We’re a few days into the season and we’re already seeing goaltending get impacted by the shortened season. Studs have started out as duds and the meek might be inheriting the goaltending Earth. Players like Cam Ward, Mike Smith and Henrik Lundqvist have just been awful so far. But is it them or the team around them?
The reason why Ward’s stat lines are looking more like June Ward are that his defensemen are doing a poor job of helping him out. I reviewed the highlights of the loss to Tampa Bay and noticed this on three of the four goals he allowed. Twice a forward got behind a defender which led to easy goals. The third time, Ward (ESPN ADP: 61) thought he had the puck frozen under him but it popped loose and the blueliners couldn’t find it.
Analysis: Ward’s numbers look bad but it’s not his fault. He’s still worth keeping in your lineup.
For Smith, his game film didn’t look much better. I checked out the tape against Chicago when he allowed six goals and saw some frightening thing...