Colorado Avalanche backup goalie Peter Budaj hasn’t had many opportunities in the net this season, thanks to the stellar play of goalie Craig Anderson. And last night, Budaj proved there’s been a good reason for that. The Avs lost to the Edmonton Oilers 6-4 after taking a 4-2 lead late into the second period. The Denver Post pins most of the blame on the hapless Budaj, with the caveat that the Avs wasted two five-on-three opportunities.
Those wasted chances are a big deal and could have been the difference in the game, but Budaj simply seems to lack the confidence of a successful NHL goalie. He gave up five goals on 32 shots, costing the Avs two points in the standings on a night when they had a chance to put more distance between Colorado and the rest of the Northwest Division.
A peek at goalie statistics at NHL.com shows Budaj has given up 10 goals on 69 shots for a less-than-mediocre .855 save percentage. That’s good enough to get him ranked 55th in the league out of 65 goalies. Anderson’s .927 save percentage, on the other hand, is tied for fourth-best in the NHL. Anderson has played 20 games so far this season, more than any other goalie in the NHL. Mile High Hockey calls Budaj one of the most divisive players on the squad.
Thankfully, the Avs are good despite their backup goalie. JustBet.com calls the team “officially the surprise of the 2009-10 NHL season,” adding that the Avs are a good bet for gamblers.