As I'm sure many of you already have read, two (somewhat) contradictory things have come from Cory Clouston in the last two days regarding Pascal Leclaire;
1) To paraphrase, he was disappointed that Pascal didn't save what he viewed as a weak shot by Alex Ovechkin, that Ovie didn't get much behind the shot, and that it needed to be saved.
2) That Pascal will start his 4th straight game tonight against the Carolina Hurricanes.
Now, I love CiCi just as much as the next Sens fan (though he is starting to take some serious flack, over at The 6th Sens and SenSay) but I don't agree with one of those decisions.
And for me, it was throwing Pascal under the bus. I was at the opener against Buffalo (with Oakes) and we were sitting front row. The Sens did not play well (not as bad as they did against the Leafs, but not well). Pascal was shaky to start the game, but played very well as it went on. Watching the Caps game the other night, he again played very well, and for once, the consensus around this team is that he has been our best player.
So why throw him under the bus? He already felt terrible about the goal, and there are many other guys to blame for the game (Brian Lee wandering into Campoli's corner and leaving Semin WIDE OPEN?), so why do it?
I think it was heat of the moment. I think Cory thought we were thirty seconds away from a shootout where anything can happen and it was snatched away. That is why he deserves a round of applause for putting Pascal in tonight, and recognizing the importance of him getting into a groove.
The Sens have a chance tonight to get their first win, and Pascal has earned the right to be the goalie to get that first win.
Right now, I believe in Pascal.