The Sabres have agreed to a one-year deal with Patrick Lalime
, who was the No. 2 goaltender the past two seasons.
Lalime, who turned 36 today, went 4-8-2 with the Sabres last season with a 2.81 goals-against average and .905 save percentage. The 12-year veteran has a record of 200-169-48 and a 2.57 GAA with Pittsburgh, Ottawa, St. Louis, Chicago and Buffalo. He is 9-21-5 during his stay with the Sabres.
Lalime’s deal will pay him $600,000 for one year. (Sabres Edge)
Mind of Joe
If this is the first time you are visiting my blog, you need to know that I’m a Patrick Lalime apologist. Hey, even I can be an apologist once in a while. I am totally fine with the signing. Look, I’ll say this until I’m blue in the face, the reason why back-up goaltenders have struggled for the Sabres is because Lindy Ruff doesn’t know how to use them. He was spoiled by Dominik Hasek during the 90’s and today, he’s spoiled by Ryan Miller.
Patty played just fine at the start of last season with convincing wins over the Hawks and Penguins. However, one bad slip-up on a western road swing and he was doomed to Lindy Ruff’s dog house. It’s very hard for a back-up goaltender to play once a month and be able to maintain his edge. If Lindy can stick with a formidable goalie rotation, like he did at the start of last season, then Lalime should be fine.
Now, let me get a couple of back-up goaltending rants off my chest:
1) For all you Brion lovers (yes, I know he’s off the market), the only reason why Lindy Ruff trusted Marty during the two years after the lockout was because the team that surrounded the goaltending was pretty F’n amazing. During that time, if the Sabres let in four goals, it didn’t matter, because the team would be able to produce goals by the boatload. Biron’s numbers from 05-07 were around a 3.00 GAA and a .900 save percentage, which happens to be worse than what Lalime put up last year. I assure you, if Lalime was with the Sabres during that time, he wouldn’t have gotten booed. Maybe when Biron decides to hang up his skates, the Bironiacs will move on from the back-up quandary.
2) It’s the back-up goaltender!! I’m sorry, but do you think the people in New Jersey, Vancouver or NYC (Rangers), give a crap about the back-up goalie? Hell, No. And I assure you, it’s not because they are stupid fans, it’s because most back-up goaltenders aren’t that good. If they were good, they’d be starting. Personally, I just think all back-ups are a dime a dozen. Whoever the Sabres signed, it wouldn’t have made a difference because they are all the same.
3)Plus, it’s not about the backup, it’s about having the team around your scrub goalie be able to elevate their games. The Sabres rely so heavily on Miller’s performance that if he struggles, the team loses. It’s simple as that. This isn’t 2007 when the Sabres had six players who can score 30 goals and take the pressure off the back-up goalie. There have been a number of games over the years that the players in front of Lalime have totally failed.
4) Most importantly: Ryan Miller likes Patty…and if Ryan is happy with Patty, then so should the Sabres front office and coaching staff. It’s called star treatment, kids.