In today’s goalie news, we’ll look at two impressive accomplishments for young goalkeepers around the league. We’ll also catch up with the young OHL goalie who suffered a gruesome injury last week.
Korpisalo Stands Tall
The Columbus Blue Jackets have seen their share of struggles in net since two-time Vezina Trophy winner Sergei Bobrovsky left for the Florida Panthers. Joonas Korpisalo, whom the team’s front office hoped would be the solution for the future, has been part of that problem. He entered Monday’s game with a .906 save percentage (SV%), a 2.73 goals against average (GAA), and minus-2.95 goals saved above average (GSAA), a statistic measuring a goalie against his peers.
With the high-powered Washington Capitals offense coming to town, Korpisalo needed to stand tall, especially since the Blue Jackets had lost six of their last seven games. As everyone knows, a hot goaltender can be the best cure for an ailing team, and no one was hotter than Korpisalo on the night. He pitched a shutout, stopping all 30 Capitals shots.
The visitors took six of those shots on the power play and managed nine high danger chances. But Korpisalo looked unbeatable, and he ultimately was. It’s a much-needed respite for the Blue Jackets, who have a 13-14-6 record so far this season. Fortunately for them, they can look to build momentum in their next three games, as they face the woeful Detroit Red Wings, Los Angeles Kings, and New Jersey Devils.
Grubauer Never Had a Chance
You’re not going to see many goalie “highlights” quite like this. In Monday’s game between the Colorado Avalanche and the St. Louis Blues, the home side opened the scoring with a beautiful connection between Ryan O’Reilly and David Perron. But poor Philipp Grubauer, the Avalanche netminder — who has graded well in his first season as a starter — never saw it coming.
O’Reilly finds Perron on the backdoor with a long stretch pass through center ice, and it seems like no one on the Avalanche, least of all Grubauer, has a clue the goal scorer is there. The goalie’s helpless reaction is a sad sight to see, but it’s also a little bit funny. Unless, of course, you’re an Avalanche fan. Unfortunately for Grubauer, the Blues got the last laugh, too, winning the game 5-2.
Binnington Joins Elite Company
Speaking of which, with that victory, Blues goalkeeper Jordan Binnington recorded his 40th career win. By doing so during his 59th career game, he joined an incredibly exclusive company of some of the greatest goalies of all time.
This is an impressive list indeed. Andersen is one of the best active goalies in the NHL. Of the other five, only Peeters is not in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Those five goaltenders share four Hall of Fame elections, 14 combined Vezina Trophies, and a whopping 11 Stanley Cups.
Last season, Binnington added a 12th Stanley Cup to that list, but left a lot of unanswered questions about his future, given the relatively short amount of time he spent in the NHL. This season, he’s answered those questions and then some. With the victory, he ties Andersen, Braden Holtby, and Connor Hellebuyck for the NHL lead in wins with 16. He is unquestionably in the conversation among the best goalies in the league.
Tucker Tynan Update
The hockey world held its collective breath last week when footage of Tucker Tynan’s gruesome injury began to circulate. The Niagara IceDogs goaltender suffered a nasty, skate-first collision with a London Knights player in his crease, resulting in a severe laceration of his leg. Tynan was stretchered off the ice and rushed to the hospital, and hockey fans across the internet began sending him prayers and well wishes. Thankfully, the IceDogs gave us a positive update:
As of Sunday evening, Tynan was up and walking with the assistance of crutches. That is terrific news to be sure. And while his future in hockey is secondary to his overall health, the news that he’s already moving is promising for the young goaltender.
As ever, we here at The Hockey Writers continue to send our best wishes to Tucker as he continues to progress through his recovery.
Stephen Ground is a veteran of over three years at THW, focusing on the St. Louis Blues, NHL goaltending, and the annual World Junior Championship. He is the co-host of the Two Guys One Cup Podcast, a hockey podcast focused on the Blues.