I'm going to go out on a limb here and predict that this will be on of my least popular entries. Simply put: Jose Theodore does not have it. The fact that he makes a ridiculous amount of money means that the Avalanche will keep throwing him out there in hopes that he rekindles his old form. But it's time to start owning up - it doesn't look like that is going to happen.
Since coming to Colorado, Theodore has been inconsistent (at best). He's had some very good games bookended by far too many awful games. He's given up 4 goals or more 4 times in his 10 games this year (all four losses, by the way). He looked dreadful against the Kings. And I know what you are thinking: "the defense let him down". Bullshit, I say. Yes, the Avs defense is never going to be used in the same sentence as "stifling". Heck, many nights it's a compliment to call them "mostly competent". But, Jose is letting pucks past him that NHL goaltenders - regardless of salary - have to make. Not "could make" or "sometimes make". HAVE. TO. MAKE.
Since the lockout, Theo has played in 53 regular season games. Over those 53 games, his GAA is a mediocre 3.41 with a lousy .884 save percentage. Think that's dragged down by his poor season in Montreal? Nope. He had a 3.46 GAA with them, 3.04 with us last year, 3.03 in the playoffs, 3.42 so far this year. At least he's consistent.
Just a function of the defense in front of him, you say? Over that exact same span (57 games) in front of essentially the exact same players, David Aebischer has a 3.01 GAA with a .902 save %. Now, those numbers aren't going to win a Stanley Cup, which goes a long way to explaining why we traded Abby...but they are a lot better than his much-higher-paid replacement is putting up (or letting in, as it were). He also has 3 shutouts, while Theodore's next regular season shutout will be his first since the spring of 2004. I won't be holding my breath.
And what of Peter Budaj? Budaj has played in a comparable number of games (40) as the other two, and has outplayed both. His GAA is 2.83 and he's turned aside 90.2% of the shots he's faced, along with 2 shutouts.
As of today, there are 45 goaltenders with a better goals against average than Theo, and more than 30 with a better save percentage. That is simply not going to get it done in Denver. As far as I'm concerned, the goalie controversy in Colorado we all thought we were going to avoid has officially started.