The Minnesota Wild have an elite number one in Devan Dubnyk, but that shouldn’t be a reason to limit the amount of ice time that Alex Stalock as much as they do.
Alex Stalock is never going to be a number one goaltender, but he has proven for the Minnesota Wild that he can be a perfectly able backup goalie.
However, when you look at his usage; at most he’ll see about fifteen games this season and once more, if the team makes the play-offs, they’ll head there with an exhausted Dubnyk.
The Minnesota Wild need to be smart now and give Alex Stalock some starts against slightly lesser opposition, rather than only giving him a shot on the back-to-back games in the schedule.
Thus far this season, he’s played four games, all on back-to-backs. That said, the Minnesota Wild haven’t shied away from matching Stalock against tough opposition.
His first game of the season came against the Nashville Predators, whilst game two for him was the Tampa Bay Lightning. At last check, they’re the top two teams in the league. Funnily enough, also the previous teams of the General Manager and Assistant General Manager!
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Next up was Connor McDavid and his Edmonton Oilers. The most recent outing for Alex Stalock was possibly the first easier one he’s had this year. The Anaheim Ducks no longer have any sort of aura about them and hence were dispatched comfortably, with a save percentage of 0.952%.
Looking at Alex Stalock’s form guide, he has conceded three or more in three of his four starts, but also notched three wins from those four starts. Is it a slight on the goaltender or is it more of a case of strong opposition teams.
Either way, given his recent performance against the Anaheim Ducks, I’d like to see the Minnesota Wild leave Alex Stalock in net against the St. Louis Blues; give Devan Dubnyk a nice night off and see if he can manage to build on the single goal conceded in California.
Safe to say that given the goaltending struggles other teams in the league experience, the Minnesota Wild are very lucky to have a backup they have faith in. They can call upon Alex Stalock to get them out of a sticky spot and get a solid performance out of him every time.
Those four games could just have easily been Arizona, Dallas, Vancouver and Los Angeles looking at the back-to-backs the team has thus far faced.
Let’s hope the Wild are willing to give Stalock a few more games; Dubnyk should be well-rested if we’re to have any chance of advancing come crunch time in 2019.