The Avalanche will be getting a boost soon by welcoming starting goalie Craig Anderson back to the lineup. Anderson has missed the last few weeks after suffering a knee injury during warm-ups back on October 26th. Usually when a team loses their starting goalie, success can be tougher to come by but Peter Budaj was nothing short of great in filling in for Anderson.
Budaj went 6-3-1 .931 save percentage and a 2.60 goals against average in those 10 games since Anderson went down. Instead of just hanging on waiting for Anderson to get back, the Avs were able to kick it into another gear and rally around Budaj. Meanwhile Budaj helped silence his critics for a little while and helped show that Craig Anderson doesn’t necessarily need to play 70 games in a season for the Avs to be able to make the playoffs. That said, expect coach Joe Sacco to return to riding Anderson for the season as he seems to thrive on constant action during the games and consistent play.
With a quote that’s sure to raise the ire of the stats crowd, here’s Jonathan Quick on his .833 save percentage to start the season:
“That’s for people that don’t know the game. Those numbers don’t mean nothing. We’re 0-2, though. That number means something, so that’s something that we’ve got to get better at.”
(That quote, per LA Kings Insider.)
Quick allowed four goals on 22 shots in his last outing, a 4-1 loss to Arizona on Friday, after which head coach Darryl Sutter said of his star goalie: “He didn’t play very well tonight, did he?”
So even if Quick doesn’t think much of statistics, he should still be extra motivated for tonight’s home game against Vancouver, assuming he gets the start.
Last season, Quick’s .918 save percentage ranked in a three-way tie for 14th out of the 29 goalies who started 40 or more games.
After making the Wild out of training camp, Tyler Graovac got some bad news on Tuesday — head coach Mike Yeo said Graovac would miss the next 2-3 weeks with a groin strain.
Graovac, 22, played just under 14 minutes in Minnesota’s crazy 5-4 comeback win over Colorado in the season-opener, but sat out Saturday’s win over St. Louis.
At 6-foot-5 and 200 pounds, Graovac was a notable physical presence in the Wild lineup, and is an intriguing prospect — he impressed with AHL Iowa last year, scoring 21 goals and 46 points in 73 games.