Don’t Panic Part 2: It’s still not really time to worry about the goaltending.

The Islanders blew a 3-0 lead to Buffalo last night.  Let’s be clear about this – the Isles lost because of goaltending.  Yes, two of the three shots were scoring chances, but a good goalie has to make at least one of those saves and the Sabres actually had more of those chances in the first period – they just couldn’t get by Poulin (Moulson had 2 of those alone, naturally). And of course, the Girgenson shorty was awful.  The Isles outplayed the Sabres that period, but Enroth and Poulin made it look the reverse.

That said, it’s really still not time to worry about the goaltending.  The Isles, after a meh first period, outplayed the Sabres as you would expect the final two periods, resulting in significant outshooting despite multiple Sabres power plays.  If you play like that, you can get slightly inferior goaltending and still win a lot of games.

Now most opponents aren’t the Sabres, so it’ll be hard to do that vs everyone, but the Isles have managed to do so anyhow.  And to be honest, even a Poulin/Johnson tandem probably isn’t going to give you horrible horrible goaltending.

No, I’m not kidding with that statement.  Poulin looked bad yesterday, but he was stupidly playing the day after playing in the AHL, which means he was not only Kevin Poulin in the NHL, but Kevin Poulin with a .010 or more penalty to his SV% – a huge drop not indicative of his talent.  My Marcel projection system last offseason had Poulin projected as a .905 goalie – that’s a bad goalie, but allowing one more goal per 100 shots than an average goalie isn’t going to kill the Isles every game (it’ll hurt once every 3 or 4).  And Johnson is a career .913 goalie – applying Marcel principles and remembering his AHL #s, he’s probably also around the .905-.907 range.

These are bad numbers, but they aren’t epicly bad.  And if you allow 27.8 Shots against per game (5th best in the league!) it won’t burn you that often, and this O can easily make up for it.

And then of course odds are Halak isn’t out long term given he was skating yesterday.  So yeah, it’s really not time to worry about the goaltending, and again, STOP PANICKING.


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