Friday, March 4, 2011

Bears add goaltender

Apparently I underestimated Doug Yingst and his abilities to get things done.  Yesterday I said that the Bears were unlikely to add a goaltender unless they were willing to part with a valuable position player.

Today I am proven straight wrong.

Hershey completed a loan agreement for goalie Nolan Schaefer of the Providence Bruins.

The Bears will not be sending a player to Providence.

But I might not have been totally wrong.  I also mentioned something to the effect of...are there any goaltenders that offer more than Todd Ford?

While Nolan Schaefer has many more AHL games (and therefore sample size to consider) he isn't lights out better than the current #1 in Hershey.

Schaefer this season has played in 30 games going 9-16-1 with a 3.11 goals against average and a .897 save percentage.

Ford this season has played in 12 games going 6-4-1 with a 3.04 goals against average and a .884 save percentage.

So, yes, Schaefer is an upgrade but not by that much.  He will still be the #3 goalie once Braden Holtby and Dany Sabourin return to the Bears.  **Braden is still on recall to Washington and the odds are against a return trip for the weekend**

Schaefer is technically a former Bear as well.  He played 3 games for the Chocolate and White back in 2006-07 going 0-3 while allowing 3.70 goals against and stopping only 87.8% of the shots he faced.  Not exactly great.

He followed up his Hershey time with 2 successful years for Houston before playing in Russia last season.

Overall I think it was important to get another goaltender considering the health of the organizations goalies.  The top 4 in the Caps organization have all spent time on the injured list and more than likely will continue to do so.

But I don't think Schaefer is that much of an upgrade over Ford.  Personally I feel like the 3 goaltenders currently in Hershey (Schaefer, Ford, Jared DeMichiel) are very similar in ability and should be considered that way in expectations. 

What I am trying to say is...without Holtby and/or Sabourin this team is still not going deep in the playoffs.

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