Goalies on the Hot Seat: Thrashers

Updated: December 15, 2009 at 4:09 pm by Matt Bennett

Continuing a feature we’re going to look at frequently this year, which goalies are getting the majority of starts and who’s job is in jeopardy? Green means the goalie’s job appears safe, yellow would mean they are yielding more starts to their competitor than normal, red means the starting job appears to be more dependent on performance or a rotation.

Pavelec-Hedberg

Here’s what we know:

Ondrej Pavelec: 8-8-3 in 19 starts, 3.09 GAA, .913 SV%, 2 SO, 42% owned

Johan Hedberg: 9-3 in 12 starts, 2.19 GAA, .932 SV%, 1 SO, 23% owned

It’s safe to say there’s no question that Pavelec is the goalie of the future for the Thrashers but the 22-year old, essentially named everything but starter for the Thrashers in Kari Lehtonen’s absence, is getting a lot of push from the 36-year old Hedberg.  Hedberg, or “Moose”, is known best for his 2001 IHL callup (then playing for the Manitoba Moose) and helping take the Pittsburgh Penguins to the Eastern Conference finals but has never assumed a number 1 role since the failed attempt the next season in Pittsburgh.

Hedberg, however, has started 3 of the Thrashers’ past 4 games – winning twice, including a 46-save gem against the Rangers.  Obviously, head coach John Anderson is going to be riding the hotter hand here and if you need a reliable third goalie, Moose is your man.  Be warned, though, Anderson hasn’t announced anything yet and probably won’t so a couple hot starts by Pavelec could leave Hedberg the odd man out.

Simply put, Pavelec has been erratic all year.  Of his 19 starts, Pavelec has allowed 4 or more goals 9 times.  In fact, in 11 starts since Halloween, Pavelec hasn’t allowed less than 3 goals in a start except for two shutouts earned against Detroit and Los Angeles.  Pavelec is still on his entry level contract and thus, wouldn’t have to clear waivers should the Thrashers make a temporary goalie move for the season.  There’s still no timetable on a Kari Lehtonen return.

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Matt Bennett is an original DailyFaceoff.com co-Founder. Feel free to reach Bennett directly @bennettdf.
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