Here’s an excerpt from my latest TribLive.com column. (To read the entire piece, click HERE.)
It’s hard to imagine the Penguins going far with Tristan Jarry as the No. 1 goaltender. He can't be trusted, not after last season's playoff debacle.
Jarry’s current stats are decent enough: He ranks 14th in save percentage at .925, 15th in goals-against average at 2.33. That’s middle of the pack.
But he’s the master of the blown lead. Jarry makes every save but the one that’s necessary. He is incompetent at shootouts, having conceded five goals in seven attempts.
Jarry’s shootout form looks even worse than his numbers. He doesn’t get anywhere near the puck. He stabs and flounders.
If the Penguins want to squeak into the playoffs, Sullivan should consider replacing Jarry with Casey DeSmith for shootouts. Worry about winning, not Jarry’s optics. Those lost shootout points will add up.
Switching goaltenders for a shootout rarely happens.
The standard excuse is that you don’t want the backup going in cold to face breakaways.
But backups enter games cold all the time. The real reason for not switching is that the coach doesn’t want to embarrass the starter by pulling him.
Too bad. Winning is more important than feelings.
Witness Jarry in Saturday’s shootout vs. Minnesota. Try not to cry.
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