|10-24-2006, 03:14 PM||#11|
Persona Non Grata
Join Date: Jan 2003
Theodore didn't catch quite the break everyone thought he did when he went from Montreal to Colorado. He left behind the bloodthirsty fans and media who hounded his every move and landed in a place with a coach who handles goaltenders about as well as Patrice Breezeby handles the puck in his own zone. I've made no secret of my distaste for the way that Aebischer was scapegoated by Quennville last season, and I certainly haven't been shy about saying that Theodore isn't an appreciable upgrade over Aebischer in any way except salary.
However, Theodore isn't as worthless as I've portrayed him over the past few days. That was my frustration talking. I haven't changed my stance that he's mediocre, overrated, overpaid and has been living off of the Hart & Vezina Trophies that he didn't deserve to win in 2002. But I also don't believe that he needs to be banished to the bench. Budaj has played well in his three starts, but that's a pretty small sample size to go off of. As well as he's played, he hasn't earned the right to be the #1 goaltender either.
What I'd like to see is a splitting of starts, an open competition. Don't just start Budaj against the weaker teams as most do with their backup. Let him have some starts against some of the San Jose's and Anaheim's of the league. Only then will we get a true sense of what Budaj brings to the table. At the same time, make sure that Theo gets his share of starts, and don't relegate him to playing the weak sisters of the league just for the sake of bumping his numbers and confidence. Let them both play and should one of them clearly outperform the other, then he's earned the right to be the #1 guy.
This team is not a Cup contender, they won't be derailing any championship hopes by letting the netminders split the work so that a true #1 can be established. Give them both a fair shot and may the better goaltender win.