Dallas Stars head coach Lindy Ruff pledged his support for backup Anders Lindback, yet he also told the Dallas Morning News that the team would consider going with a different option if their No. 2 goalie continues to implode.
Ruff spoke about how the towering goalie is hard on himself, especially after showing promise in practice settings. Ultimately, he said that it’s “his job to support” Lindback.
Even so, the Stars haven’t closed the door on Jussi Rynnas or Jack Campbell getting some chances if Lindback can’t snap out of it. Here’s what Ruff told the DMN about possible competition for that backup spot:
“The answer, I think, ultimately is yes,” Ruff said. “You can put Rynnas in there. You can put Campbell in there. You’ve got to play well. It’s no different than a fourth line player that goes in and out. You’ve got to play well. If you want to stay in, you’ve got to play well. He understands his role and knows that he has to play well.”
Plenty of options, though quality could be an issue
Campbell, 22, was the 11th pick of the 2010 NHL Draft. His lone NHL appearance came last season, when he allowed six goals in a loss to the Anaheim Ducks. Rynnas, has three games of NHL experience to his name, and like Campbell, he’s still without a win at this level.
(There wasn’t any discussion about free agent options, despite veterans such as Martin Brodeur, Ilya Bryzgalov and Tim Thomas, who briefly played for Dallas last season.)
While Dallas has options, the relative inexperience of Campbell and Rynnas explains why they handed Lindback a $925K deal. The 26-year-old certainly enjoyed a higher profile in the league years ago; despite just 38 games of experience at the time, the Lightning gave up two second-rounders and a third-round pick to land Lindback in the 2012 offseason.
A matter of time?
It’s unfair to close the door on Lindback working things out. There’s no sugarcoating allowing nine goals in his first two starts, yet it’s still a tiny sample size. Ben Scrivens and Henrik Lundqvist are already looking better after tough starts, for example.
That said, Lindback’s career stats at various levels inspire some concern that teams are paying for potential instead of results. As supportive as the Stars might seem right now, Lindback might not get the benefit of the doubt much longer.
The Stars host the St. Louis Blues tonight. Lindback’s next best chance to start could come this weekend, as Dallas faces the Ducks at home on Friday before visiting the Wild in Minnesota on Saturday.