Monday, December 12, 2005

Poor Patrick

According to a story in today's St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Blues are on the verge of unloading Patrick Lalime.

The team is expected to make a move regarding Lalime as soon as today.

The Blues have a few options, including trading the seven-year veteran or placing him on waivers. General manager Larry Pleau would not confirm Sunday that one of those transactions was about to take place.

You have to feel a little bit sorry for Lalime, don't you?

Now, I know for Sens fans, such a thought is blasphomy. Ever since the infamous Game 7 in Toronto, Lalime's name became akin to Satan in the Nation's Capital. He, along with Jacques Martin and to a lesser extent Radek Bonk, became the scapegoat for this teams failure to live up to the lofty but reasonable expectations we all had.

Since Dominik Hasek has come into town and won even his biggest doubters over with his stellar play, it's not uncommon to hear a fan say "I wonder where we'd be if we had goaltending like this all those years."

It's a fair point on the one hand, but I also think it diminishes Lalime's contributions to this team. Was he an elite goalie? Of course not. But with the exception of the 2003-04 season, he also wasn't a mediocre one. He was a solid 'tender made to look better by an excellent defence, a defensively responsible forward core, and a coach who emphasized defence over scoring.

But what seperates Lalime from the other scapegoats, I think, is that it was never a question of effort with Patrick. What frustrated fans about Radek Bonk was that he often looked like he wasn't trying all that hard (probably because he genuinely wasn't). He seemed more interested in collecting his paycheck than doing what it took to win. Jacques Martin made one critical error after another and refused to agknowledge he had until it was too late. By then his only recourse was to put his hands in his pockets and stare at the scoreboard, an act that I'm sure has gone over as well down in Florida with the struggling Panthers as it did here.

Patrick Lalime just played poorly at the worst possible times. That happens. It was never because he wasn't giving it 100%.

Even more than all his on ice accomplishments though, Lalime was well respected in the community as a super guy. He did a ton of charity work, and whenever the Senators were involved in some local activity, he was always at the center of it. In that sense, he sort of became the face of the franchise.

It's unfortunate that he's had such a difficult time since leaving.

UPDATE: is reporting that the Blues have in fact placed Lalime on waivers. With his $2.432 million salary, it's doubtful any team will claim him. Odds are he's done for this season.

In a strange twist of fate, Martin Prusek, who served as Lalime's backup for two years in Ottawa, was also placed on waivers by his team, the Columbus Blue Jackets.


At 2:22 PM, Blogger Andrew said...

Lalime has been placed on waivers:

At 2:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is such BS. Lalime is not even a "good" goaltender, let alone a solid netminder as you say. The fact is, Lalime had fortune smile upon him by being in the right place at the right time. He played on a team with a DEFENSE first system, and had stellar defense in front of him. Just look at Emery now. Emery looks like he could be an upgrade at starting goaltending for about 20 of the 30 teams in this league. Emery is a decent goaltender that still has lots of upside, and whom im excited about as a future prospect to lead this team for years to come. But Lalime... man he didnt even look all that great when he was with the Sens. For one he NEVER stole a game for the Sens, ever. Second, he never could stand up to pressure and big games, and third he was sadly incosistent, with all the help he had around him, you still just never knew who was going to show up. I always thought Prusek was by far the better goaltender, and I think by this seasons outings, you can see now that Prusek is in fact a better goaltender then Patty. I feel no pity for this guy, he doesnt deserve to be in the NHL. Maybe he can find some work in the minors or perhaps overseas..... in Japan.

At 3:37 PM, Blogger CMcMurtry said...

I disagree. During that last season he certainly had his troubles, but the year before, he was very solid, and was quite good during their playoff run.

As for Prusek proving he's a better goalie with his play this year, Columbus must not think so. They're the worst team in the NHL and still don't want him.

At 11:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like Prusek is going to be sent down to the minors as well now that the Jackets have their other 2 goalies back. But to back up my claim that Prusek has outplayed Lalime, here are some stats. Prusek has played 6 games, he is 3-3, which is a .500%. This winning percentage is far greater then the other two goalies on the team, Denis who is 4-11 and Leclaire who is 2-6. Prusek also has the lowest GAA of the 3 at 3.21 Now Lalime is 3w-11L with a 3.97 GAA. On paper one would have to give the Blues the edge in talent over the Jackets, especially since Nash has been out. Had Prusek been playing in net over in St Louis, I am certain that his stats would have been far more decent. I hope for some strange reason the Sens pick Prusek off waivers. I been to some B-Sens games this year, and let me tell you, if Hasek goes down for a lengthy time, we are in Trouble! Glass and Guard are FAR FAR away from being NHL caliber goalies. They look out of their element just playing in the NHL, and the B-sens reflect that in their record. As for Lalime, I hope the guy never plays in the NHL again.


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