Friday, 14 September 2012

Not The Best Way To Start

If you don't recognize the young man to the left, that's ok. That was Kevin Lalande of the Syracuse Crunch in 2009-10. He was primarily as the backup in Syracuse, prompting him to make the jump across the ocean to the KHL. He played with Chekhov Vityaz in 2010-11, and then flipped over to Dinamo Minsk for last season and this season. He posted a 2.40 GAA and four shutouts last season for Minsk while appearing in 36 games. Not bad for a former backup AHL goaltender, right?

Well, Dinamo Minsk was visiting Salavat Yulaev Ufa a couple of nights ago, and Lalande got the start for Minsk. With the game tied at zero after twelve minutes of play in the first period, the worst thing for any goalie happened to Lalande. Check out the video.
Goals from center ice are normally momentum killers. It certainly didn't help Dinamo Minsk any as they dropped this game by a 6-3 score. And set up an early candidate for "Worst Save of the Year".

Lalande is certainly struggling thus far this season. He has a 3.59 GAA in three games, a .885 save percentage, and a 1-2-0 record. Needless to say, he needs to pick up his game a little, and, judging by the video above, he certainly needs to get into games mentally. The lack of concentration on that goal was brutal.

I will say that a bouncing puck is one of the hardest saves to make, especially from long-range where a hop can suddenly take on a new direction at any point. But if you're playing in the KHL, AHL, or NHL, you have to make those saves to help your team win. Not saving those long-range hoppers will certainly put your career on thin ice!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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