I’m not a big fan of Wild coach Jacques Lemaire. In fact, I think his coaching style will be the death of hockey. But he’s not as dull as I thought. With the Wild about to be eliminated, Lemaire did what has apparently become the unthinkable and changed his goalie mid-series. And it worked. Manny Fernandez came up huge against Colorado, allowing the Wild to force a game six.
The decision to switch goalies when you’re down three games to one seems like a no-brainer to me. You have nothing to lose. But this year, no coaches have really been that into it. The Isles stuck with Garth Snow even though their so-called goalie of the future Rick DiPietro had to be chomping at the bit to see some playoff action. Snow only won a game for the Isles. Detroit got swept with Curtis Joseph in goal for all four games. Would it have killed Detroit coach Dave Lewis to put backup Manny Legace in goal for a game? Legace was hot as hell all year. He could have bought Detroit at least a game.
So cheers to Lemaire for remembering that last year, Carolina got past New Jersey by switching goalies. You play goalies. You don’t marry them. Don’t feel bad about using more than one.