DETROIT (AP) _ Manny Legace understands why the Detroit Red Wings would
rather have Dominik Hasek or Curtis Joseph play instead of him.
The career backup goalie just wants to make it tough to replace him.
Legace made 27 saves, and Pavel Datsyuk and Mathieu Schneider scored in the
Red Wings' 2-0 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday.
Legace has become Detroit's No. 1 goalie because of injuries to Joseph and
Even though Legace leads the trio in wins (21) and games (38) this season,
the Red Wings have not said he will start when the playoffs begin the week
Joseph has played in 122 playoff games and Hasek _ who is out for the season
_ has 97 games of postseason experience. Legace has played just 11 minutes in
one playoff game.
``When you have some of the best goalies in the world, it's hard to go with
a guy that has never played under the pressure cooker,'' Legace said. ``But I
want to make it hard on the people making the decisions.
``I want the job. I want a chance to be the guy that gets us all the way to
Legace moved one step closer toward his goal Saturday because of his play _
and Joseph's ankle.
An MRI exam of Joseph's right ankle revealed that a small piece of cartilage
pulled away from a bone, general manager Ken Holland said before the game. The
Red Wings hope a cortisone shot will relieve swelling and allow him to play
before the regular season ends next Saturday.
Nobody has told Legace he will lead Detroit's quest for the Stanley Cup, but
he believes he will.
``It doesn't look like Cujo's ankle is going to heal in time, so that's the
way I'm looking at it,'' he said. ``I'm just getting ready, and mentally
prepared to go for a long haul.''
Hasek was lost to a groin injury after he played just 14 games following his
Legace has made the transition from reserve to starter this season with
three shutouts, the same amount he had in his first four NHL seasons.
When Detroit won at Colorado 3-1 on Thursday, Legace made 34 saves and was
31 seconds away from another shutout.
``They've had a hot goalie,'' Peter Forsberg said. ``We got a lot of shots,
but he saved everything.''
The Western Conference-leading Red Wings are 9-1-1 in their last 11 home
The Northwest Division-leading Avalanche are 0-5-1 in their last six and
have scored just seven goals during the winless streak.
``We're at the lowest point of the season right now,'' Milan Hejduk said.
Colorado's Tommy Salo _ the backup to David Aebischer _ made 25 saves,
including many that kept the Avalanche in the game.
Detroit took a 1-0 lead with 10 seconds left in the second period, scoring
on Schneider's power-play goal. Early in the third, Datsyuk corralled a rebound
off Hull's shot and beat a sprawling Salo to give Detroit a 2-0 lead.
``Colorado brings out the best in us, and we bring out the best in them,''
Red Wings coach Dave Lewis said.