Biggest Holes in Goalkeeping around the NHL
Posted by: Charlie Smith
Online betting fans who are fond of the NHL know that the puck stops with the goalie. If a team has a skilled goalie they’ll be able to enjoy success, if however they have a mediocre goalie then it will be hard for that team to get anything going. While it may not be the most important position on the ice – you can’t win games without point scorers – the goalie is the last line of defense. If you’re goalie isn’t taken seriously then your opponents will have their way with you. You can put points on the board all day but if you aren’t able to stop your opponent’s offense then you won’t be winning too many hockey games. That said online betting fans can begin to see the importance of knowing who the top goalies in the league are as well as where the mediocre ones reside. So which teams have the least-respected goalies? Let’s have a look.
The Arizona Coyotes are coming off a losing season and if they want to get into the playoffs then they’re going to need better play from their goalies. Mike Smith has been the Coyote’s starter since 2011 but only started 32 games last season. His save percentage was .916 and his backup, Louis Dominguez, was .912. The NHL average was .915 and if they want next season to be an improvement they’re going to need more than average play at the goaltending position. Smith suffered a core muscle injury last season and the injury was severe enough to require surgery. It is unclear how many starts Smith will get this season.
Cam Ward may have been hailed a hero by Carolina Hurricanes’ fans for his part in their Stanley Cup run but this isn’t 2006. The only thing Ward’s .909 save percentage did for the Hurricanes this season is earn them a ranking near the bottom of the league. Carolina was 29th out of 30 teams in save percentage thanks to the combined efforts of Ward and Eddie Lack. Ward started 51 games last season while Lack started 31. Those who bet on sports have no reason to believe the Hurricane’s goaltending will improve this year.
The Dallas Stars’ tandem at goalie can hardly be considered one of the league’s ‘stars’. Even though Dallas is spending more than $10 million on their goalies, the veterans might not be worth it. Kari Lehtonen and Antti Nieme are well into their 30, and unfortunately for Dallas, are signed to long contracts. Befuddling to online betting fans is the fact that the Stars will be spending more on goaltending this year than any other NHL team. Dallas might be better off stacking that money in front of the net instead of sending one of their 2 goalies as both had save percentages below .907 last season.
Nashville Predator’s goal keeping isn’t the worst in the league, but it’s certainly not the best. Veteran Pekka Rinne is the starter and his subpar .908 save percentage might not be enough to keep him at the helm. Rinne has only posted one season above .910 in his last four, not something you want from a Stanley Cup competitor. Rinne is under contract until 2019 and will have to step up his play or risk becoming an overpaid benchwarmer.