November 29, 2010

Does Anybody Else Think Ondrej Pavelec Came out of the Hospital a Bionic Man?

Considering Atlanta Thrashers goalie Ondrej Pavelec suffered that strange fainting spell just a few minutes into the season, it's hard to put together a worthwhile before-and-after comparison between his quality of play right now and in the lead-up to what one can only described as one of the most bizarre incidents to ever take place during a hockey game. However, we all do know that he played reasonably well last year in posting a save percentage of .906, in finally giving the team the chance to rid itself of its overextended ties to the often-overweight Kari Lehtonen.

This year, Pavelec not only has a .949 save percentage (you read that right, but funny enough that's only good enough for third-best in the league in what is shaping up to be the year of the goalie), but also a 1.62 goals-against average, which is half of what his GAA was as recently as last year. Indeed, playing goal for the Thrashers has traditionally claimed the self-esteems of even the cockiest goalies out there, meaning not even P.K. Subban's brother, Malcolm, a goalie in the OHL, would be safe... just putting it out there.

So, taking all that into account, what Pavelec has been able to accomplish this year, essentially streamlining at warp speed even the most optimistic of forecasts regarding his career's outlook (the team did sign Chris Mason for a reason), has been nothing short of incredible. It's all the more incredible considering he may just consider himself to be lucky to be alive at this point.

Oh, and he's making just $850,000 this year, so any actual Six-Million-Dollar-Man references would be  inaccurate... although just a tad premature considering the way he's playing right now has him down that road eventually.

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