The Bruins have nine wins on the season, and Tim Thomas has … nine wins on the season. Thomas is simply unstoppable right now with a 9-1-0 record, a 1.32 GAA and a .960 SV%. Oh, and four shutouts just for good measure. He shut out the Devils, stopping all 28 shots in a 3-0 win on Monday, and is looking like his Vezina winning-self from two seasons ago. Meanwhile, Tuukka Rask has stumbled out of the gate with a 0-4-1 record, a 2.75 GAA, and a .923 SV%. Rask had his chance, getting three of four starts, but lost them all. The fact is that Rask has allowed three or more goals in three of five starts, while Thomas has only allowed three-plus goals in two of ten starts. Ride Thomas while he’s hot.
New York Rangers
After having played only one of the previous four games before Monday night, Henrik Lundqvist was in fine form against the Penguins. Lundqvist saved 37 of 39 shots in a 3-2 overtime win, a game that he almost let slip away. Lundqvist had been sick with the flu, which allowed Martin Biron to showcase his talents. Biron won two of three starts, allowing just five goals in the three games. He has already started five games this season, and the Rangers can now be more cautious with Lundqvist, knowing they have a capable backup in case Lundqvist misses siginificant time down the road.
New York Islanders
The bumbling Isles have lost ten in a row, and the man who took the blame was head coach Scott Gordon, who lost his job on Monday. The former goalie had been rolling with Dwayne Roloson, the starter for the past five games. Roloson has lost seven games in a row, but his team has provided him with any offense. Rick DiPietro has played much worse this year in seven starts, going 2-3-2 with a 4.21 GAA and an .854 SV%. In the seven games, his goals allowed per game looks more like a phone number (7-6-4-2-3-4-4) than goose eggs or a picket fence – never a good sign. Roloson was shaky in his last start against Los Angeles on Saturday (five goals allowed), but his ratios (2.39 GAA, .915 SV%) are very respectable given the team in front of him. It will be interesting if new head coach Jack Capuano will roll with Roloson, or provide the man with the 15-year contract a chance to redeem himself.
After reeling off five wins in a row, Brian Elliott allowed five goals to the Flyers in a 5-1 loss on Monday. Despite the fact that Pascal Leclaire is back and healthy (for now), he has done nothing to show that he deserves a shot at being the starter. Leclaire was torched for six goals on 33 shots in a 6-2 loss to the Canucks last week. Dating back to last year, Leclaire is 1-11 in his past twelve decisions.
We all knew Brent Johnson would come crashing back to reality sooner or later, we were just unsure of when it would be. He has only started once in the Penguins’ past six games, and it was a clunker, allowing six goals to the Bruins in a 7-4 loss. Since then, Marc-Andre Fleury has been playing much better, going 2-0-1 allowing six goals in three games. His confidence is back, and that means good things for Fleury owners and not so good things for Johnson owners.
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