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Stars Coach Ruff Blasts His Team’s Goaltending

Stars Coach Ruff Blasts His Team’s Goaltending

The Dallas Stars currently sit last place in the Central division, and are quickly falling out of the playoff race in the Western Conference. Head coach Lindy Ruff believes that the team’s goaltenders are to blame.

After another frustrating loss on Friday night, this time to the Colorado Avalanche, Ruff went on a rant while speaking to reporters:

Yikes.

Here are some of the highlights:

“There’s one thing I see, and I know this is hard, but the goaltending performance doesn’t match the effort of the team. You need goaltending, it’s as simple as that. I know that’s hard, and it might be harsh from me, but you’re only giving up seven shots after 30 minutes, and your team hasn’t given up any chances, and the first shot goes in and it’s not a goal you like…We’re not going to win those games.

“Our goaltending has been tough on our team, and I think that’s where the frustration is.”

“You score four goals, you should win. It’s as simple as that. It’s hard, but it is what it is.”

“One of them’s gotta win us a game. Really. It’s as simple as that. One of them has to step up and win us a game. It doesn’t matter who’s going to play. Somebody’s gonna win, they’re gonna win. It’s really just as simple as that. We need a performance.”

Ruff may have been emotional, but he does have a point.

Kari Lehtonen is 25-13-9 this season, but is carrying a .906 SV%. When compared to the league’s average save percentage of .913, Lehtonen has cost the Stars an extra 10.83 goals against this season.

Before being traded to Buffalo, backup Anders Lindback cost the team 9.78 goals against in only 10 games.

If you combine those two numbers, the Stars go from a -12 goal differential team to +8, and that’s if they simply had league average goaltending.

Jhonas Enroth, who Lindback was traded for, has only appeared in 4 games for the team and hopes to make an impact.

Whoever decides to step it up in Dallas, they better do it soon. With the trade deadline approaching, and only 20 games remaining on the schedule – time is quickly running out.

About The Author

Greg Balloch

Greg Balloch is a Vancouver-based writer for InGoal Magazine, broadcaster for Sportsnet 650, and goaltending coach. His career began in Hamilton, Ontario with the Junior 'A' Hamilton Red Wings, before moving to Vancouver to cover the Canucks on the radio and work with the Surrey Eagles of the BCHL. A lifelong goaltender, he has been teaching the position for over a decade.

2 Comments

  1. Chez

    As a goalie and a coach, it’s not uncommon to see blame for a loss unfairly placed on the goaltender, but I don’t believe this is one of those cases. Seeing the goals that have been going in on Lehtonen, it’s no wonder he’s not inspiring much confidence in his team these days.
    Kari Lehtonen is too talented to keep up this level of play. Hopefully the coach’s comments work positively and he can get the best out of his goaltender before it’s too late.

  2. Paddy

    25-13-9 on the season…not too shabby. It is always easy to find a scapegoat…Ruff had Miller in Buffalo, what was his excuse there?