Desperately Seeking Saves.
Seen them all, in every combination, permutation and even one incantation.
I honestly don’t know what to expect anymore. I’ll admit I like both of these goaltenders, and have been high on both of them, at times. But, at the end of the day, I believe Pascal is the better of the two. And, without meaning to, I’ve found myself “against” Elliott. I honestly cannot explain why. I like Elliott. I like his story, I like his record, I like his game, and I like his potential.
You see, this is what happens when nobody steps up. You have to “hope” one or the other is the one. I’ve decided to back Leclaire, because I believe he has more talent, and experience, than Elliott, so earns the benefit of the growing doubt. This has resulted in me rooting against Elliott because, intrinsically, I believe Pascal is the better choice (now), and if Elliott plays well it delays getting Pascal back into form (albeit the form I “think” he has), effectively hurting the club in the long run. How messed up is that?
If, as a fan, this is happening to me, what’s going on behind, and on, the bench? No doubt every player and coach, and likely even GM and owner, has an opinion, and in the absence of either taking the reigns, it becomes a battle of ideologies. This can’t be good.
Why in the world would I root against a player playing well? It makes absolutely no sense. It smacks of desperation.
Let’s face it, this club is desperate for a number one. We can sugar coat it all we want, but everyone, from fans to owner, gets a sick feeling in the pit of their stomach every time a soft goal goes in. Softies never make you happy, but when you believe they are more the norm than the exception, you get desperate.
Do I think Ottawa has a goaltending problem? Absolutely. To deny this would be to ignore reality. I simply cannot do that, as much as I wish I could.
But here’s the good news. Ottawa has 2 goaltenders that can get the job done. Even in the worst case scenario (see last year), the team is good enough to win, even without reliable goaltending.
Here’s the even better news. Ottawa has 2 goaltenders that can be solid #1’s. Neither have proven it, yet. But, if we can “worst case scenario”, we can also “best case scenario”. If one of these 2 step up, and start playing well, consistently, and steal the odd game, the Sens go from play-off contender, to Cup contender.
A lot of teams would love to have this problem.
So, when all is said and done, I still believe Pascal is the best chance to be the legit #1, but I’m going to stop picking sides in the goaltender battle. I hope the players and management can do the same. Let the goaltenders fight it out because, at the end of the day, it comes down to the goaltenders.