Who's stopping the puck?

The Los Angeles Kings have 4 goaltenders capable of playing NHL games, but none capable of doing it well…

Dan Cloutier is a guy I liked in Vancouver. However a concussion later this guy will likely never play in the NHL again.

JS Aubin is still living the high of the 05-06 season to its fullest, but his hype is dying. He’s played in 2 games, and hasn’t played very well.

I truly believe Jonathan Bernier is one of the best young goaltenders in the world. But he’s not Patrick Roy. At 19 he’s not ready.

Jason Labarbera was the guy I thought would take the starting job in LA. But he’s making me look like an idiot, as he has the worst save percentage on the team so far.

So, when I asked myself why the team leading the Pacific division in goals for was 2-6. The answer was pretty obvious. I watched them play a pair of games in Europe, in which they played fairly well. They do not strike me as a team with poor defensive play, therefore one must consider that they might try to aquire a goalie and resurect their season.

They are in a very good position in my opinion, as they are the only team in serious need of a goalie, and lots of teams are looking to deal away netminders. Here are some possible options:

Anaheim- Ilya Bryzgalov– unlikely
I dont see the Ducks trading him to a division rival, but it’s not out of the question.

Dallas- Mike Smith– unlikely
Smith has gotten off to a poor start, and Dallas won’t deal him to a division rival.

Colorado- Jose Theodore– unlikely
According to a few friends of mine out west, Theo has played quite well to start off the year. Colorado would jump at any oppritunity to dump him. However, one would hope LA learned their lesson after handing Cloutier 9 million dollars.

Montreal- Jaroslav Halak– unlikely
Halak is more of a long term acquisition, the Kings need a guy to help them now.

Montreal- Cristobal Huet– possible
Huet is off to a good start, but Halak is in the minors and Price is NHL ready. The biggest downfall is Huet will likely be dealt later rather than sooner. By the time Huet becomes available, the Kings could be way out of playoff contension.

Toronto- Andrew Raycroft– Possible
Raycroft is not an ideal starter, but he’s better than what the kings have got. The Leafs would need to acquire a good backup, as LA could not provide one in return.

Ottawa- Martin Gerber– Likely
He’s playing well, but Emery is the starter, and ultimately the better guy in the playoffs. Plus Brian Elliot is making it tough for the sens to send him down. Gerber could be LA starter for years to come. This is the most likely option, and LA’s best option in my opinion.

23 Responses to Who's stopping the puck?

  1. ryrad8 says:

    i really don't see gerber going anywhere after the way he's been playing.

  2. senators101 says:

    This team is pretty damn good.  Solid D with Blake, Preissing, Johnson, visnovsky and stuart.  Up front, they've got a hell of a lot of talent. 

    They seem to be a team that's a goalie away from the playoffs.  As much as I wanted them to trade Gerber during the summer, for cap space reason only, I would much rather Ottawa keep both this year and trade Gerbs at the end of the season.  This is the last chance Ottawa has at winning the cup and if Emery gets injured, we're screwed. 

    The other question is, what will they give for a goalie? They have a lot of young talent that they wouldn't want to part with.  Maybe they hold off this year and use Bernier next year.

  3. Archion113 says:

    That has to be the greatest picture i've ever seen.

    Well done to who ever put the volley ball in there.

  4. Rysto says:

    Gerber's almost certainly LA's best option(Bryzgalov is better but Anaheim would never trade a goalie in their own division like that).  Ottawa's in desperate need of cap space for next summer so they'd be glad to dump him.  The only really stumbling block here will be what Ottawa demands in return.  LA won't want to trade anything significant for Gerber based on so few good games after he was so bad last season.  Ottawa will likely want to get some kind of asset back, though.

    I say the deal gets done by the end of November, with only a back-up goaltender and some draft picks(or mid-grade prospects) going back to Ottawa.

  5. Lint07 says:

    when I read the article, I just couldn't resist using that pic. 🙂

  6. Archion113 says:

    Everytime i look at it I laugh out loud.  Thinking about it now makes me laugh…

  7. solace242 says:

    LaBarberra has played well in his last two starts.  He stopped at two on zero breakaway last night and looks like their best option for the time being.  He also played very well last year with the minor team and (although he had a rough start to this season) he should be given the opportunity to start.  I think he will play 50+ games for the Kings this season.

  8. PointMeAtTheSky says:

    I agree about keeping Gerber for this year.

    I used to also think this was our last year as a contender, but now I don't think so. A lot of teams raised ticket prices, plus the new high-priced jerseys, the cap is probably going to go up. Letting Redden go and trading Gerber should leave  us enough to sign the rest of our core…Spezza, Vermette, Kelly and Meszaros. Plus we have some promising young players we can give a shot to next year (Nikulin, Zubov, Foligno and Lee). Or there's always the option of re-signing cheap veterans like Donovan, Robitaille, and Richardson. If we can sign Spezza, Meszaros, Vermette and Kelly for at least 3 years, we will be  contender for those three years, because our core…Alfredsson, Heatley, Fisher, Phillips, Volchenkov and Schubert are all signed for at least 3 years.

  9. senators101 says:

    Sorry for the confusion.  I don't think think we're not contendors next year, what I meant was that this is definitely our best chance to make something happen, especially if we can sign someone like Forsberg come January.  The team would be well balanced and a 3rd line with Fisher at centre, would put us over the top, I think.

  10. PointMeAtTheSky says:

    LaBarbera played well last night. Who knows if it will continue though.

    Bryzgalov will probably go to Toronto on draft day :p 😀

    Smith isn't even close to being a proven starter, plus like you said, there's the divisional thing.

    Jose Theodore, like you said, they have Cloutier, I don't see them taking that chance, unless he starts to play really well consistently. And at his salary, I mean REALLY well, not just decent.

    I really think your going to see a Price/Halak combination in Montreal next year.

    But Huet won't be gone until the trade deadline at the earliest, and that would only be if the Habs are really our of the play-offs.

    Raycroft has been the better goalie so far for the Leafs, plus he's cheaper than Toskala, so I think they'd rather keep him.

    Gerber isn't going anywhere yet, but he's probably the best option for LA, and the most likely. But still, Mr Murray might not want to part with me anytime soon, not until the seasons over at least.

  11. Senatorsfan78 says:

    Great artical I agree with you about the Martin Gerber comment and I would take Scott Thornton for Gerber that would be awsome. And then if Bryan Murray can trade away Martin Gerber then I see Bryan Murray making a trade for Erik Cole.

  12. Senatorsfan78 says:

    I agree with you great comment. I coule see Scott Thornton coming back the Senators way.

  13. Wings19 says:

    They should sign Esche or a better option Cujo.

  14. Shorts_Pimp says:

    Are you absolutely nuts? Raycroft has a lower save percentage, higher goals against, has faced less shots, and played against worse teams with better team defensive efforts in front of him than Toskala. Similarly, when Toskala has lost, he has never been the sole reason behind their demise, while Raycrofts trend for allowing soft goals in clutch instances after a solid start to the game has continued (Ottawa, Buffalo, Chicago). I'd take Toskala any day, and let whatever team take their chances on a sub-par goaltender like Raycroft (please take him).
        As well, Bryzgalov will be trade, but not to a division rival (maybe not even in the west – Atlanta and Pittsburgh are definitely looking), Huet will be gone by the trade deadline, so will Theodore, while Gerber will remain in Ottawa until the off-season (just in case Emery gets injured in the playoffs again).

  15. Rico71 says:


    Then you would have to put a picture of Esche with a bigger beach ball passing him by.


  16. BlueOrangeWhite says:

    they should get CUJO now, and use him to tutor the 2 young goalies – while having him play 40-50 games.

  17. PointMeAtTheSky says:

    Bryzgalov will be traded, I was just making a joke at the Leafs expense.

    Huet could be gone at the trade deadline for sure, but it depends on how well Price and Halak play up to then.

    Theodore is going to have to play great for anyone to want him at his salary.

    And I agree about Gerber.

    Stats for Toronto's Goaltenders as of Sunday, October 21st, 2007, according to NHL.com

    Vesa Toskala: 5 games played, 2 wins, 3 losses, 20 goals against on 175 shots, Goals Against Average of 3.99, Save Percentage of .886, 300.56 minutes Time On Ice

    Andrew Raycroft: 4 games played 1 win, 1 loss, 2 overtime losses, 15 goals on 141 shots, Goals Against Average of 3.64, Save Percentage of .894, 247.27 minutes Time On Ice

    Raycroft has better GAA and SV%. Plus, of his 3 losses only 1 has come in regulation. The only thing Toskala leads in is wins. And that's only by 1 game, and Toskala has played an extra game. Also, wins are more of a team stat.

  18. KingCanada says:

    AAAAHAHAHA what a FANTASTIC pic of Cloutier omg.

    Anyways i believe the most likely scenario is that one of the Habs goalies goes that way or Martin Gerber if he keeps up at this pase.  It is also possible that Gerber is playing great because he has a great team in front of him so that might scare a few teams from aquiring him and i would assume because of that the sens wont get much return for him.

    Best possible scenario for LA IMO is that they trade for Bryzgalov but the ducks know they have a commodity but might not want to deal him to a conference rival considering the wealth of all-star caliber goalies out west.  (Luongo, Kippersoff, Turco, Backstrom, Hasek, ect)

  19. BLUE_AND_WHITE says:

    but i cant see carolina trading away erik cole…would you???

  20. Wings19 says:

    Well ya but hes better than what they got and thats why i said even better Cujo.

  21. Wings19 says:

    Beach ball by the way lol.

  22. Archion113 says:

    haha you're right.. dunno how i screwed that up.

  23. LaKingsFan626 says:

    There is no way the Kings can trade with the Ducks.  The fans have been very hard on management lately and to make a deal with your arch nemesis would be the ultimate reason for the fans to completely give up on the organization.  Plus if we give up Brown then who else is going to play physical out there?  Dallman and Willsie?

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