Minnesota Wild 2012 Season Grades: Goalie Corps

Sometimes, you have to wonder why you need d-men at all.

Minnesota Wild goalie coach Bob Mason must wonder sometimes why there is so much hate directed at his goaltenders. Much like the QB in football or the starting pitcher in baseball, a goalie takes all of the blame, and gets none of the credit. The offensive woes of the Wild led to several opportunities wasted down the stretch. If anyone on the team had been able to give the goalies some support, they may have actually won a game or two.

Instead, the goalies are left out to dry, and games are lost by one or two goals. On cue, fans go nuts trying to trade Niklas Backstrom, promote Josh Harding, and bring Matt Hackett up. All in the name of doing what? Scoring more goals? Last I checked, the three goalies were all tied with the same number of career goals in the NHL.

We aren't setting out to change minds or change the culture of blaming the goalie for everything, but we will certainly still mock those who do. Next time a goalie leads the power play, give us a call.

Nathan- 2.65 GAA (13th), 92.2 GAA, both above the league average means this goalie crew isn't spectacular (unlike St. Louis) or terrible (unlike Toronto or Tampa Bay).

Grade: B-

Bryan- How dare the Wild goaltenders give up two goals in a single game so often? Clearly they missed the memo. Somebody get them a copy of the memo. The Wild's goalie were superb all year. I see no reason to dock them for one or two games where they may have had off nights.

Grade: B+

JS- The team GAA is 2.65, good for 13th in the league. Niklas Backstrom, Josh Harding and Matt Hackett had a SV% of 0.918, 0.917 and 0.922 respectively. The Wild allowed the 4th highest number of shots in the league and were dead last in shots on their opponents. The goalies, despite a bumpy middle of season, were downright heroic this season. Of course injuries and inconsistency at some points could have been toned down, but really, anyone who blames the goalies and/or their ''regression to the mean'' for this season is a friggin' fool.

Goalies can't be in charge of the offense. They can't be in charge of starting the breakout (although they can help). They can't be responsable for the Wild dressing 80% of the AHL team on their roster (there may be a slight exaggeration). So basically, if a goalie needs to allow 0-1 goals per game for the team to win, they can't be blamed when they allow 2 nor can they be blamed when they allow 0-1 and lose anyway.

Grade: B

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