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04-29-2004, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Guy!
I would consider this last season of Theo's to be only slightly better than average, and certainly not stellar. He's become a streak goaltender, of sorts, and while, when he's good, he's really good, when he's bad, most cringe.

Up until we played the outdoor game in Edmonton this season, he struggled greatly. Talk all you want about getting in shape and coming in ready to play his best season ever, there's no getting over the fact that he was, at times, brutal.

After the outdoor game he was infinitely better and sustained that solid play basically through until the last couple of weeks of the season, whereupon he fell into another funk. There were games in that stretch where he wasn't at his best, but then you can say that when he was playing badly there were games where he looked almost good. Point is, this season has been a series of three long streaks.

Since the last two weeks of the season, Theo has provided us with about three solid games where you knew he was on and didn't have to worry. Other than that, whenever there's a shot, I cringe and hold my breath. I don't have the confidence in him, and I believe that many of the players have lost a little confidence in him - hence some of the nervous play at times - especially in starting an attack. When you're worried your goalie won't make saves you panic the puck out as fast as possible, and that's no way to generate scoring chances.

The playoffs have not been a showcase for our goalie. He's played about average for the bulk of the time - now, when he lets in those poor goals many collectively shout and say he's terrible, but facing facts, he's just an average goalie right now. He'll make you some saves and he'll blow a couple here and there. He's been stellar for precisely one of ten games this playoff year and has been over average for two. Is that worth $6 million? Is that your franchise?

Now, I'm not going to jump out there and say that we should trade him, not at all. What I will say is that, perhaps Garon should get a far more serious look early next season because, I believe, with a few more games under his belt and a little more confidence, he's going to be at least as good as Theo. Garon, if you're careful to note, is, as far as I can see, a better pure shot-stopper. Now, Theo still has better positioning and rebound control, but those are things that only game experience will give.

And if you consider for a moment what Theo might bring in a trade, it's not necessarily the end of the world. Certainly a quality goalie like that would bring you a piece or two for a second line, which we sorely need. He would also get you a really solid defender, someone that could eat some large minutes and be relied upon regularly. More interesting is what he could bring you at the draft - since this team is still building to the future.

Would a Theo/Perezhogin/Pick for Ovechkin tickle your fancy? It's not out of the realm and before you mention Kolzig, I can pretty much guarantee you he won't be there when the next season starts. Washington wants to rebuild and there's no better way than to rebuild around a goalie who has solid numbers and can be relied upon for a good 25-30 wins a year. As to Perezhogin, the cupboard is stocked and sending away one good kid to aquire you a potential game-breaker is an interesting thought for sure. Pure speculation, mind you, but again I say, the draft brings many surprises and nothing's out of the realm of possibility.

Just one fan's thoughts, mind you, but don't defend something that isn't there. Theo hasn't been all that and a bag of chips; he's been good, for sure, but not great. And with a price tag such as he has, it makes moving him very interesting (and opens up a chunk of change to bring in some other types of help). Keep your minds open to any possibility, that's all I can say.

A Concerned Fan
Very well said Guy!

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