Marty Turco has given up 11 goals in his past two starts. Granted, those two games were at San Jose and at Calgary, but he’s still only 2-6 in his past eight starts. Backup Corey Crawford got the start Tuesday night, his third in a row. He allowed five goals on 26 shots in a 7-5 win over St. Louis. Crawford had only allowed five goals in his past four games. But right now, he gives Chicago the best chance to win, so he may see an increased workload.
I know I discussed this situation last week, but it appears as if Nikolai Khabibulin is not too far away form his return. His 4-10-1 record and 4.17 goals against average are not pretty. Devan Dubnyk has come back down to earth allowing nine goals in two games. Martin Gerber has started two of the past three, winning them both. He’s only allowed two goals in those games and could even remain with the team once Khabibulin returns.
Toronto Maple Leafs
Jean-Sebastien Giguere has been out of the lineup since November 16 after injuring his groin. He did practice on Monday and should be ready to go later this week. In his absence, Jonas Gustavsson started all six of the Leafs’ games. He’s gone 2-4, allowing an average of 2.33 goals a game, but his team cannot score. In the four losses, his offense gave him four goals combined to work with (three of which were Tuesday in a 4-3 overtime loss to Tampa Bay). Gustavsson has improved since the beginning of the year, and even with a healthy Giguere, should see the majority of the starts. Giguere has allowed four goals in each of his past four starts.
Niklas Backstrom is usually one of the safer goalies to own as far as job security goes, but his recent play hasn’t helped his cause. Backstrom has allowed 18 goals in his last three starts – a hideous average of six goals per game. Meanwhile, Wild coach Todd Richards has used the opportunity to see what Jose Theodore can do, as he has started two of the last three games for the Wild. Theodore’s stats are noticeably better recently (2.28 GAA, .931 SV% in November), so don’t be surprised to see Theo receive another start on Wednesday against Phoenix.
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