New Jersey Devils: Options For A Backup Goaltender

Gilles Senn #31 of the New Jersey Devils. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Gilles Senn #31 of the New Jersey Devils. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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New Jersey Devils
Detroit Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard (35): (Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports) /

External Choices

Craig Anderson

While he is on a PTO with the Washington Capitals, Craig Anderson is not yet under contract. So the Devils could, if they wanted, talk to him about suiting up for the Devils instead. While this isn’t as likely since the Capitals are a playoff team and Anderson has suffered through some bad years in his 10 seasons with the Senators, it is still an option.

His last three seasons have shown a big decline from the strong goalie he was. It’s expected from a 39-year-old goalie. Sporting a .898, .903, and .902 save percentage the last three seasons is not impressive even on a bad team and allowing over three goals a game does not inspire confidence. While he was a good goaltender, this is something to avoid even on a one-year deal.

Jimmy Howard

This is an intriguing idea. Considering just how bad Jimmy Howard was last season with the Red Wings, why even look at him? He managed to put up a bad .882 save percentage and 4.20 goals-against average while winning two out of 25 games.

The Red Wings were the worst team in the league sporting an AHL-caliber lineup and a terrible defense. He quite frankly had no chance to have a good season. While this is not a long-term look for the Devils, his numbers the two seasons previous were far more respectable with a .909 and .910 save percentage. This is better than any Devils backup managed in that time on a far worse team. At 36 years of age, Howard might be an option in a short season playing in 15-20 games for the Devils.