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AHL Report - The Goaltenders


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#1 elvis15

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 12:52 PM

I haven't looked to see what other reports he's done, but I came upon this article today by Mike Finewax talking about the goalies who are performing right now in the AHL.

This week on the AHL Report I am going to concentrate on goaltenders. There are veteran goalies trying to show their respective NHL teams that they still have something left, while young goaltenders are trying to prove that they have what it takes to play in The Show.

It seems strange that a lot of AHL teams are not necessarily playing their young goalies but are going with veterans in an attempt to win rather than develop. There’s an interesting situation in San Antonio, the AHL home of the Florida Panthers farm team. Jacob Markstrom is considered the best goalie not playing in the NHL, but the Rampage have used the 30-year-old Dov Grumel-Morris eight times, while Markstrom has only played in seven. Of course Markstrom’s 2-5-0 record with a 3.61 GAA and .881 save percentage could have something to do with the 22-year-old Swedish goalie sitting on the bench more often than not.


Martin Jones – The undrafted netminder is third on the Los Angeles Kings depth chart, but with Jonathan Bernier possibly on the trade block once the lockout ends, Jones could find himself as the backup to Jonathan Quick should that happen. He is off to a good start with the Monarchs as he is 6-5-1 with a 2.20 GAA and a .920 save percentage. Jones is the number one goaltender in Manchester after the departure of Jeff Zatkoff. Should Bernier remain a King, then look for Jones to spend the remainder of his third professional season in the AHL.


Jeff Frazee – Frazee is off to a very good start in goal for the Devils farm team in Albany where he is sharing the net with Keith Kincaid (who is not the son of Reuben). Frazee has allowed 13 goals in six games for a 2.12 GAA. He has a .921 save percentage to go with a 3-1-2 record. Frazee was once seen as the Devils goalie of the future but at the age of 25, the former second round pick of New Jersey in 2005 has been playing in the minors for a long time and still is the third goalie on the depth charts at best as aging veterans Martin Brodeur and Johan Hedberg are ahead of him. Kincaid has played in seven games for Albany this season after playing in 42 last season. Frazee is in the last year of a two-way, two-year deal.


Dan Ellis – Ellis signed a contract with the Charlotte Checkers during the last week of September after playing parts of six seasons in the NHL. The 32-year-old netminder was with the Anaheim Ducks last season but a torn groin muscle ended his season in early January. The Ducks subsequently signed Viktor Fasth to back up Jonas Hiller, leaving Ellis a free agent. He is hoping to return to the NHL and has been terrific with a 1.67 GAA and an eye-popping .947 save percentage, to go with a 4-2-2 record. It could be hard for Ellis to get another job in the NHL given his age, but if he continues to thrive in the AHL, some team could give him a chance.


Robin Lehner – The Senators goalie of the future has been outstanding thus far with a 6-2-1 record to go with a 1.77 GAA and a .945 save percentage for Binghamton. Lehner has played 13 games in the NHL over the last two seasons despite turning 21 in July. While most assume that Ben Bishop will back up Craig Anderson in Ottawa once the NHL season resumes, don’t overlook Lehner, who may be ready for the starting job as early as the 2013-14 season.


Braden Holtby – The future metminder of the Washington Capitals has been fine thus far despite a less than stellar record of 4-5-0 as Holtby has a 2.53 GAA and a .927 save percentage. While his save percentage is good, his GAA is only 20thbest in the AHL. Holtby sparkled in the 2012 NHL playoffs leading the Capitals to an opening round series win as they upset the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins and he almost upset the New York Rangers as Washington took them to a seventh game. Holtby had a 1.95 GAA and a .935 save percentage in the post-season for Washington and holds the inside track for the starting gig in net, ahead of Michal Neuvirth at this time.


I came upon this after comments in the Luongo discussion thread about Scrivens and Markstrom not having stellar years statistically in the AHL, and Lack isn't in the top of the list either. I think some teams are having trouble with the amount of extra players they have due to the lockout where they have to rotate people in and out of the lineups so often it's causing some issues in consistency elsewhere.
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#2 Where's Wellwood

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 12:59 PM

We all know Lack is number six on that list.

Edit: But good to see that Holtby is doing well. I became a bandwagon fan of his during the Washington-Boston series.

Edited by Where's Wellwood, 19 November 2012 - 01:00 PM.

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#3 elvis15

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 02:37 PM

We all know Lack is number six on that list.

Edit: But good to see that Holtby is doing well. I became a bandwagon fan of his during the Washington-Boston series.

The list isn't sortable unfortunately, but here's the AHL Stats page for goalies. Lack is 31st in save percentage (.903%) and has a 2.93 GAA. Some tough games in there and team defence hasn't always been great in his defence (3rd periods anyone?) but even some good AHL goalies have struggled this season so far.

On the other end of the spectrum, Barry Brust (a 29 year old who played in the second Wolves game in Abbotsford on Oct 20, a 4-1 loss for Chicago) is 18+ minutes away from breaking the AHL shutout record, has 4 wins in as many games played, and .991 sv% and 0.25 GAA. Small sample size sure, and it doesn't mean he's the next NHL superstar any more than it means Jacob Markstrom is a bust since he's currently in 50th on the list (.881 sv% and 3.61 GAA), but interesting to note current stats in relation to others in the same league.
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#4 SterlingArcher

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 06:57 PM

Barry Brust has been getting very lucky. I dont even seeing him being a future nhl back up
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#5 elvis15

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 08:59 PM

Oh, I agree. It is interesting to see Dan Ellis making a push for a job once the lockout ends, but also Lehner and, to a lesser extent, Holtby putting their hands up for their respective teams, however.
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