This season has been rough on everybody. But not many have it rougher than Anton Forsberg.
Forsberg had started the season off on the right foot, earning a one year, $700K deal from the Edmonton Oilers in October to join their taxi squad behind the established duo of Mike Smith and Mikko Koskinen. But what ensued was a wild waivers adventure that took him to five different teams in the span of two and a half months with just two games in between.
Forsberg finally made his NHL debut as an Ottawa Senator just three days ago in an overtime loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs, but his saga likely won’t end there. When either Matt Murray, Marcus Högberg or Joey Daccord returns from injury, Forsberg will either be on the move to the Sens’ AHL affiliates in Belleville or get plucked off waivers by yet another team and start the cycle all over again.
Forsberg’s story might be one of the most ridiculous of the NHL season, but it does represent a microcosm of how the waiver wire and taxi squad rules have made life extra difficult for players on the cusp, especially goalies. With teams only wanting to carry two goalies on the main roster, multiple third stringers have found themselves shuffling between teams, whether it’s heading to the taxi squad, the farm team or a whole other organization altogether.
For North Division teams things get a whole lot more complicated, since those teams only able to pick among a select few options without worrying about a long quarantine for new additions. Just ask the Oilers, who lost Forsberg right before an injury put Mike Smith in the press box. Edmonton was forced to fill the gap with a revolving door of netminders including Stuart Skinner, Troy Grosenick and Alex Stalock.
Poor goalie management can easily land you in a bad spot during the season, and while some situations like injuries are unpreventable, others like overplaying a guy or mismanaging your tandem can. Which is why this week’s Power Rankings is dedicated to the goalies and which Canadian teams have handled theirs best. They may not be able to put runs on the board, but a well managed tandem can work wonders for mediocre teams, while poor puck stopping can undo even the best teams.
And I should know, I’m from Vancouver.
1) Winnipeg Jets ⬆️ 4
We knew Hellebuyck was elite, but now you too Laurent Brossoit?!
2) Vancouver Canucks
Another year, another MVP season from our starting goalie. (Just don’t look at Braden Holtby’s stats, please.)
3) Edmonton Oilers ⬇️ 1
If you predicted Mike Smith was going to have a .918 save percentage in late March, can you pick our lottery numbers?
4) Montreal Canadiens ⬇️ 3
When we’re at our best, you know Jake Allen is behind it! Yup, always Allen! …say, is it getting warm in here?
5) Toronto Maple Leafs
Our current starting goalie is a career backup with injury issues riding a crazy hot streak, in case you were wondering how things are going for us.
7) Calgary Flames ⬆️ 6
We’re one year into a six year contract and we’ve already broken Jacob Markstrom, how do we keep letting this happen?!
7) Ottawa Senators ⬇️ 6
With Matt Murray out, only
Marcus Högberg Joey Daccord Filip Gustavsson can save our season now!
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