If you were Tony Granato, let me ask you the following question: Andrew Raycroft or Peter Budaj?
It’s a tough question to answer I’ll tell you that. Given the inconsistencies of BOTH goalies, it’s really not an easy decision before each game for Avs’ head coach Tony Granato.
Let’s go ahead and compare both goalies:
Peter Budaj, a 26-year old from Banska Bystrica, Czechoslovakia, has played in 41 games this season, going 16-22-1 in these games. Budaj has a save percentage of 0.898 and a GAA of 2.95.
Andrew Raycroft, on the other hand, has played just 17 games this season, going 9-7-0 in these games. Given these statistics, you would think Raycroft would get the nod between the Colorado pipes, but hold on a second! Raycroft’s save percentage and GAA are actually slightly worse than Budaj’s save percentage and GAA. Raycroft has stopped 89.4% of all shots against him, and he has allowed 3.01 goals per game this season so far.
What else should you know about these two before making a decision? Well the reason Raycroft has a record of over .500 is because he was riding a seven-game winning streak prior to his current six-game losing streak, during which he has allowed a total of 17 goals, including seven against the Toronto Maple Leafs. In his last game, he allowed three goals on 26 shots in a 3-2 loss to the Minnesota Wild. Could Budaj have done better? Possibly, but we will never know as this is hockey, not the “Back to the Future” trilogy.
On the other hand, Budaj has won just two games in the month of February: One on February 2 against the Calgary Flames, and the other against the Dallas Stars on February 5.
One reason for the inconsistencies of both goalies is Colorado’s weak defensive play, so fantasy owners can’t exactly rely on either goalie for fantasy points. As an owner of Peter Budaj for about a couple of months, I kept getting frustrated at picking up a goalie with a subpar save percentage, but I was happy enough that he got me a few wins here and there. That’s why I dropped him for Scott Clemmensen in one of my leagues. However, if there are no good goalies out there, I would still pick Budaj over Raycroft given the slump of the former Calder Cup trophy winner.
Nevertheless, neither goalie can be relied upon to bring the Avs back into the playoff hunt given that they’re last in the Western Conference with just 51 points.