I've gone on and on about Peter Budaj's untapped and unlimited potential, but it doesn't really matter.
The main purpose of goaltenders is to win.
All Budaj has *ever* done is win.
Whether it was with St. Mike's in the OHL, as Slovakia's starting goaltender in the World Junior Championships or even as an upstart rookie in Hershey, the kid knows how to win and has nerves of steel. For young goaltenders, those are two attributes you simply cannot teach.
He'll be better than both David Aebischer and Phillipe Sauve once fully developed, in my opinion. But then again, I used to run and stretch with Budaj every Saturday and Sunday morning and got along great with the guy, so I'm biased.
Well, not really. Peter lost quite a few games last year in Hershey & some, very badly. So far, this year (4 games), he's done very well. But the season is young - time will tell about his 'nerves of steel'. But he can do it. Playing AHL level is a big jump from the OHL level, the guys are better, wiser, & nastier.
The same is true jumping from the AHL to the NHL. This whole aurgument about Abei, Phil, and Peter is just crazy. Not too long ago many people on this board were doubting if Abei was capable of being back-up. Right now, the 3 goalies are right where they should be. Abei is adjusting to being the number 1 goalie, Phil is adjsuting to the NHL level, and Peter is adjusting to being the #1 goalie for the Bears.