Friday, October 23, 2009

Left-wingers, all of 'em!

This paragraph from the Columbus Dispatch's awesome Columbus Blue Jackets coverage was not reprinted online today, so I'll post for posterity:
The Blue Jackets are the NHL's only club with two goaltenders who catch right-handed.  It's no big deal on the surface, but it bugs the Blue Jackets' shooters, coach Ken Hitchcock said.  "They get used to shooting blocker side on our own guys in practice, and that has them shooting glove-side in games."  The club is making plans for a left-handed-catching practice goalie to work with then next month.
The Edmonton Sun adds a little more:
"I think we have to bring a guy in, we have to look at bringing a guy in," Hitchcock said.
"That's the reality of the situation we're dealing with it. Players are talking about it and when you think about it, when you have two lefties here, it is a little confusing."
The Blue Jackets would not have to concede a roster spot to a new goaltender that would simply be used in practice.
He would, however, take away some practice time from their two other puck stoppers.
"We talked to (GM) Scott (Howson) about it this week," Hitchcock said.

At least no roster spot will be taken.  At the same time, Garon likely will lose some practice time.  Realistically, can you see Mason getting his practice minutes cut so the forward can shoot at a right-handed target goalie?

Credit to Hitch and the staff for identifying yet another issue and trying to address it.  One wonders if the front office even considered this issue when they signed Garon.  CBJ GM Scott Howson's a bright guy, and I won't put anything past him, but this is one strange issue to have to address.

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