Well, it’s come to this for the Winnipeg Jets.
Tonight, Pavelec makes his season debut when the Jets host the Coyotes at the MTS Centre.
Waived just prior to the start of the regular season, Pavelec — in the final year of a much-maligned five-year, $19.5 million contract — passed through unclaimed and was dispatched to Manitoba, where he’s performed reasonably well.
The 29-year-old posted a .917 save percentage in 18 games and, while that’s hardly the stuff of legend, his play was steadily improving prior to his recall. On Sunday, he stopped 42 of 43 shots in a win over Chicago.
The big question, of course, is if Pavelec can show some consistency, which he’s always lacked at the NHL level. He went 13-13-4 with a .904 save percentage last season, and his career save rate is just .907.
For the Coyotes, Mike Smith is in goal.
— Matt Murray, fresh off allowing seven goals in a win over Washington, goes for the Pens in Montreal. He’ll be up against Carey Price, who’s struggled lately and has just an .886 save percentage in January.
— Jared Coreau has two shutouts in his last four start for Detroit, so the Wings will go back to him tonight when they host the B’s. Tuukka Rask, hooked in Monday’s ugly loss to the Isles, goes for Boston.
— Roberto Luongo gets the night off after Florida lost in Calgary last night, meaning James Reimer goes in Edmonton. The Oilers will go with Cam Talbot, who’s embracing his heavy workload this season.