Glory for some means grief for others, as the trade deadline is known to both giveth and taketh away. Some goaltenders received a huge boost of confidence over the last week and others were totally deflated after the events that transpired on Tuesday. Yet the player movement is an unavoidable part of the game on a yearly basis. Que sera, sera.
Sure, no decision by a general manager is made in haste when the season is potentially on the line with the addition of a few rental players, but the moment that player is informed of the trade, everything right after you’re sent packing is a frenzied blur. No time to think, there’s hockey games to be won and families to take care of.
It’s certainly not rocket science to realize the most flabbergasting moves from a goalie standpoint was Cristobal Huet being traded to Washington for what seems like mere pennies, or Brian Boucher being salvaged from the minors by the San Jose Sharks, but it sure might take rocket science to understand WHY they were actually made. Oddly enough, both goalies put up shutouts in the first game with their new teams.
So what do you think was REALLY going through Olaf Kolzig’s mind when he jumped off the bench and went to congratulate Cristobal Huet following the 18-save shutout in his first game as a Capital? He may have flashed a smile and given Huet a tap on the helmet, but deep down he has to be thinking, “What the heck are you even doing here and WHY did this happen?!” And for the first time in his career, maybe he realized that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.
It’s probably a very similar feeling that Dwayne Roloson is going through in Edmonton. The great play of Mathieu Garon has all but supplanted Rollie after Garon has put together an 8-4-0 record in 12 straight starts. Now the Oilers are on a four-game winning streak after beating monster teams like Detroit right before the trade deadline and then Colorado the night it passed.
On the other end of the spectrum, Carey Price has taken his newfound leadership role and turned it into a winning streak of his own. He’s on a tear right now, going 3-0 since the trade deadline with wins against superstar goalies in Kari Lehtonen, Ryan Miller and Martin Brodeur.
Jose Theodore has taken the acquisitions of Adam Foote and Ruslan Salei to get back on track after a few tough games, as he is currently on a nice three-game winning streak with a goals against average at 1.93 and a save percentage of .929. More impressive than the numbers, however, is the fact he out-played both Roberto Luongo and Miikka Kiprusoff during this stretch.
Yes, the trade deadline certainly giveth and taketh away, so here’s a look at my trade dud line:
1. Martin Brodeur
Brodeur is now in the middle of a two-game losing streak, falling to Washington and Montreal with a 3.02 goals against average and a .889 save percentage. He played strong against the Canadiens and was named the third star in a 2-1 loss, but was forced to deal with the media’s reaction after being out-dueled by Price.
2. Roberto Luongo
Luongo has seen his world turn upside down with three straight losses – two in overtime to Colorado and then Columbus. Then he was pulled against Chicago just two days later after allowing four goals in just less than 50 minutes. There’s no room for this type of play this late in the season and nobody realizes that more than he does.
3. Johan Holmqvist
Tampa Bay’s favorite whipping boy is now Marty Turco’s backup and he’ll probably get less playing time than Mike Smith did. Now Holmqvist is pretty much a nobody in Big D, as his fantasy stock took a huge dive when this move was announced. It’s a well-deserved chance for Mike Smith to lead a team to the playoffs, however.
4. Ryan Miller
Steve Bernier helped the Sabres to a victory against Nashville in their first game following the trade deadline, but since then Miller has lost two straight and has an inflated goals-against average of 5.05 after allowing six goals against Montreal and four against the Red Wings.
5. Manny Legace
Stuck in the middle of a six-game losing streak, Legace and the Blues have fallen off the map as they’re now behind Chicago and Edmonton in the Western Conference. A lack of goal support has left Legace high and dry on numerous occasions as he’s only allowed 15 goals in the six straight losses, four of which came against the Kings way back on February 21.