Should the Capitals swap for a goalkeeper? A look at 3 Stanley Cup winners who could help – The Athletic
The NHL’s trading deadline isn’t before March 21st, so Capital’s GM Brian MacLellan has time on his side.
But when his team tries to break out of a 0-2-2 funk, it becomes clear who’s in the hot seat.
It’s goalkeepers Vitek Vanecek and Ilya Samsonov.
Among the goalkeepers who have made at least 15 starts this season, they are 25th and 31st in the defense rate with marks of .907 and .903 respectively. According to Hockey References Quality Start Percentage Metric, they are in 60th and 65th places with 0.438 and 0.389.
The inconsistency has become so worrying that coach Peter Laviolette hired the organization’s No. 3 goalkeeper Zach Fucale to play a home game against the Bruins on Monday – presumably to see if the 26-year-old journeyman would answer, or at least a longer one Justify look.
However, Fucale landed the hook after scoring four goals out of 16 shots in a chaotic game that the Caps eventually lost 7-3. He was transferred to the AHL Hershey on Tuesday. It was the second time in three competitions that Laviolette pulled his goalkeeper; Samsonov was ripped apart in St. Louis last Friday, where Washington was humiliated 5-1.
When asked if the team needs more reliability from their goalkeepers, Laviolette said this week: “I think this is what we are looking for.