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They Aren't Killing Kari, And They Aren't Committing Hari-Kari (They're Trying To Make The Playoffs)

Tuesday, 02.21.2012 / 2:29 PM
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Razor With An Edge Blog
They Aren\'t Killing Kari, And They Aren\'t Committing Hari-Kari (They\'re Trying To Make The Playoffs)

There is a Japanese phenomenon known as Karoshi, in which employees are worked to death.

Some seem to think the Stars might be guilty of this in regards to their goaltender.

Tonight in Montreal will be Kari Lehtonen's 10th consecutive start, a season high and a taxing little run considering the schedule no doubt. But here are some things to consider:

#1 Prior to this stretch he hadn't started more than 4 in a row since late October/early November

#2 The big Finn (or 'Iso Suomi') has had plenty of down time. He had over a month without the mental and physical grind of games in December, when he was out with a groin injury. And, like every other Star not named Jamie Benn, he got 5 days away from the rink at the All-Star break in late January.

#3 He's only played 23 games over the past 3 months - Twenty-three.

It's simple to me, go with your best (within reason) until your best simply won't be good enough, ie. mathematically impossible to get into top 8.

And should you get down big relatively early in a game, pull him. Ed Belfour told me that after getting yet another hook when the two were in Chicago, Mike Keenan explained to an - at the time - tempestuous Eagle (as if there is another kind) that if he was going to start Eddie in 70+ games he was going to have to pull him in a somewhat pre-determined number of them. I get that.

Someone had a terrific analogy about coaches and #1 goaltenders. They said starters are like a drug habit coaches can't shake; when the pressure mounts they just keep reaching for the pill bottle.

No need to call Dr Drew on Gully's behalf. Not yet...

Now back to my bento box of broadcast coverage.

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WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 ANA 35 22 8 5 101 96 49
2 CHI 34 23 9 2 106 67 48
3 STL 33 21 9 3 100 81 45
4 NSH 31 21 8 2 87 64 44
5 SJS 34 19 11 4 97 87 42
6 WPG 34 17 10 7 83 80 41
7 VAN 32 19 11 2 92 90 40
8 LAK 34 17 11 6 94 84 40
9 CGY 35 17 15 3 100 95 37
10 MIN 31 16 12 3 91 84 35
11 DAL 32 14 13 5 95 109 33
12 COL 33 12 13 8 85 101 32
13 ARI 32 11 17 4 74 104 26
14 EDM 34 7 20 7 74 116 21

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2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
T. Seguin 32 25 17 8 42
J. Benn 32 10 20 1 30
J. Spezza 32 6 19 -10 25
T. Daley 32 7 9 -12 16
A. Roussel 32 7 9 -3 16
A. Goligoski 32 1 14 2 15
C. Eakin 29 6 7 2 13
S. Horcoff 32 5 7 1 12
E. Cole 31 6 5 -5 11
R. Garbutt 24 5 5 -6 10
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
K. Lehtonen 13 7 5 .904 2.99
A. Lindback 1 5 0 .864 4.29
 
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