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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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  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 ANA 47 31 10 6 139 124 68
2 NSH 45 30 10 5 137 104 65
3 STL 46 29 13 4 148 111 62
4 CHI 47 30 15 2 148 108 62
5 WPG 48 26 14 8 135 117 60
6 SJS 48 25 17 6 131 132 56
7 VAN 45 26 16 3 124 114 55
8 CGY 47 25 19 3 136 125 53
9 LAK 47 20 15 12 129 126 52
10 COL 48 20 18 10 125 137 50
11 DAL 46 21 18 7 144 151 49
12 MIN 46 20 20 6 128 137 46
13 ARI 46 16 25 5 105 156 37
14 EDM 47 12 26 9 109 158 33

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2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
T. Seguin 46 28 24 1 52
J. Benn 46 13 27 -3 40
J. Spezza 46 8 26 -4 34
E. Cole 44 12 11 3 23
A. Goligoski 46 1 22 6 23
A. Roussel 46 11 11 -2 22
T. Daley 43 11 10 -9 21
C. Eakin 43 9 12 6 21
A. Hemsky 43 7 11 -5 18
J. Klingberg 32 6 12 8 18
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
K. Lehtonen 19 10 7 .904 2.98
A. Lindback 2 7 0 .875 3.79
 
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