I think what the coaches are starting to notice is that they're getting the most out of Vokoun when they put their faith in him.
The whole "win and you're in" approach seemed to work well enough with Varly and Nuevy but the veteran Vokoun seems to play better when he's given the reins and the confidence to be our number one.
Different things motivate different people and we're certainly seeing that with our goaltenders. For me, Nuevy is at his best when he can take the "no one believes in me" approach. We saw that in the Calder Cup against a better keeper and we were seeing that last year when despite all the injuries, coaching seemed to give Varly their vote of confidence as the number one for a good chunk of the season.
There is something to be said for being the underdog. We were all impressed with Neuvy vs Montreal when if he was rusty, few would argue why. Perhaps part of his strong performance was being the backup now, and not feeling the pressure of being in a constant competition like most all his time in the NHL.
Goalies face an inordinate amount of pressure. Being in a battle with your teammate AND the opponent nightly... its just undue pressure that I think doesn't serve G's well.
Common sense says they are going to give their best whether they are fighting for the starting role or not. If they need to be in a competition to do well, when the competition is over, they will regress.
I am happy Dale handed the starting role to Vokoun and rolled with it. Its why we got him, to be the starter. Neuvy did great in his pinch hit role. I personally like not being afraid to sit a goalie after a shutout or strong game. They don't have to be ridden until they fall apart.
i gotta hand it to you. you think neuvirth has no pressure as the back up getting one game in ten. i see your point. he maybe figures he wont play no matter how well he plays and if he gives up a rusty goal or two, its not damage to his career,
or.....maybe he figures that if he shows his rust the after a long layoff dale will be even less likely to let him play and therefore he feels like he has just the one shot to show is can get the job done....meaning big pressure.
Why in the world is Kundratek preferred to Erskine? He's an AHL level defenceman.
Because Erskine can't skate, and that seems to be the most important thing in JJ's system.
Also figure they're still evaluating him to see just how useful their depth really is. Neither he nor Erskine would end up getting serious icetime the way they seem to manage them, so they must consider it a low-risk sub-in against a team like CAR.