Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Leclaire silences doubters, converts cynics

Can you hear that?

That's the sound of nobody complaining about the Ottawa Senators' goaltending. While the Leafs are on their third goalie in as many games, Pascal Leclaire has done an excellent job of silencing doubters in the Nation's Capital.

Even with a couple losses under his belt, fingers are far from the panic button. And that's saying something, considering the Senator's history with goalies over the past couple of years.

The Sens blew their game on Monday against the Penguins with some bad giveaways and an offensive drought in the third period, but Leclaire looked stellar, even from section 324, row K (I was the guy drinking beer through a straw). I counted at least three jaw-dropping glove saves in that game, and at least one break-away save that looked like a sure-fire goal. For a while, it looked like the game would turn into a goaltenders' duel between Leclaire and Marc-Andre Fleury.

Of course, the game did not turn out that way. Some defensive lapses from the Sens allowed the Penguins to attack the the crease, and a couple weird bounces sealed the deal in Pittsburgh's favour.

Even the stats support Leclaire's solid play. A save percentage of .903 and a GAA of 2.76. With the Sens averaging only 2.4 goals per game, it's remarkable that he's got those two wins under his belt already.

But his play goes beyond the stats. In Monday's game against Pittsburgh, there was only one goal that could be called a fault on Chuck's part, and about seven shots that should have gone in, but didn't thanks to some awesome goaltending.

He's won me over already.

Fun stats update!

...and here's an update of the table I made before the Thrashers game, and Michalek was looking for his first goal. He got it... but thinks are still pretty sad on this board. Other than the fact that our rookie 19 year-old, and 28 year-old are both getting about 18 minutes a game--that's a good thing.
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