This is just a quick call to action for all Avalanche fans. Please remember these important points as we near the 2008-09 season:
1. Peter Budaj will have a giant magnifying glass hovering over him as long as he is the starting goalie. You will be tempted to painstakingly analyze every tiny detail of his play, to pick apart every goal given up. Remember that goalies give up goals. Lots of them, actually. Even the best ones give up lots of goals. Nobody should expect Peter Budaj to finish the year with 50 shutouts. Even 10 would be a big deal. Giving up goals (weak or otherwise) is something goalies do, and he will, too. It's not the end of the world.
2. The only thing that matters is winning. If Peter Budaj starts 50 games, it doesn't matter at all what his goals against average is or what his save percentage is at the end of the year. What matters is the number in the W column. Granted, a lousy GAA and SV% will make the rest of the team have to work harder, but you know what I mean. As long as Budaj is consistently winning games, the rest takes a back seat, at least as far as "reasons for hyperventilating" go.
3. There is a possibility with all goaltenders, from Roberto Luongo to Andrew Raycroft, that they will immediately start sucking for no reason at all. It has happened to many award-winning goalies and it will happen to others. Peter Budaj has a record of success to this point, but nothing is guaranteed. While we understand that he is as likely to melt down as he is to excel, remember that the first few games of the year (especially in the pre-season) should not be burdened with grand pronouncements or verdicts as to the goalie's likelihood of success. Let's see how this plays out, and hold our suicide notes at least until November.
Now, everybody go get their blood pressure prescriptions refilled and meet me back here with pacemakers fully installed.