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Examining the St. Louis Blues goaltenders

by Evan Grossman / NHL.com

 
Complete Blues Analysis:
Intro | Goalies | Defense | Forwards
Feature | Numbers | Sked | Roster

Who's No. 1?

The incumbent is Manny Legace, who was a bright spot for the Blues last season when he won 23 games in 45 appearances before going down with a knee injury. Legace, 34, struggled at the start, but excelled after Murray took over, finishing the season with a 23-15-5 record, a 2.59 goals-against average and five shutouts. The former Detroit Red Wing has 60 wins in the last two seasons and is expected to be the No. 1 man between the pipes again.

The Blues hope Legace can return to the form he exhibited before the knee injury, especially now that backup Curtis Sanford is gone — he signed with Vancouver as a free agent. St. Louis has used a lot of goaltenders during the past couple of seasons, so the role of No. 2 goalie is more important for the Blues than it is on a lot of other teams.

Backup plan

Just in case Legace falters or is injured again, the Blues acquired Hannu Toivonen from Boston during the summer. Toivonen, 23, is young, which the Blues like. He appeared in 18 games last season for the Bruins and went 3-9-1 with a 4.23 GAA and a .875 save percentage.

Jason Bacashihua is a 24-year-old with excellent reflexes who could push for the backup job in training camp. He was acquired in a trade with Dallas in 2004 and played 19 games with the Blues last season, going 3-7-3 with a 3.15 GAA. Bacashihua spent the majority of the season with Peoria of the AHL, where he won 20 games.

In the Wings

Jusso Riksman -- The 30-year-old Finn was signed by St. Louis this year and could serve as an insurance policy in case of disaster on a team that dressed four goalies last season. Riksman played for Jokerit in 2006-07, going 18-4-6 with a 2.25 GAA and .925 save percentage.

Marek Schwarz -- The 21-year-old was the Blues’ first-round pick in the 2004 Entry Draft and played his first two NHL games last season. Schwarz may have to work on his puckhandling, but in 2006-07, his first season as a pro in North America after coming over from the Czech League, he won 19 games with Peoria.

Hannu Toivonen
Goaltender Hannu Toivonen on being traded from Boston to St. Louis:

"Mentally, a change of scenery makes things a lot easier. I was super-excited when the trade happened. Being here and getting to know the people, I'm feeling even happier about the trade."                  
FAST FACTS

1. The Blues were 20th in the NHL last season in goals against with a total of 254.

Legace
2. St. Louis was involved in a total of 12 shootouts last season, going 6-6.

3. Blues goalies combined to allow an average of 2.98 goals per game and had an .895 save percentage).


NHL.com's 2007-08 Blues Season Preview Package:
Intro | Goalies | Defense | Forwards | Feature | Numbers | Sked | Roster

 

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