Blackhawks: Is Chris Driedger a solid option for the net?
is one of the three goaltenders for the Florida Panthers. Florida, a playoff team now on the brink of elimination against the Tampa Bay Lightning, relied on Driedger a lot during the regular season, and he rose to the occasion.
Driedger signed an $850,000 contract two years ago with the Panthers, and that contract will be complete this off-season. Should the 27-year-old goaltender decide to walk away from the team, he would be a good addition for the Blackhawks.
Driedger played in 23 games last season putting up a .927 save percentage and a goals-against average of 2.07 both of those stats are already better than all three Hawks netminders this season.
Kevin Lankinen was the Hawks goalie of the season, but they need another solid netminder to play with him. Personally, I like the way Collin Delia came back at the end of the year and even Subban showed some signs of being a great goaltender as well, but the team needs to look elsewhere to raise their game.
By signing Driedger, the Hawks would get a 6’4″ goalie that can split time in net with Lankinen. Both netminders would be looking to become the future starter, and should one fall to an injury the team would still have Subban and Delia in the system to come up and start a few games.
The Blackhawks need help in net, but it is bigger than just that.
It is really the defense that needs to be better next season. While yes goaltending did let in some soft goals along the way, the defense really failed the netminders, not the goalies themselves. The Hawks could sign a goalie like Driedger and they probably would be a little better off, but unless this team stops giving up so many shots and starts limiting the chances of their opponents then no matter who is in net, their goals-against average is going to be in the threes or fours.
When looking at Driedger’s stats, his numbers in the playoffs have not been great, however, at the same time, no ones numbers in the playoffs have been great in Florida. Driedger is a goalie that might interest the Seattle Kraken, but at the same time, Florida definitely has some bigger name players that they will want to take.
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With the off-season in front of us, I am looking forward to seeing what the Blackhawks decide to do with the net. All three of their goalies showed some promise throughout the season, but they also showed some reasons for concern. Here is hoping fans get some answers sooner rather than later.