| || || |
| Phoenix Coyotes ||9:00 pm ET / 7:00 pm MT || Colorado Avalanche |
|16-14-4||December 23, 2008||16-16-1|
| 36 points ||Pepsi Center || 33 Points |
| 7th in West || Denver, CO || T-10th in West |
Well, ladies and gentlemen, we have ourselves a goalie carousel. We all hoped it wouldn't happen again, but it has. After 30 or so games of swearing that Peter Budaj was the starting goalie for the Colorado Avalanche and that Andrew Raycroft would merely step in here and there to give him a breather, head coach Tony Granato has scrapped that plan.
Tonight, when the Avalanche face the visiting Phoenix Coyotes at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Andrew Raycroft will be in net. It will be his third start in five games. That sounds like a little more work than a designated backup is probably expected to get. You'd assume Raycroft was getting the call because Budaj has lost his last three starts. But nooooo, that's not it at all:
"He’s coming off two very solid games," said Granato. "Peter [Budaj] has been very good for us all year, so it has nothing to do with Peter not playing well. It’s just the fact that Andrew went into two tough buildings and found ways to win."
Right. Is the Pepsi Center now a "tough building?" If it's not, then I'm failing to see how Granato's statement has anything to do with his decision to play Raycroft at home tonight. And let's not even mention that Budaj has been left out to dry by his team a lot lately, especially on Sunday when the Avalanche pretty much failed to show up at all against the Panthers, getting shut out 0-3 in a building where they had always enjoyed much success. Budaj's save percentage was .910 despite the pathetic loss.
So Raycroft gets the start, but this totally isn't a sign of any controversy or the beginning of another Quenneville-esque goalie carousel that always worked so well in the past.
Since I can't watch Raycroft play without breaking into a cold sweat, I'll be skipping this game tonight. I hope it goes well. Unfortunately, if it does, Peter Budaj might never get to play goalie again.
|2008 - Ilya Bryzgalov||27||1533||12||11||3||2||69||2.70||789||720||.913||1|
|2008 - Andrew Raycroft||7||365||5||1||0||0||17||2.79||161||144||.894||0|