13 September 2008

NHL.com's take on our goaltending

From the Thrashers' Season Preview on NHL.com:


Goalie Kari Lehtonen, who was re-signed to a one-year deal in July, completed his third full season with a 17-22-5 record, 2.90 goals-against average a franchise-record .916 save percentage. Lehtonen said he is fully recovered from a groin injury he suffered last December that sidelined him 16 games.

When healthy, Lehtonen has proven to be one of the League’s most underrated goaltenders. The 24-year-old Finn is the Thrashers’ all-time leader in games played (158), wins (75), shutouts (11) and save percentage (.913). The Thrashers finished 15-15-2 within the division last season and a healthy Lehtonen could only help improve that mark.

“I’m very optimistic that we can turn things around this year, especially with the additions of (Ron) Hainsey and (Zach) Bogosian,” Lehtonen told NHL.com. “Our defense looks a lot better than it did last year, so that’s great news.”

Seventh-season veteran Johan Hedberg finished 14-15-3 with a 3.46 GAA and .892 save percentage last season in 36 appearances, and 20-year old Ondrej Pavelec was 3-3 with a 3.11 GAA and .905 save percentage. Look for Pavelec, who is very familiar with Anderson’s coaching tendencies, to earn more time, particularly after the year he had in the AHL with Chicago. Pavelec went 33-15-4 with a 2.77 GAA, two shutouts and a .911 save percentage for the Wolves.

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