Rare Spot for Leclaire

Pascal LeclaireIt’s already been a few weeks into the NHL season, and stats and standings are slowly taking shape.

One category fans should check out is ‘Goaltender Statistics’.

No, surprisingly you won’t find Martin Brodeur’s or Roberto Luongo’s name up there, however, you’ll see a couple of goalies you just might not recognize: Pascal Leclaire and Tim Thomas.

Both these players have only played four games – a couple less then others – but their stats so far are pretty amazing. Boston’s Thomas leads the league in both save percentage and goals against average, with .962 and 1.26 respectively.

But I would like to focus on Leclaire.

This 2001, 8th overall draft pick is finally making a name for himself backstopping the Blue Jackets as he is tied for first in GAA, and is second with a .953 SV%. But the most remarkable thing is his three wins – ranked sixth in the league – all resulting in shutouts.

So basically, three shutouts, three wins, best in the league.

Last season, Leclaire had a 6-15-2 record while part of the bottom-dwelling Blue Jackets. This season, he’s already halfway there in the wins column.

For Columbus to be successful, this 24-year-old must continue his impressive play, whether or not that means adding to his shutout mark, which is already a career best. It looks like a breakout season is in the works for Leclaire, and I doubt many predicted this start for the Quebec native.

He’s in unfamiliar territory right now in terms of stats, and knowing how the league works, he shouldn’t be too comfortable.

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One Response

  1. Thomas has always been a streaky goaltender, ever since he got his debut at the age of 93. However Boston is right in turning to other goalies, mostly due to his age — Thomas is not likely to be in the league much longer. Fernandez was the long-term solution the Bruins were hoping for. Or at least he could have been, if it weren’t for the fact that he’s been pretty weak of late!

    But Leclaire… he’s not that surprising! He was stellar in junior and a huge prospect. Columbus has been waiting on him for a couple years. The only surprise is that he hasn’t been injured yet; Every season thus far has been derailed by some ailment or another.

    Surprising that he’s beating Brodeur and Luongo? Sure! But by no means is it surprising that he’s finally emerging as a starter. The Jackets’ patience is finally paying off!

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