Opinion: Bridgeport Three-headed Goalie Monster needs fixing and Fast
Back on Sept 21, BD Gallof wrote an opinion piece about the Islanders Three headed Goalie Monster on LI, it can be found: here.
Over a month later and the Monster on LI has kept the Isles largely in games and posted a 2.22 GAA and .925 SV% so far as a unit. BD's still not wrong in his assessment of the situation (it's bad) and, more often than not, the Isles should roll with Montoya/Nabokov(My opinion), but DiPietro's good play on Saturday was helpful.
LI isn't so much the issue as what's gone on in Bridgeport. Through the first 9 games Anders Nilsson has looked like a goalie, Mikko Koskinen's been the forgotten man and Kevin Poulin....well, he hasn't been good, by any stretch of the imagination.
When you look at the numbers:
Nilsson: 3-1-0; 2.98 GAA; .902 SV% and 12 GA on 123 Shots
Poulin: 1-3-0; 4.71 GAA; .853 SV% and 17 GA on 116 Shots
Koskinen: 0-0-1; 1.99 GAA; .940 SV% and 3 GA on 50 Shots (Koskinen has had one start and 1 relief appearance)
you clearly see that the samples are pretty small for goalies overall workloads. However, giving these guys 25 starts each isn't going to help anything. There's no way to gauge any of these players (and each has been heralded as a top goalie prospect at one point or another and if groomed properly been said to be a starter in the NHL). Poulin has maybe had bad luck, or bad defenses or been rusty from last year's knee operation, but his numbers through only 4 games are a huge cause for concern, a Jonathan quick like tear of shutouts only brings his numbers from god awful to not bad.
Unfortunately, there isn't much the Isles can do at this point, they aren't in any condition to move a goalie (and if they are, it'd come from the NHL side with Nabokov you're likely choice), and there isn't much of a way to loan one to another organization at the AHL. The Isles could loan one out (Koskinen to get the minutes or Poulin to shake off the rust) to an ECHL franchise, but that's a tough call this early to ask an ECHL team, especially one playing well (like say the Utah Grizzlies) to bump their goalie tandems in favor of an NHL prospect and give them "favored goalie Status" for the season. To clear up things right now the Sound Tigers could take Poulin out and make sure he's 100% mentally and physically, but that's a bandage to the situation. But if any of these three are going to make the jump to the bigs and usurp the reins in LI and lead the team through Rick's umteenth injury, something needs to be done. They can give the hot hand starts, but they need to settle on two.
The Three-headed monster's been an institution since Koskinen came over from Finland (and probably before in the Yann Danis-JoeyMacz age) when he was teamed up with Scott Munroe and the fantastic Nate Lawson; last year he teamed up with: Lawson, Poulin, Joel Martin and Riley Gill; Koskinen actually played the most notching 36 games, Martin was next with 18. Koskinen's lost essentially two years of developments with the three headed monster and injuries. The Sound Tigers need to select two of the three and roll with them until one gets cold. They also need to find a place to loan the odd man out to to stay sharp, at this point the numbers say go with Nilsson and Koskinen; but Poulin is a huge talent, but he's a mess.
The Isles have a ton of talent in goal at both the NHL and AHL, but they have to pick two goalies at each level. there's nothing wrong with depth, but when it becomes a detriment to development, something needs to be done.
Again, there's no quick fix, and the Isles need to do something and break with the nonsensical idea that Bridgeport needs 3 Goalies.
Flame away folks.