The 2015 NHL playoffs are just a few weeks away, and it’s not too difficult to find five teams that are still not quite settled in goal. There are always manufactured “goalie controversies” throughout an 82-game season, but this year seems to have a bit of a different feel to it.
Usually the postseason starts and it’s easy to pinpoint one or two goalies that might be on short leashes. This year there could be as many as five teams with volatile netminding situations.
Keep this scenario in mind while reading over the list: the team the goalie plays for drops Game 1 and 2 in the first round. A few soft goals sneak in along the way. Down 0-2 in a series, would the coaching staff decide to pull the plug and make a change in the name of a comeback?
With these five organizations, it’s not out of the question. Teams like the New York Rangers and Montreal Canadiens aren’t going to make any changes in goal. They’re going to live and die with Henrik Lundqvist and Carey Price. Ditto for the Minnesota Wild and Nashville Predators. You’re not going to see Devan Dubnyk get the hook for anyone at this point.
The man has started a ridiculous number of games in a row and head coach Mike Yeo doesn’t seem keen on dropping Darcy Kuemper or Niklas Backstrom into a game ever again.
These five teams’ situations are a bit more murky.
(Keep in mind that a few of these squads are still fighting for a playoff spot. In those instances, the short leash is obviously contingent on the team making the postseason.)