When it comes to the Winnipeg Jets' goaltending situation, it isn't hard to find people clamoring for rookie Michael Hutchinson to be named the unquestioned No. 1 ahead of incumbent Ondrej Pavelec.
Even a casual glance at their numbers this season shows why: Hutchinson has more wins (15-7-3) than Pavelec (13-11-7) in eight fewer starts, and even though a three-game skid after the All-Star break stopped Hutchinson from leading the NHL in save percentage, he has a distinct edge over Pavelec (.925 to .911).
That may lead to an increased workload for Hutchinson down the stretch as the Jets try to secure their first Stanley Cup Playoff berth since moving back to Winnipeg. But Hutchinson's recent blip starting three straight games for the second time this season isn't the only reason the Jets are happy to have options in goal.
In addition to easing Hutchinson into any expanded role without sacrificing important goalie-specific development time, the split allows Pavelec to continue modernizing and modifying a technical approach that seemed neglected during his first four NHL seasons with the Atlanta Thrashers.
"The beauty of what we have is the opportunity to balance the two goalies," Jets goaltending coach Wade Flaherty told NHL.com. "It gives me time to work with [Pavelec]. We never had the opportunity to do this in-season before because he was playing 65 games a year."