Prior to the 2019-20 season, Alex Stalock has mostly been a backup goaltender in the NHL, having had a few solid seasons with the San Jose Sharks prior to coming back home to play for the Minnesota Wild, where he has been mostly solid as the backup goalie to Devan Dubnyk.
After Dubnyk struggled to start the season, Stalock finally got a chance to play more consistently, and he performed well enough to become Minnesota’s starting goaltender for the last half of the season and playoffs, finishing the season with a record of 20-11-4, along with a 2.67 goals against average and a .910 save percentage.
While his stats in the play-in round against the Vancouver Canucks don’t look particularly good, Stalock was still one of Minnesota’s best players in the series, and aside from Game 5, he performed well enough to give his team a chance to win in each game they played.
Like most of the players on the Wild, Stalock’s best game of the series was Game 1, where he had a 28-save shutout in a 3-0 win over Vancouver.
After a not so stellar performance in Game 2, when he allowed four goals on 28 shots, Stalock was a little better in Game 3, making 26 saves on 29 shots, including this incredible glove stop on Bo Horvat.
Unfortunately, with the Wild facing elimination in Game 4, Stalock’s otherwise solid 2019-20 season came to an end as had his worst game of the series, allowing five goals on 31 shots, including Chris Tanev’s series-winning goal 11 seconds into overtime.
While Stalock is certainly not a starting goalie at the NHL level, how he performed in an increased role in 2019-20 is an encouraging sign. While Stalock wasn’t great, he played well enough behind the Wild’s great defense to give the team a chance to win every game he played, which is something they haven’t really had over the last couple years.
The future of Stalock with the Wild is still unclear, however. It is key that the Wild improve their goaltending, and they may try to improve through free agency, or even promote 2020 AHL goaltender of the year Kaapo Kahkonen to the NHL next season. While his role on the team for the 2020-21 season is not set, if Stalock is back with the Wild next season, the team can be confident that they will be getting a goalie who is enthusiastic, confident, and willing to accept whatever role the team needs him to play.
How would you grade Alex Stalock’s performance in the Wild’s play-in series?
This poll is closed
Previously in the Minnesota Wild play-in report card series: