Submitted by Boltsgirl41922 on June 18, 2006 - 12:17
I personally have a varying opinion about John Grahame than the average Lightning fan. Most fans want someone new between the pipes, I don't.
Most fans will compalain that because of him the team faltered. I disagree with that. I'll admitt that he wasn't as consistent as he should have been. However, this was his first year being the number one guy.
The first year isn't always as easy as Ryan Miller or Henrik Lundqvist would make people believe. Also keep in mind that there was the lockout last year. To go from backup, to starter with a year off in between, that isn't an easy job. Please also remember the rule changes, before he was just a guy being given a shot at a job he knew, now he's a guy given a shot at a job he doesnt know very well.
In my opinion, he was asked to do the impossible. He was asked to backstop the Stanley Cup Champions after never being the starter, and having a year off. Oh and of course the rule changes. Also, remember the slow defense and lack of offense.
What his critics often forget are the good things he accomplished this year. In case anyone forgot, he set two new records for the Lightning. He now holds the record for the longest shutout streak and the most consecutive wins. He also made the US Olympic team after not being invited to the camp, and was their starter. When he played, he didn't play horribly.
I think had there not been an Olympic break, he would have kept on rolling. Was it four shutouts in seven games? I think that's pretty impressive. Had play continued, he would have bounced back from the 6-5 victory over Boston.
Who knows what could have happened then? Instead of Ottawa, we could have drawn Carolina? We could have advanced to the second or third or even fourth round!
All I'm saying is, maybe John Grahame deserves another chance. If we got rid of a goalie after one bad season, we would have a new goalie every year (except 2003-04 but by that point, we wouldnt have had the Bulin Wall).
I say, give Johnny G. another chance.