More thoughts on Raycroft starting.

After digesting it for a little while, I don't really have a problem with Raycroft starting the game against Tampa Bay tonight. In fact, it's probably a good thing. I thought Budaj looked gassed in the Chicago game last week and it was hard to tell about in Philly because everyone looked gassed in Philly. In order for the Avs to have success this season they have to be able to rely on their backup goalie to come in and give Budaj a rest. The Detroit game has obviously restored some faith in Granato about Raycroft's ability.

What I am more concerned about is the way it's been handled. I think a goaltending contraversy is the absolute last thing this team needs right now, and I think the way Raycroft has been announced as a starter is a recipe to start one. I haven't seen any proclimations by Tony G that this Raycroft's start is a reward for his strong play and not a punishment for Budaj. Or a little bit of both. If he had announced it at a daily press conference saying something like:

"You know we've really ridden Budaj a little too hard the last month or two and he probably could use another night off. Since Andrew played very well against Detroit we also want to reward him with more playing time. We think Thursday in Tampa is the ideal time to give Boods a break and get Andrew some playing time."

Even if he has opened a goalie competition (which would be ludicrous at this point, but we won't get into that) saying something along those lines would allow him to have a few games to judge without the full blown media spectacle of a goalie contraversy. By not saying anything Granato has allowed speculation to run rampant, especially since there are conflicting reports on his reasoning, with Dater speculating it's a demotion for Budaj and Sadowski reporting it's a reward for Raycroft.

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