Wing Wednesday: A look at Ville Husso's performance thus far
The Red Wings No. 1 goalie has always been fascinating to me.
If you’ve read this space, you’ve already realized that I’m fascinated and think way too much about goaltending.
It’s the position that got me into the sport as a kid, I learned to skate as a middle schooler in goalie gear, and I genuinely find goalies to be some of the most fascinating people on the planet.
And in Detroit, it’s been fascinating watching the Ville Husso story play out over the past two seasons.
He was brought into Detroit to be part of a tandem with Alex Nedeljkovic, a plan that quickly unraveled when Nedeljkovic struggled and proved he was more of an organizational No. 3 — a theory the Pittsburgh Penguins seem to be testing themselves right now.
And Husso played 56 games last season, posted a .896 save percentage in those contests, and did so while playing through injury at the end of the season. The Red Wings brass admitted they pushed Husso too far, but also defended the goalie’s play and entered this season with him solidly entrenched as the organizational No. 1 in front of James Reimer.
The plan going into this season is for Husso to play 55 to 60 games, and at the current rate — he’s started seven of the Red Wings first 10 games — he’s on pace to play 56 for the second straight season.
He’s being used like a starter and while early season usage has indicated more teams rolling with one goalie — the Colorado Avalanche and Tampa Bay Lightning, for example, have one combined start by a backup — Husso should be amongst the NHL’s busiest goalies by the end of the season.
But usage and accolades are two different things, while the Red Wings may want to manifest Husso as a No. 1 goalie in their mind, he also has to prove he can handle that responsibility — just look at what happened with Nedeljkovic the year after he started 59 games in Detroit.
So today I wanted to take a deeper look at Husso’s first seven games, where the goalie has posted a 4-2-1 record, a .900 save percentage, and 3.28 goals against average.
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