(Photo credit: Scott Paulus) Perhaps you’ve heard. Perhaps you haven’t. Goalie Mark Dekanich has been re-assigned to Milwaukee.
But did he get a fair shake in training camp? Let’s look at some quotes and some stats.
Prior to last night’s game against the Thrashers in which Anders Lindback played all 60 minutes, the two goalies had played about the same amount of minutes.
Dekanich had 56:58 of ice time, and made 12 saves on just 14 shots.
Lindback had 60:21 of ice time, and made 29 of 30 saves.
Can Dekanich be faulted for not facing nearly as many shots as Lindback?
Prior to last night’s game, here are some sentences we can attribute to Coach Trotz. (courtesy of the Tennessean)
“I haven’t committed to going half the game or two periods and one period, that type of thing. We’ll see how the game goes. I told them both to be ready to play tonight. I’d probably give a slight edge to Lindback just because he’s had more work. Just a slight edge. For the most part, they’ve made it difficult which is exactly what you want.”
Ok, that’s fine. So they’ll each probably get some ice time against Atlanta….they’ll just see how the game goes.
Well, after two periods, the game was tied 3-3. Lindback had given up two goals over the final 10 minutes of the 2nd period to give back what was a 2-goal lead. And when the 3rd period started, Lindback was still in net.
After the game, Coach talked about his reasoning…or at least what he’d like us to believe.
“I thought the plan going in, as I talked to both goalies, was Lindback would play two (periods) and we would see where that took us. At 3-3, I didn’t think it was fair to put Deks in at that point. Obviously he wants to go in and prove himself. I thought it was important that we continue to forge forward.”
Didn’t think it was fair to put him in? Is it more fair to talk about this great battle for the backup goalie position, but not give one of the contenders any ice time? Since the 9:11 mark of the 2nd period on Friday the 24th, Dekanich has not seen any game action. Makes you wonder if the decision had been made already.
“To me, he is a Chris Mason. He’s a bulldog, a great athlete, all those things. He’s going to play. I’m not too worried about him not playing at all. He’s a guy that has just gotten better and better. He’s a good pro no matter the circumstances, here or Milwaukee.”
I think there’s a compliment in there somewhere. I’m not exactly sure where. Somewhere? Maybe?
While it’s easy to point to those things and say that he got a raw deal out of the so-called competition, there is a lot that is unknown to us. In Milwaukee, we didn’t have the benefit of watching him (or Lindback) practice. We didn’t have the benefit of being around Mitch Korn as he worked with the goaltenders over the course of the camp. We don’t know what his attitude was like. We don’t know how well Pekka Rinne and Lindback have bonded, since they are essentially clones of each other. But obviously, more than just time-on-ice goes into making roster decisions like this.
While I don’t think Dex got a raw deal, I DO think Coach Trotz is in mid-season form when it comes to Coachspeak.
Ok Roundtable — what do you think? Did Mark Dekanich get a raw deal in the backup goalie competition? And if Chet Pickard is the “goalie of the future”, how much ice-time do you think Dex should get with the Admirals while he’s here?