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As it Stands- Part 8/Goaltending

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If you rest Cam he gets cold and gets streaky. If you play Cam 15-20 games in a row he's shown he plays better, plays with more confidence and the streakiness is minimal. The only way he should be below 68 games this year is if the black flames up but if he's healthy he needs to be playing alot of games.

Given it's coach Mo this year I really doubt that Cam plays less then 65 games and I would tend to agree. Lavi putting in the backup every 4-5 games did nothing but freeze Ward up and I think we lost alot of back to backs with the "play the backup the second day" philosophy.

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One area that health aside is set is goalie. Unless Cam slides back to his average at best play he will be at least a top 10 goalie. I think that JR is kind of building this year's team around Cam. More size, more stay at home defense, bigger 4th line. Since our offensive output may face a drop-off but we really can't bring in any more offensive firepower, this is a smart strategy.

The upside is that Cam clearly did play better with a team that was more defensive minded, so it is reasonable to project Cam continuing this level of play with and even more defensive team.

On backup: no one knows how good Leighton could be period. The guy doesn't get any ice time. A lot is made of the AHL not being the NHL, and this is true. However, the AHL is the AHL and one can compare Peters fairly straight up with Leighton's AHL numbers. Unless Leighton just falls apart we are better off with Leighton.

The health of Cam is the season.

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What give Cam a rest.. RU Crazy.... One night off and then crack the whip for another 20 or so.

Peters did rather well with the Albany as I recall as did Leighton.

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There is no question in my mind Ward-O should get most of the work. He has proven that he is steady and a top NHL goalie. The moves we have made on defense should help him be even better. But I would like to see him get a little more rest especially in the early part of the season. After the break your going to go to your top guy most of the time and that's Ward-O. If he stays healthy our Canes should be in great shape.

I have always liked Leighton.I remember watching him in Norfolk when he was in the Chicago organization. At the AHL level he was always among the best. At the NHL level we still don

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There is no question in my mind Ward-O should get most of the work. He has proven that he is steady and a top NHL goalie. The moves we have made on defense should help him be even better. But I would like to see him get a little more rest especially in the early part of the season. After the break your going to go to your top guy most of the time and that's Ward-O. If he stays healthy our Canes should be in great shape.

I have always liked Leighton.I remember watching him in Norfolk when he was in the Chicago organization. At the AHL level he was always among the best. At the NHL level we still don

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Goaltending is always difficult to judge from a fans point of view. Its easy to say "lets just play Cam 10 games then play Leighton 1, then Cam again" but theres alot of intangibles that im sure we cannot be 100% sure on. The main one is how the goalie feels. So basically we are going to have to trust Coach Mo on how to judge when to play Cam. Im sure he knows better than we do.

I have full confidence in Ward-o when hes playing often and hes healthy. I dont have much confidence in Leighton, but if he can win half his games, and if he starts 15 games, we will be okay.

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Michael Leighton will need some play time to stay fresh in case something does happen, but you don't want to break up cam when he is on a streak. Cam should know his limits better then anyone, and if he needs a break I don't think anyone will question it. I think 60-65 would be ideal for both players depending on injuries and what not.

I know nothing about peters other then the small amount we saw last year and I can't make much of his numbers at Albany due to the season they had overall, but I bet we will get a good look at him in the pre-season.

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Cam has shown that he is a better goalie when he plays a lot. Leighton needs enough ice time to stay sharp. Since Cam did well last season playing 68 games, I say that's about where he needs to be. There are 14 back to backs this year due to the Olympics break. Play Leighton on the back end of those and Cam plays his 68 games.

I wish J.R. had signed Cam to an extension before the Luongo contract.

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Cam has shown that he is a better goalie when he plays a lot. Leighton needs enough ice time to stay sharp. Since Cam did well last season playing 68 games, I say that's about where he needs to be. There are 14 back to backs this year due to the Olympics break. Play Leighton on the back end of those and Cam plays his 68 games.

I wish J.R. had signed Cam to an extension before the Luongo contract.

I think this is part of the coach's dilemma. I don't have the stats and could be wrong, but I though Cam had a rather amazing record on the back half of back to backs. Since those are typically losses in the NHL, and the league is so balanced, picking up those wins can be enough to make the playoffs. So there he is cruising along, and a back to back comes up. Natural time to play your backup but the exact time that Cam is far more likely to get you a win. Thus these huge stretches where Leighton sees no game action.

Ironically may work better to put in Leighton the game before the two back to back games, then let Cam have the entire back to back. Seems counter-intuitive, but I think that stats back this up (at least I hope they do since I put this out there).

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I think this is part of the coach's dilemma. I don't have the stats and could be wrong, but I though Cam had a rather amazing record on the back half of back to backs. Since those are typically losses in the NHL, and the league is so balanced, picking up those wins can be enough to make the playoffs. So there he is cruising along, and a back to back comes up. Natural time to play your backup but the exact time that Cam is far more likely to get you a win. Thus these huge stretches where Leighton sees no game action.

Ironically may work better to put in Leighton the game before the two back to back games, then let Cam have the entire back to back. Seems counter-intuitive, but I think that stats back this up (at least I hope they do since I put this out there).

Whatever works is fine with me. That still gets Leighton 14 games. He needs enough work to stay ready.

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I think we should let Michael Leighton play a bit more. Maybe we can have a stronger

Cam towards the end of the season. I'm not sure how many games he should play

to keep him consistent. Maybe that is a task for the goalie coach to work on. If I had

to put a number of games I would say 50-55

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I think this is part of the coach's dilemma. I don't have the stats and could be wrong, but I though Cam had a rather amazing record on the back half of back to backs. Since those are typically losses in the NHL, and the league is so balanced, picking up those wins can be enough to make the playoffs. So there he is cruising along, and a back to back comes up. Natural time to play your backup but the exact time that Cam is far more likely to get you a win. Thus these huge stretches where Leighton sees no game action.

Ironically may work better to put in Leighton the game before the two back to back games, then let Cam have the entire back to back. Seems counter-intuitive, but I think that stats back this up (at least I hope they do since I put this out there).

I recall us being at least 9-3 on the 2nd game of back to backs, and Cam has actually said he likes playing two in a row. I would say put Leighton in 2 games before the B2B so Cam can have 1 game to get his rhythm back if he needs it, and then he can play his 2 in a row.

All in all, I would say let Cam play as much as he wants. I feel he can give us a chance to win every single night, and if he feels able to play 70 games I wouldn't object. It does really stink for Leighton that this is the situation, hopefully he can eventually find a new team with poor goaltending and try to prove himself because I think he could actually be a good goalie.

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What I know about managing goalies in the NHL wouldn't fill up a teaspoon so I don't even know why I try this but...

While the AHL isn't the NHL, Leighton showed that he was a capable goalie when he was a workhorse. Cam has shown the same thing in the NHL. My opinion is that the heavy workload wore Cam down at the end of the season. I don't know where you rest Cam in the 14 back to backs. It could be the back end, the game before or the game after, but I think that gives Leighton the ability to stay sharp and Cam some rest. Cam needs to learn to turn it back on after a day off.

Let's get Cam signed to an extension.

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I recall us being at least 9-3 on the 2nd game of back to backs, and Cam has actually said he likes playing two in a row. I would say put Leighton in 2 games before the B2B so Cam can have 1 game to get his rhythm back if he needs it, and then he can play his 2 in a row.

That's what I was referring to a few posts back, but I didn't realize it was that good. I don't know if anyone knows the general trend for teams in back to backs, but I'm pretty sure that is generally a loss 60-70% of the time. If Cam went 9-3 that may be tops in the league. Gotta be close. I think that the coaches should let Cam have the back to backs but rest him either immediately before or after them. Leighton needs to see some time.

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I don't know what it is, but I don't care for Leighton.

Sure, he has played well...but there is something in my gut ( besides overpriced RBC Center food :lol: ) that doesn't sit well.

I have my favorite non-goalie players and I like all of them to a different degree...but something about Leights does not give me a good feeling. :(

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There's no logical reason to play Leighton over Ward. Ward's a better player, he wins a higher percentage of games, etc. The only time Leighton should get play time is when Ward hits a cold streak and his play is detrimental to the team or when Ward says he needs a break.

Starting goaltenders in the NHL play about the amount Ward played last year. Now, if we had a competent backup (like a Fernandez or a Clemmenson) then playing Ward less would be acceptable. But since we have Leighton (who hasn't shown any kind of success in the NHL), Ward should play as often as possible.

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There's no logical reason to play Leighton over Ward. Ward's a better player, he wins a higher percentage of games, etc. The only time Leighton should get play time is when Ward hits a cold streak and his play is detrimental to the team or when Ward says he needs a break.

Starting goaltenders in the NHL play about the amount Ward played last year. Now, if we had a competent backup (like a Fernandez or a Clemmenson) then playing Ward less would be acceptable. But since we have Leighton (who hasn't shown any kind of success in the NHL), Ward should play as often as possible.

Frog, I don't think anyone here is saying to play Leighton over Cam except for giving him a break. The 68 games he played last year are about right and would fit good with the back to backs, whether you rest Cam before or after them. We needed Cam down the stretch and rode him like a government mule. With the suspect defense we had at times, we got our money's worth out of Cam and may have ground him down. Everybody can use a break from time to time.

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Leighton played in 19 games last year, was 6-7-2 with a GAA of 2.92 and a Save% of .901. It's certainly not stellar, but I wouldn't call that no success. I think Cam should play about the same number of games as last year. Leighton needs to step up and prove he can be that guy behind Cam. No need to pay for the likes of Hernandez.

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Frog, I don't think anyone here is saying to play Leighton over Cam except for giving him a break. The 68 games he played last year are about right and would fit good with the back to backs, whether you rest Cam before or after them. We needed Cam down the stretch and rode him like a government mule. With the suspect defense we had at times, we got our money's worth out of Cam and may have ground him down. Everybody can use a break from time to time.

An earlier post mentioned playing Ward for 50-55 games, and I know the last time this was discussed, some wanted Leighton to get more games "to prove himself" or saying "The organization's ruined him".

Leighton's not some young prospect goaltender. He's almost 30, he's played on multiple teams, showing the same pattern. Fairly successful in the AHL, but he can't transfer that game to the NHL.

Ideally, I'd actually have Leighton play less than last year. Of the 19 games he played in, he won less than a 3rd of them. And when this team needed almost every win to make the playoffs last year, it doesn't seem to make sense to increase the amount of games Leighton plays in. If he showed any signs that giving him more playtime would improve his stats, then it might be a little more reasonable, but Leighton played a decent stretch of games for a while and didn't play too well. In fact, when he played sparingly, he seemed to play better (San Jose and the last game against the Devils, for example).

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Let's look at Leighton's losses last season.

Oct. 23 to Pittsburgh (99 pts and Stanley Cup Champions)

Nov. 12 to Washington (108 pts, 2nd place in east).

Nov. 24 to Florida (93 pts. 9th place in east).

Nov. 30 to Anaheim (91 pts, 8th place in west).Kabs, Melichar, and Babs on D.

Dec. 6 to Philly (99pts, 4th place in east). Kabs, Melichar, and Babs on D. Mo's first game back .

Dec 11 to Philly (99 pts, 4th place in east). Corvo, Pitkanen, and a bunch of Rats on D.

Dec. 23 to Minn (89 pts. 9th place in west).

Feb. 12 to Florida (93 pts. 9th place in east).

That's not the easiest bunch of teams to beat. It's not like he was losing to scrub teams.

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Yet in his win column, he had the Sharks, Washington and Anaheim. The caliber of the team shouldn't matter. Look at the Islanders last year for example.

4 times we played them, 2 times we blew them out (and Ward's play wasn't a big factor), the other two times, our goaltending needed to be top notch. The first game against them, they put up 60 shots and it came down to a stopped penalty shot in the final second to win the game. The 3rd time we played them, a 2-0 lead became a 4-2 deficit in a matter of 18 minutes.

And it's not that Leighton loses to powerhouse teams, it's the way he loses. The Minnesota game, I distinctly remember being a terrible game for him. His rebound control was godawful that game. And IIRC, one of those Philly games was the blown 5-1 lead. Defense or not, you've got to keep that lead.

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Yet in his win column, he had the Sharks, Washington and Anaheim. The caliber of the team shouldn't matter. Look at the Islanders last year for example.

4 times we played them, 2 times we blew them out (and Ward's play wasn't a big factor), the other two times, our goaltending needed to be top notch. The first game against them, they put up 60 shots and it came down to a stopped penalty shot in the final second to win the game. The 3rd time we played them, a 2-0 lead became a 4-2 deficit in a matter of 18 minutes.

And it's not that Leighton loses to powerhouse teams, it's the way he loses. The Minnesota game, I distinctly remember being a terrible game for him. His rebound control was godawful that game. And IIRC, one of those Philly games was the blown 5-1 lead. Defense or not, you've got to keep that lead.

Do you think that Cam needs to play every game? Do you think we need to pick up a veteran backup to spell Cam?

When Leighton was signed, I thought we needed a veteran who would be comfortable in the role. Fact is, J.R. isn't going to spend big bucks on a guy that's going to sit at the end of the bench and hold up a baseball hat for 70 games a year. Leighton is an el-cheapo backup and if Cam is to remain here, we all need to get comfortable with el-cheapo backups.

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I think considering this team typically needs every win it gets to make the playoffs, and considering Ward plays better when he plays consistently, there's no reason to break his streak just so our backup can get play time.

Like I said, the only time Leighton should play is when Ward's play becomes detrimental to the team or when Ward asks for a break. Other than that, it's Ward's job, no matter what the "norm" is when to use your backup.

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