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Monday, August 6, 2007

Norrena or Leclaire...

I've decided that as a fan of the Columbus Blue Jackets it's time for me to step up and decide who is my number 1 goalie...although I have pretty much made up my mind I figure I should look at stats, history, and scouting reports to help me decide. Of course, this will have no affect on what the Blue Jackets actually do this summer...maybe it will help me feel better about Leclaire. I've started with a little bit out of The Hockey News.



I will be posting more about this but look at these (click for a larger view) first leave thoughts in the comments. I hope to address everything in this blog. It will continue to be updated.

UPDATE: My wonderful buddy Michael at Army of Ohio has a post with the Pro's and Con's of Norrena and Leclaire (and all the other Jackets too):
Pascal Leclaire
Positives: Lightning fast speed, composure under pressure, and the ability to get himself 'in the zone' during big games. Many of Leclaire's goals this season have, in my opinion, been more the responsibility of a poor defense than anything else. The thing that makes Leclaire stand out the most, of course, is his legs. I'd kill for leg speed like that.

Negatives: Like this one isn't obvious. Leclaire's conditioning is deplorable, and he continues to suffer from injury issues. One of the things that TSN mentions in their scouting report for Leclaire is the fact that he will overcommit, which is true. The thing is that this overcomitting is actually what leads to his injuries, which have all been leg-based. The one he got against Ottawa back in December? It was because he found himself stretching much, much further across the crease than he should have. While Leclaire has the lightning fast legs of a cheetah, that doesn't mean he's immortal. Unless he works on his endurance, he will have problems latching on to a number one goaltending position with the Blue Jackets.
Fredrik Norrena
Positives: Norrena is something of an anomaly. His ability to play so well while playing in an unorthodox manner continues to perplex me ever since the first game I saw him play in. He also seems to be on the longer end of the stick when it comes to how the team plays around him lately, possibly due to the fact that they've grown so accustomed to him during Leclaire's absence. Regardless, Norrena has many upsides. When he's gotten rest, he's about as unbeatable as a brick wall, and has three shut outs on the season so far. His puck handling skills are also of modest quality, and while he's no Brodeur, he knows what he is doing with the puck at all times.

Negatives: Inconsistency is going to be death of Norrena. With the exception of an amazingly stellar run during December, Norrena has found himself having the hardest time stringing together two games in a row, and this could be an endurance issue more than anything else. As well, even though Norrena has a firey drive and motivation, it has sometimes backfired and instead led to anger, frustration, and outright rage as can be seen by his reaction to many goals and situations on the ice. He needs to temper that energy without losing it, so that he can keep himself on his game during crunch time.
UPDATE: I have been cruising around blogs finding information about these guys. Mirtle has a really interesting post about Goaltenders Pre-and Post-All Star Break. Norrena was #8 Post-All Star Break behind Henrik Lundqvist, Niklas Backstrom, Roberto Luongo, Rick DiPietro, Tomas Vokoun, Ray Emery, and Dominik Hasek. Oddly enough he is in front of Giguere who was at #17.

UPDATE: Highlight Videos

Doesn't have one...sad.


Jeannie said...

Norrena is cuter.

The Puck Stops Here said...

Leclaire and Norrena are likely both better suited to be backup goalies then starters. That is one of many reasons that Columbus is not expected to do very well this season.

Bitchany said...

Jeannie: True dat!! Leclaire kinda looks like Alf-Alfa eh?

TPS: I don't know if it's me being overprotective but I'm pretty sure Norrena is capable of being a #1...he finished above .500 aside from being the only CBJ goaltender to do so, he also played in 55 games last season, his first season in the NHL so I find it hard to believe that he will not steal the #1 spot...again.

The Puck Stops Here said...

Norrena turns 34 in November and in his only NHL season so far finished 28th in the league in saves percentage. those are not the qualifications of somebody that is a bonafide number one goalie.

Sure he could surprise (and so could Leclaire), but neither are among the NHL's better goalies. Columbus's goaltending should be among the weaker duos in the NHL this season. Thats life. Given time it should get better, it took Doug MacLean quite a while to make this mess.

Bitchany said...

I do agree with you. But, at the moment it's all we have to work with...that's why Norrena should be our #1 he is the better goalie.