has to learn to not go down too early. Dunham still has a stand up style, and hopefully that would teach Blackburn. His numbers are below average though, I can’t avoid those. The Kid gets between a D+ and a C-. Why? 19 years of age and at the time he played for a slumping Rangers team. Put a solid defense in front of him, his stats would be better.

Ottawa Senators

Martin Prusek: 8 GP, 2.47 GAA, .916 SP

Only 8 games, but he is now injured. He appears to be a solid back up, and I did witness some great saves. His numbers are very good, and his save percentage catches my attention. B, the 27 year old looks good.

Philadelphia Flyers

Robert Esche: 17 GP, 2.01 GAA, .915 SP

That game against the Tharshers sure killed his stats. Esche proved me wrong, he is not ‘just a back up’. However, I think he surprised management as well. Esche was supposed to be the back up, with no real competition, yet Clarke’s luck misses. Competition is up again. But, there should not be any competition. I would simply split game between these two. Both play well, but at least Esche knows what he is doing. Cechmanek takes a lot of guesses and his size stops the puck. If anyone has seen Zetterburg’s goal against Cechmanek, that is his main weakness. He goes down early and he made Zetterburg’s goal look easy. Sorry, but I just don’t like those kinds of goalies. Esche plays with a nice style and his numbers are well above average for a back up. AN easy A for Esche, but his music taste sucks.

Phoenix Coyotes

Brian Boucher: 30 GP, 3.01 GAA, .895 SP

I am sure Flyers fans feel relieved about that. Boucher had his chance and didn’t take advantage of it. Burke is out, yet he doesn’t show up as a starter. He is still young and his skills still show, but for crying out loud Bouch….here’s your chance to prove Clarke wrong!!! D

Pittsburgh Penguins

J-s Aubin: 20 GP, 3.13 GAA, .901 SP

I liked Aubin when he had that strong solid season, and the goalie is still young. He looked very strong in some games, yet now he is not as strong…..pure inconsistency. He has a right glove hand, and he does not play as wisely as Vokoun does. Aubin’s numbers starting to go down, not a good sign…: C-

San Jose Sharks

Mika Kiprusoff: 12 GP, 3.51 GAA, .851 SP

Too easy…, F. As I said, I am picky with save percentage, and that is just darn right pathetic.

St. Louis Blues


Hehe, six goalies used for this team. Freddie Brathwaite started for a while, and I guess he is the back up goalie, but there are so many goaltenders used, and I am just not sure if Brathwaite is the permanent back up now. Is he? If so, then he gets a C+ since his stats are not that good at all. Brent Johnson, I hope he keeps it up, he is improving.

Tampa Bay Lightning

Kevin Hodson: 7 GP, 2.55 GAA, .881 SP

Not much to say about Hodson, just that he is not such a good back up, but you don’t need a solid back up behind Khabibulin. He fits well enough and he is very well liked. But, his stats are…”ok”. Only 7 games, s-p not good…pretty decent though. I’ll be nice to Hodson, it’s not easy being behind Khabibulin and perform as well as he does, Grade: C-.

Toronto Maple Leafs

Trevor Kidd: 9 GP, 3.88 GAA, .870 SP

What a disappointment he was. But, then again…almost the same situation with Hodson and Khabibulin. Eddie playes outstanding goaltending, and it is nearly impossible to match that. But, Kidder just lets in too many soft goals, as I have witnessed. Soft goals kill you, D-.

Vancouver Canucks

Petr Skudra: 11 GP, 2.49 GAA, .902 SP

I remember Skudra in his try out with the Rangers last season, he looked very solid and a good back-up, but Blackburn beat him to it. Skudra is a cheap reliable back up goalie and when Cloutier was out with an injury, he definitely played well for the Canucks. A low profile back up goalie, and a good one indeed, not great, not bad, just good. B-.

Washington Capitals

Sebastien Charpentier: 9 GP, 2.63 GAA, .917 SP

I like this goalie’s save percentage. Maxim Oullet should be up there, guess he still can’t make it? Too early to say though, he is still a prospect and Charpentier has waited longer than Max. Charpentier is 25 years old and I saw some great saves from him. I like his save percentage, GAA is decent, and his stats should improve as the Caps get better overall. Grade: B.

Surprise play:

Petr Nedved is that player I talked about. During the 5-1 win against Toronto, Wade Belak got away with a slash and a punch to the face on Nedved. No penalty was called. Refs continue to be more and more inconsistent and it ruins the game. Petr Nedved is the total opposite of a tough guy…but expected the unexpected. He totally went back at Wade Belak, whose head was down, and what a hit that was. Nedved said after the game “…what goes around comes around.” I like that!

Previous to that Nedved hit, Darcy Tucker totally rammed Barnaby. Barnaby shot the puck and was looking forward. Tucker did come from behind, but managed to hit Barnaby on the side, NOT FROM BEHIND. Sure, Barnaby had no chance to defend himself, but this is hockey. Hockey is a tough sport, a rough sport. The ref made a bad call on Tucker giving him a 5 minute major and a game misconduct. Tucker was outraged, and as he stepped into the hallway, he was shouting…was angry and he did say….”Welcome to Bettman’s hockey league.”

That said it all ladies and gentlemen, this is Bettman’s Pond Hockey League.

27 Responses to Hottest Recent Goalie||Goalie Back-ups||Surprise Play

  1. wendel_17 says:

    Many Legace could start for the Wings. He is seriously outplaying Curtis Joseph, and every other goalie in the league. True, he has only played a handful of games, but he knows what it is like to play in Detroit, and he knows what it takes to win, in Detroit. Signing Joseph was a good idea, in theory…but I think that it’s time to let Legace stand up and be the man for the Wings. Soon the Wings will be in a rebuilding stage, with Legace as the centrepiece.

  2. Tradedude says:

    Chicago had better trade us a 4th rounder for Kidd.

    Cause Trevor Kidd just downright sucks horribly. He’s got what 2 wins? in like 9 starts. Pathetic, you haven’t heard anything until you’ve seen his stats and seen him play, man Nedved sure prooved that last night.

    I want Tellqvist or Centomo to be back-up, future goalies ofcourse, well, atleast Tellqvist is a future starter.

    And Tucker was right about Bettman’s NHL. It’s true, he’s like controlling it fully. But still that hit from behind was a deserved penalty, i mean, 36 seconds in, you just had know something was up.

    Nedved to punch Belak. Never seen it or heard it until now, but suprised me once i read it. Belak in my mind has moved up in the better fighters of Bettman’s NHL to 5th or 6th atleast. Everytime he stepped on the ice, your guarenteed a fight, and whenever he’s fights, ur almost guarenteed an ass wooping, that one player from boston he was tossing him around, and got the most of mccarthy on that fight last night. Leaf fans, atleast we had some kind of enjoyment watching the game. lol.

    Mike Dunham, I don’t know, if he is uner-rated, i am the one to under-rate him, I think Rick Dipietro will be one day the greatest american goalie.

  3. mikster says:

    Kidd does suck….

    Tucker’s hit came from the side more than behind. It was not a penalty, I thought it was a cheap shot hit since he did come from behind but manage to curve and hit Barns on the side, but still….it’s hockey.

    Belak vs McCarthy was pretty fair i think.

    Dunham isn’t really underrated. He just was not mentioned a whole lot since he was playing with Nashville. He already was a Grade A goalie, and still is.

  4. Islesfreak says:

    Good call on Dipietro.

  5. mikster says:

    We’ll see!!!

  6. hockey says:

    I’d say Tom Barrasso is the best US goalie…

  7. mikster says:

    Just because he won 2 Cups?

  8. Islesfreak says:

    Good job!

  9. wingerxx says:

    I completely disagree with the opinion in this article. The game misconduct and 5 minute major were well deserved by Tucker. It was the only call to make. He took a full run at Barnaby. Tucker was just going all out, and I hope no one is surprised by this. Its a testiment that Barnaby actually came back into the game at all. Yes, this is hockey, and its tough and rough. That means the players can play rough and tough….not dirty. He did hit him from behind. Not only that, but into the boards. Barnaby’s head was down, and in a vulnerable position. The ref saw that. The ref made the right call. The replays clearly show that. Tucker can gripe all he wants…I didn’t hear him moaning, but the call was correct. Even if the hit was on Matthew Barnaby, not the most pristine and angelic of athletes. Bettman has nothing to do with Tucker’s cheap hits. The Rangers broadcasters didn’t make a big deal of it, but they well could have. And I wouldn’t have blamed them. I don’t know how a hit like that can be justified, given the positions of both players.

  10. pantherboy says:

    Finally you Leaf fans realize why I was making fun of you guys for getting Kidd! HE SUCKS! I mean he is a nice guy and all, but his better playing days are long behind him.

  11. mikster says:

    Darcy hit him more from the side than from behind, i saw the replay too. It was a cheap shot, but not a hit from behind. A 4 minute double minor at the very most.

  12. wingerxx says:

    its hard to say…coming from behind, hit on the side…up to the official. and he made the right call. regardless it was a very cheap shot that could have resulted in some nasty consequences for Barnaby…Barnaby was very fortunate. Tucker was making a run and going for blood in a very cheap way and deserved to get tossed.

  13. aaron says:

    Bitch, bitch, bitch. Will you ppl shut up about the stupid refs? I swear to god, if I hear one more person complaining that REFFING, of all things, is ruining the sport of hockey, I’m going to scream. REFS SUCK EVERYWHERE. IN EVERY SPORT. PERIOD. DEAL WITH IT. Go watch a high school JV game once and tell me the NHL refs suck.


    And the Legace starter thing, I know Legace’s a great goalie. I’d love to see him starting. But he had better stats than Hasek last year, and I didn’t see anyone clammering to give him the job then. CuJo’s come on as of late. Considering the defense he’s had to play behind, its no wonder it took him awhile to get acclamated (every defensemen but Lidstrom and Woolley has missed time for injury this season, and our #9 guy has played in quite a few games as well…ignoring the fact that Lidstrom, Chelly, and Woolley are our only defensemen over the age of 24 to begin with. Well, Boileau is, but he’s #9, as I already said).

    CuJo’s numbers aren’t much worse than Hasek’s were at this point last season, and Hasek played behind a much better defense. Cut him some slack.

  14. mikster says:

    Yeah, and had this been a site of soccer, football, and baseball…you still would have seen it, we know it’s not just hockey. Heck, Giants got screwed and you ought to watch European soccer, especially the corrupted World Cup.

    I am just saying, some refs are too clueless and they don’t admit it. They don’t call the obvious that they even see. A player holds another player’s hockey stick and takes away a scoring chance, ref sees that but does not call it? That’s what i am pissed abut, it’s just darn right pathetic.

    I never said anything about Cujo, and i was the first a few weeks ago to point out that Cujo’s numbers are similar to Hasek’s of least season.

  15. MantaRay says:

    First off, this was a very good article some of your best work.

    But, I have to take issue with one thing:

    I don’t know what type of “special oregano” they’re serving in the Mikster Household, but Dunhams record of 6-5-2 record doesn’t seem very HOT too me. In fact, is barely a good record.

    If you consider 1 win above .500 HOT then these guys are just blazing North Korean ultra grade plutonium HOT.

    Kolzig: 9-2 in last 11games (1 shutout)

    Thibault 8-2-1 in last 11 games (2 shutouts)

    Lalime: 7-3-1 in last 11 games (4 shutouts)

    Turco: 7-3-1 in last 11 games (1 shutout)

    Belfour: 7-3-1 in last 11 games

    Denis: 5-2 in last 7.

    Dunham has been average at best in comparison.

  16. Tradedude says:

    everyone knew it was a mistake. o well, florida is paying him for some weird reason. Leafs r only paying him $600,000 i think, i don’t think he even deserves that amount.

  17. Tradedude says:


    shit, i’m going to die now……..ahh

  18. booty says:

    That was good, Manta. Even if it made you look like you have WAY too much time on your hands. And as for that “special oregano” comment, sheer brilliance.

  19. mikster says:

    6-5-2 is overall….

    4-1-1 in his last 6 games with a 1.69 GAA and .944 SP with one shutout as well.

    Yes, i do consider that a hot goalie, anyone would. But, Lalime would probably be hotter than he is, that i admit.

  20. MantaRay says:

    Yes, 4-1-1 is fantastic, but you didn’t say that near your HOT comment.

    You do yourself an injustice.

  21. MantaRay says:


    It took all of 2 minutes to get the data, plus I could not let this go unchallenged.

    -Yours in Elvis


  22. mikster says:

    Mike Dunham has been the hottest goalie in recent games. He is playing superb goaltending and doing just about anything to give the Rangers a chance. Rangers are finally playing a more defensive game. Not to mention that Malakhov and Mironov have immediately become a solid defenisve pair. Dunham is 6-5-2 as a New York Ranger.

    The second best US born goaltender (he won’t be first until Richter officially retires -sob-) is 4-1-1 in his last six starts with an excellent GAA of 1.64 and more than superb save percentage of .944. He will play against another hot team, the Washington Capitals, next. A good win would mean that he will be a solid fantasy league pick up (if available).

    Still is part of it. Come on, don’t be too picky saying that 4-1-1 1.64 and .944 should have been closer to “Dunham has been the hottest goalie in recent games”.

    Unless you have some German blood!

  23. canuckgirl says:

    I have to say that i was really inpressed with Skudra’s play when Clouts was out. And by the way it is Peter no petr LOL1

  24. hockey says:

    I was thinking more along the lines of him being one of the best goalies in the NHL for the most part of his career, being a Jennings and Vezina winner, and the fact that the only US goalie who comes close to him is, indeed, Richter. It’s just a matter of opinion that I’d rather have Tom Barrasso in his prime on my ‘All Time Team USA’ starting in goal than Mike Richter in his prime.

    Also.. two cups is nothing to scoff at. Martin Brodeur has been a mediocre goalie who plays great in big games for years, but the two cups make him one of the best goalies in the league (and in the opinion of some, of all time) in the eyes of some fans for some reason. [I do aknowledge his play this year… but, honestly, the trap does contribute to it]


  25. mikster says:

    Blah! Petr Nedved Peter Skudra samething!!!

  26. mikster says:

    5-1-1 and another game with one goal allowed! Hey, i have to enjoy it while it lasts right? Short time…

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