Anders Lindback has started two games this season for the Dallas Stars. He wasn’t terrible in the first one, a 4-1 loss to Nashville in which he stopped 29 of 32 shots. But in the second one, Saturday’s 7-5 loss to the Islanders, he could’ve been considerably better.
Just ask him.
“I have to be better than that; that’s about it,” Lindback said, per the Dallas Morning News. “Those two under the arm are goals I need to have. You can break it down, but in the end I need to make those stops that keep us in the game.”
We wrote about the Stars’ backup goalie concerns in our Risk Factors series, noting the importance of the position for a bubble team like Dallas and that Lindback had a rather unimpressive .891 save percentage last season in Tampa Bay.
Here’s what coach Lindy Ruff said before the season: “Ideally, if you can come out of a season and have your backup with a winning record, that’s a big deal. He needs to be able to step in and win games for you, play well.”
And here’s what Ruff said Saturday: “I thought [Lindback] had a tough night. We gave some pretty good opportunities, but at the same time you have to get some saves. It’s part of his role, and it’s not easy, but we needed a few tonight.”
Ruff added: “It’s something we’re putting a hard look into. We liked him through camp, and he’s had a little bit of a struggle.”
The Stars do have options. They could call up Jussi Rynnas, or even young Jack Campbell, from the AHL. But neither of those two are guaranteed to be much better than Lindback.
Lindback’s next test could come soon, with the Stars playing back-to-back this weekend, Friday at home to Anaheim and Saturday in Minnesota.