The goaltender is one of the most fascinating positions in sports because no single player has more influence over a hockey team’s fortunes, yet it can be almost impossible to predict which goalies will get cold — and how long it will last.
Here are the 10 teams facing the greatest challenges in net this season. We’ll diagnose the possible causes, predict how long things will last and propose some solutions.
Due to financial constraints, the Coyotes began the season without an established No. 1 goalie. Their best bet was Antti Raanta, who has been one of the league’s better backups the past three seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks and New York Rangers. However, Raanta was injured early in the season, and backup Louis Domingue struggled with the top job, going 0-6-0 with an .856 save percentage.
Between Marek Langhamer, Adin Hill and Hunter Miska, Arizona has pretty strong organizational strength down the line, but for the team’s immediate needs, GM John Chayka wisely chose to acquire Scott Wedgewood from the New Jersey Devils and dealt Domingue to the Tampa Bay Lightning for veteran Michael Leighton just in case. Thanks to Raanta’s return to the lineup, Wedgewood’s solid play and the additional depth, the Coyotes should have reliable goaltending the rest of the way.