So there's this theory going around that the Avs, as a team, are just "playing better in front of Raycroft than they are Budaj." This, my friends, is a classic case of coincidence being turned into a false correlation. Hey did you know that pirates prevented global warming. It's true, global warming has increased as worldwide piracy has subsided. Have look at this graph (Glory be to the all-powerful flying spaghetti monster)
Well Raycroft is 5-1 and Budaj is 11-15. Case closed Raycroft just wins games, but it has nothing to do with his actual performance, the Avs play better in front of him. Why? because he's just that lucky. On the bottom of his skates aren't blades bu horseshoes and let's hope he never gets cut, because I heard his blood is actually pureéd 4-leaf clovers. And his aura. I mean the guy just oozes "winning". No seriously. I think Smith dropped his stick just because he was in awe of Raycroft.
There's just no other way to explain Raycrofts win-loss record, other than the Avs want to win so badly for him. Case closed.
But I'm going to throw this extremly crazy idea out there. I know it's not nearly as logical as "the team just plays harder for Raycroft" theory but hear me out for a second.
The Avs win against teams they are better than, and lose against teams they are worse than, and very little of that is dependant of who is in net this season.
Before you try to throw me in the loony bin for crazy talk here me out for a second. Yes Raycroft's is 3-1 in games against teams with a worse record than the Avs. And yes he also beat Philly while they were in the midst of a 6 game losing streak. On the same note in games Budaj starts against teams that have worse records than the Avs he's 6-1-1. It seems like the Avs play better against, here's the kicker, crappier teams and worse against *wait for it... wait for it...* good teams.
See the Avs are also 7-14 against teams that have better records than the Avs, regardless of who's in goal. Is it possible, just possible that the problem lies on an erratic 2nd line and two fourth lines?
Now I know this lies in the improbable idea that the Avs sometimes don't have very good efforts and that against teams that aren't very good a period of putrid play doesn't come back to bite them in the ass, but good teams will take advantage and score goals against them.
This would mean coming to grips with the fact that the Avs aren't a very good team, can't clear pucks out of their zone very well at all, and look confused under coach Granato. It would mean admitting that when a team is as mediocre as this then everyone needs to eb held accountable instead of just scapegoating the goalie with generic criticisms like "rebound control"and "he's out of position" that sound smart but are really no better than political talking points.
Wait that's way too complex to be accurate. The team must just not play very hard in front of Budaj.