All these men find themselves in vastly different situations. One is trying to make a name for himself (Budaj), one is hoping to prove to people last year’s turnaround was no fluke (Theodore), another is trying to stay at an elite level (Kiprusoff), and lastly, one is hoping to show that he can be really good again (Gerber).
Gerber clearly hasn’t been nearly as sharp as he was two seasons ago when he grabbed the attention of the people around the NHL with his stunning play.
Remember how Gerber shut out Team Canada 2-0 at the Olympics in Turin, Italy? He just hasn’t risen to that level again, and seems to struggle with soft goals from time to time.
I’m not sure anymore, but I think Gerber is a good goalie, just not an elite netminder.
Theodore, on the other hand, has shown the ability to rebound from poor performances. That is one of the most important qualities needed by an NHL goalie.
He’s also become much stronger mentally. Not many people could have resurrected a career that had fallen so far. That takes mental toughness. Theodore struggled in his first start, but I’m convinced this is just a tiny little bump in the road.
Peter Budaj has a big challenge in front of himself.
The Avalanche hves given Budaj an opportunity to prove he can be a bona fide starter. With that comes higher expectations and stress. We will see in a month or two if he’s able to handle the load.
The Flames are in a situation where their goalie isn’t playing poorly, but just can’t make a huge save either.
We’re all so used to seeing Kiprusoff bail his team out so often that now, when that the big save isn’t there, people ask questions.
The quality of shots he’s facing is higher than most teams give up and that’s adding to the problem.
To me, it’s simply a matter of time until he’s brilliant again. He’s just too good to be average.
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