How Did The Market React to Today’s Goalie Changes?
Sergei Belski, USA Today
We’ve already covered a couple of games on tonight’s NHL slate in great length but there’s some pressing matters to attend to in the blue ice as there are some bad goalies in action.
Like with pitchers in baseball, the market will often go batty when there’s a change in net for an NHL team. There’s obviously good reason for this, as the difference between a team’s No. 1 and No. 2 can be drastic. So let’s have a look at how the market adjusted with a couple of today’s switches.
Louis Domingue, Tampa Bay Lightning
Tampa Bay is going with Louis Domingue against the Ottawa Senators tonight. The Bolts have one of the league’s best goalies in Andrei Vasilevskiy, but the 23-year-old Russian has already played in 50 games in his first year as a starter, so this is an opportunity to get Vasilevskiy some rest against a bad team.
As for Domingue, the numbers aren’t good. The 25-year-old has a 90.15 5v5 save percentage, which puts him in the bottom-five of goalies with at least 300 minutes played. You could make the argument that going from Vasilevskiy to Domingue is the biggest dropoff between starter and backup in the league and the market reacted as you’d expect it to, with money pouring in on Ottawa as soon as Domingue was announced as the starter around 12:15 ET.
Eddie Lack, New Jersey Devils
The Devils are going with Lack and his .869 (all situations) save percentage tonight against the Minnesota Wild. The Devils are in a tough spot with Corey Schneider out and their options are very limited in the blue paint. They could go with Lack, who has been just about the worst goalie in the NHL over the past three seasons, or Keith Kinkaid, who is gunning for that same title this year.
The Devils aren’t on a back-to-back so they most likely opted to go with Lack because he looked good in his last start, an improbable 48-save win over the Lightning on Saturday.
Lack was confirmed as the starter at 11:39 this morning but the board has been pretty quiet since the move was made public. This is probably due to the fact that Kinkaid has been just as bad, if not worse, than Lack this year and the Wild announced last night that they’d be rolling with their backup, Alex Stalock.
Aaron Dell, San Jose Sharks
The Sharks start a back-to-back with a game in Nashville tonight and Chicago on Friday and they’ve opted to give their backup the game in Tennessee with Martin Jones presumably going at the United Center.
Dell had a solid first-half of the season and seemed like he was making a case to usurp Jones as the starter. The 28-year-old has struggled lately, allowing 16 goals over his last four games.
Over his career, Dell is a .923 goaltender and has generally given a good account of himself with a 10.24 goals saved above average (GSAA) since he broke into the league in 2016.
Dell was announced at the starter at 1 p.m. ET and since then we’ve seen the Sharks’ odds shorten from +152 to +138 at CRIS.
Photo: Sergei Belski, USA Today