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02-08-2013, 12:15 PM
  #27
Stej
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: The Kirk
Country: Canada
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We can’t give Pavs a free pass forever.

It is possible that the number of quality chances against him are not only a function of poor team defense, but also of poor positioning and awareness on his part. I’m leaning more and more towards the latter each day. For example, the Kessel shot was a beauty to be sure but Pavelec was at least a foot outside the top of his crease and should have been able to save that. To my eye, he was hedging slightly to the blocker side and wasn’t centered properly in the net. Shots from the top of the circle can be tough to save if you are hemmed back into your net, but he was way out cutting down the angle. Not a free pass from me.

His shootout stats are terrible. What does that mean? Is it in his head? Is he not intelligent enough to make good reads on where a player will go? I don’t have those answers, but it does say something about his ability to keep the puck out of the net no matter how you spin it.

His conditioning and dedication are often called into question. Any truth to those concerns? Not sure, but it gets harder and harder to ignore as his struggles continue.

He’s not particularly good at handling the puck.

So what does that leave us with? He’s reasonably athletic and makes the odd nice sprawling save. I’m not so sure that’s enough anymore.

People act like we need to fix everything else and Pavelec’s performance will follow. It's not necessarily a one-way street. Big saves and weak goals go a long way towards swinging momentum and confidence for the rest of the team and Pavs is not delivering in that department.

I’ve been a Pavelec defender until very recently. I told myself all the same things that the other Pavs supporters are saying, but it’s getting increasingly difficult to convince myself that he is the goalie of the future. I can’t help it that my automatic reaction is to cringe every time a shot heads towards the net. That doesn’t make me a hater. It’s just my reality. I wish it wasn’t and I’ll be the very first person in line hoping that I’m wrong.

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