Anderson-Tokarski tandem brings early success to Sabers
The Buffalo Sabers have been on the hunt for their next franchise goalie since Ryan Miller was traded to St. Louis in February 2014. Whether it’s through a trade, free agency or the ‘developing their own draft picks, they have yet to find their long-term future. clear answer.
They currently have three notable goalkeepers in their pipeline of promising prospects this year at Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (AHL), Erik Portillo (Michigan) and Devon Levi (Northeast). However, when in good health, their current tandem of Craig Anderson and Dustin Tokarski has proven to be a pleasant surprise so far this season.
Despite Anderson’s years of experience, the Sabers have a goaltending tandem who combined just 14 starts last season. Due to injuries suffered by Linus Ullmark and Carter Hutton last year, Tokarski made 10 starts, posting a 2-8-2 overall record, with a .904 save percentage and a 3 goals-against average. , 54.
After Ullmark signed with Boston this offseason after three years on the roster, Anderson signed a one-year / $ 750,000 contract to be the team’s starter, having made four starts for the Washington Capitals la last season. The save spot was determined by the goalkeeper competition at training camp, which was won by Tokarski after a strong preseason, beating UPL and Aaron Dell.
Once the season started, the team saw early success in the form of a 5-1-1 record and goalies have been an important part of their overall game during that streak. Currently on the injured reserve, Anderson has made six starts, going 4-2, with a .921 save percentage and a 2.5 goals-against average. In ten starts, Tokarski is 3-4-2, a .900 save percentage, 3.39 goals-against average, and will be the starter until Anderson returns from injury. In between, they amassed a 7-6-2 record and a .910 save percentage in 16 starts.
Overall expectations for the team this year are not high, but the team has performed better than expected under the guidance of head coach Don Granato, they have faced greater challenges lately. Winning two of their last ten games and dealing with a plethora of injuries at every position has come with its own set of challenges. Tokarski’s 45-save performance against Pittsburgh last week, however, proves the importance of goalkeepers, especially for these rebuilding Sabers.
Although there is some uncertainty as to who will be Buffalo’s long-term incumbent, but as of now, Anderson and Tokarski have both performed well and will be relied on heavily as the team continue to pull themselves together. develop throughout this season.