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Sunday, September 24, 2006

Bruins Goaltending Analysis

The Bruins goaltending situation will be interesting this season, I will take a look at each of them and give you my thoughts.

Hannu Toivonen-Hannu has shown flashes of brilliance at times, but he isn't a number one goalie yet. One of the top prospect goalies in the league, Toivonen will get the shot at number one this year. Toivonen is one of the most flexable goalies in the league, with the ability to do a rare Chinese ankle split. This gives him the ability to cover post to post without moving. One of Toivonen's major weakness's is he is injury prone. To be a number one goalie, you obviously have to stay healthy. Goaltending is often underrated, but it is one of not the most important posistion. We all saw what happened to the Lightning and Flyers.

Tim Thomas-Where is the love? When Thomas replaced an injured Hannu Toivonen, he went on a tear. After signing with Boston from Europe, he started the season in Providence. Thomas did show flashes of a number 1, including an extremely hot streak in his first 10 games. But, he is more valuable as a backup, and is possibly one of the best in the NHL. Thomas signed a 3 year/3.3 million dollar extension with the B's after his streak at the end of the season, one of MOC's last moves. This didn't seem like a bad deal to me at the time, but now to me, it seems that 1.1 million a season to much for a backup in the new NHL. Thomas will get the duties of number 1 if Toivonen fails to keep the job.

Tuukka Rask-Widely known as the best puck stopping goalie in the world at only 18. Chiarelli pulled one off "stealing" him for Andrew Raycroft, who slipped down to 3rd on the depth chart. Rask will not be playing with the big club this year, but in a year or two he will definately be up here. Rask could see some time in Providence, but will likely play with his college team.

Brian Finley-Will be the starter in Providence this year. Once regarded as one of the top prospects in the game when he was with the Blues. He started his career off well, but he was injured and never bounced back. After returning, he was horendous, and later went to Nashville where things were no better. He has been playing well in the pre-season, and could be heading in the right direction. Finely could be up with the Bruins if an inury occurs.

Jordan Sigalet-Brother of Jonathan Sigalet, Jordan will be the backup in Providence, but could be promoted to starter if Finely doesn't stay up to par. Jordan has been very good this pre-season, and is one the Bruins better goaltending prospects. Sigalet will probably not see any ice time with the Bruins, but down the road that may change. Sigalet could also be trade bait at the deadline due to the "young" depth the Bruins have at the goaltending posistion.

*Note: Chiarelli has stated that if Thomas and Toivonen don't work out, he will be shopping for a starting goalie such as Evgeni Nabokov, Martin Biron, Robert Esche, J.S. Giguere, and others.


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