It was a sign of things to come when Dominik Hasek, the Dominator, was pulled from play in the Nashville series, and Chris Osgood was put in his place. The sign, though, was not for the Wings, but for the Avs. It was a sign of things to come.
Last night, Jose Theodore, who had been ill earlier in the day, ill enough not to participate in the morning skate, wast the starting goaltender for the game, and what a mistake that turned out to be. Two of the four goals Theodore he would like to have back (but show me a goalie who doesn’t want them all back), and the last one should have never gone in. All of a sudden, Theo wasn’t feeling very good. That was right about the time the Wings scored the eventual game winner.
Enter the Budaj. Peter Budaj came in to the game, and lit a fire under the Avs collective asses. A goalie change can do that sort of thing, but you have to wonder, should that change been made possible in the first lace? Should Theo have started if he was feeling ill, and off his game?
As happy as I was to see Tyler Weiman (a JAHL favorite) sitting on the bench, the scenario should never have happened in the first place. What heinous crime did Peter Budaj commit that makes him less desirable to start a game than a sick Theodore?
Of course, you dance with the one you brought, and Jose Theodore sadie hawkinsed the Avs into the second round, but that doesn’t mean he has to be the only one the Avs have to dance with (pushing the metaphor a little?). Was there enough compelling reason to have Theo start the game, or should the risk been evaluated more? Should the leash been shorter when he went into net, knowing that he was sick?
You want a goalie controversy? I think we have one. It still isn’t Budaj’s job to steal, I wouldn’t go that far right now. But you have one goalie who played when he should not have, and gave up four goals on sixteen shots, who came back for a little over a minute of the second period (and most likely should have stayed in the dressing room, or that’s the fastest flu-like symptoms I have ever seen), and you have another who shut the door, but who hasn’t played much lately. A few days ago, the goalie choice was a nice problem to have. Now it doesn’t look that way.
There is only one question now:
Who starts game two?