Lately all anyone in Avs circles has wanted to talk about has been José Théodore. Should we keep him if he keeps playing well? He's started 6 straight games, and has looked sharp in most of them.
My opinion, and one I have heard from other fans as well, is that Theo is what he is, extremely inconsistent with great nights and god awful ones. He's too streaky, and lets give Budaj the fair chance he earned at the tail end of last season.
I still think Budaj hasn't been given a fair chance to win the starting job, but has Théo been given a fair chance either?
In 2005-2006 season Theo was struggling in Montréal as the pressure of being the "next"great French Canadian goalie obviously wore on him. The thought was that a change of scenery would do him well and let him regain his confidence. He played in 5 games that season for the Avs, and then in 9 playoff games.
The next season he supposedly had the #1 job, but before he was pulled from that, he never had more than three starts in a row that season. In fact he was effectively benched after a 3-4 loss on Nov. 15th. That loss was Theo's 3rd consecutive loss, and from there he and Budaj alternated until Budaj grabbed the reins late in the season. In those 3 consecutive losses Theo lost 1-0 with 30 saves and a .968 save % and 2-1, 30 saves and a .938 save % in another. So the team played poorly in 2/3 losses, not Theo.
Not coincidentally this goaltender carousel started in 05-06, which happens to be coach Q's first year as coach of the Avs. I looked at that season, and David Aebischer has been the only goalie given a fair opportunity to be the starter for an extended period of time. His backup was Vitaly Kolesnik, and rookie Budaj.
Also not coincidentally the Avs have received their best goalie play under Q when he has had to stay with a starter. Aebby played well, Budaj played well when Aebby was hurt and he was the starter. Budaj played well last season down the stretch, and both Buds and Theo have played well in their 5+ game starting stretches lately.
My conclusion is that neither Budaj or Theo has been given a fair chance to be a starting goalie in Q's tenure. When they have had an opportunity both have played well, but inexplicably get pulled. I still would prefer Budaj at this point, but honestly I'm ready for Giguere to trade either away so both get a fair shot, because right now neither of them are.
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