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Are The Pittsburgh Penguins’ Goalie Troubles Over?

With a new goalie coach in town, are the Pittsburgh Penguins' goalie troubles a thing of the past?

There was one big aspect of the lineup that needed some addressing. Frankly, the goaltending in the postseason was completely abysmal. There were some mistakes made that directly caused some games to have been lost. However, saying that Tristan Jarry needed to be traded was also not the right answer. Now, with a new goalie coach in Pittsburgh, does that mean that the Penguins’ goaltending troubles are over?

The Backstory

Every Penguins fan has relished the idea of trading Jarry after last postseason. It was clear that he didn’t have much confidence going into the series against the New York Islanders. After all, he put up an underwhelming .888 save percentage in six games. Even worse, Jarry also had a goals-against average of 3.18. To summarize, that’s bad.

Despite having an abysmal postseason, looking to trade Jarry at the moment would only prove to be a mistake.
Image Courtesy of Brynn Anderson/AP Photo

But to immediately resort to trading Jarry? That’s a bad idea for multiple reasons. First off, Jarry is still young as he is only 26, meaning he has plenty of time to grow and learn. Secondly, he had a decent regulars season stat line with a .909 save percentage and 2.75 goals-against average. Not great, but again he’s young and will learn from his experiences.

Thankfully, general manager Ron Hextall didn’t do what fans demanded as Jarry is still with the organization. He sees the potential in Jarry, and decided to provide the tools to help with his development. Hextall made a minor, but possibly effective, change to the coaching staff that could propel Jarry to new levels.

The New Coach In Town

Hextall decided that a change in goalie coaches could be what the doctor ordered. In August, now-former goalie coach Mike Buckley was replaced by former Penguins goaltender Andy Chiodo. If that name doesn’t sound familiar, it’s because he only played eight games in the NHL during the 2003-2004 NHL season. However, this could be the key.

With the arrival of new goalie coach Andy Chiodo, Jarry could regain all of his lost confidence.
Image Courtesy of Pittsburgh Penguins

Hextall is certain that Chiodo will help Jarry elevate his game. The main issue with Jarry was that once his confidence was shaken, it was basically game over as he couldn’t seem to get over it. According to Hextall, Chiodo specializes in focusing on the finer aspects of the goalies’ game, specifically helping the goaltenders maintain the right frame of mind.

If what Hextall says is true, this could be a huge deciding factor in the outcome of next season. If Jarry is able to fully elevate his game and keep his confidence even after a few goals have been let in, the Penguins could make a serious run for the cup. The unfortunate side is that if this doesn’t work and Jarry’s play is still subpar, his time in Pittsburgh could be over. Only time will tell.

 

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