Talking of goalies and other things
So, the goalie derby comes down to two games. Each goalie has played one full game so far, and Johan Holmqvist and Marc Denis will split time Thursday in Detroit. It is unclear who will play the preseason finale Saturday at Dallas.
So here are their stats going into the final games
G MIN W L T GAA SPCT
Johan Holmqvist 1 57 0 1 0 2.11 .900
Marc Denis 1 65 1 0 0 2.77 .921
Karri Ramo 1 60 1 0 0 3.00 .870
I don't know if this was really a competition or a way to see if Ramo could throw a knockout punch. All things being equal, you have to go with Holmqvist and Denis who have much more NHL experience. And you want to be really sure if you move, say, Denis' $2.8-million contract to the minors and hope someone picks him up on re-entry waivers and picks up half his salary.
Still, the coaches are in a tough spot because they have just five games to make their decision. Not really enough time to get a good statistical model, so practice and scrimmage performance is going to have to be taken into consideration as well.
"I wish,'' goaltenders coach Jeff Reese said, "we had more games, but we don't.''
As for the game against the Red Wings, coach John Tortorella said Vinny Lecavalier, who has an undisclosed upper body injury but has been practicing, will not play until Saturday at Dallas. ... Center Chris Gratton said he is "frustrated'' with the sweet time it is taking the vision in his right eye to un-fuzz. He will be fitted with a contact lens to see if he can play against Detroit. ... Michel Ouellet will play. ... Wing Jason Ward (strained left ankle tendon) took part in Wednesday's power-play workout but not the full team practice. ... Dan Boyle is on the trip, and Tortorella said he hopes the defenseman who had surgery Sunday to repair three severed tendons in his left wrist, can skate on Thursday. ... Ryan Craig (herniated disc) is not on the trip.