A flurry of moves were made in Blue Jacket land today.
Markus Hannikainen was assigned to the Monsters by the Blue Jackets after being called up for the fifth time this season.
Curtis McElhinney was placed on waivers and Anton Forsberg was recalled by the Blue Jackets. This was a move not many people were expecting this close to the All-Star break.
How will this change affect the Monsters?
If McElhinney Clears Waivers
This move could actually be beneficial for the Monsters.
McElhinney is a veteran who has no problem teaching as well as learning from those who surround him.
Here is what he can learn from Korpisalo:
- How to fight until the very end of the game, even if your team begins to fall a part around you. Korpisalo knows how to take control of the situation and adapt by essentially standing on his head.
- How to not let soft goals rattle you. Every goaltender has let a soft goal in every once in a while. The key is to take a deep breathe and shake it off. Korpisalo knows how to come back strong from a mistake. This is a quality to be revered among players.
- The right time to leave the net unattended. Korpisalo is one ballsy player. I often have a heart palpitations when I watch him play. He goes so far out of the crease to grab a puck as an opponent is barrelling towards him. Yet, Korpisalo is able to clear the puck or get it to his teammate before anything bad can happen.
Here is what Korpisalo can learn from McElhinney:
1. Patience. McElhinney has learned over the years patience is everything when it comes to getting a start. I think sometimes Korpisalo gets antsy and can’t sit too long without getting rusty. McElhinney will be able to teach him how to keep the rust off without playing a game every night.
2. Work ethic. No one will ever question the work ethic of McElhinney. He’s constantly at the ice rink working on skills. When practice isn’t mandatory, McElhinney still shows up. Work ethic goes a long way.
3. Leadership. By helping McElhinney grow as a goaltender , Korpisalo will be able to grow into the leader we all know is hiding under the mask.
If McElhinney Gets Claimed Off of Waivers
The Oilers, Red Wings, and Maple Leafs are all on the hunt for a backup goaltender to help guide them the rest of the season. I wouldn’t be surprised if one of them is seriously looking at grabbing McElhinney off of waivers. He is a solid backup goaltender who is playing above the league average in some areas such as goals against average and save percentage.
McElhinney needs to be on team that trusts him regardless of the mistakes he has made.
Honestly, the Monsters will be just fine if McElhinney gets picked up by another team. Michael Houser, who is currently playing for the Cincinnati Cyclones, could be called up to fill the third netminder roster spot. Or, the Monsters would roll with two goalies, Thiessen and Korpisalo
Developmentally, it will be best to keep Houser in the ECHL for a bit longer. He has a few more kinks to work out but if needed will do just fine as a backup in the AHL.
In 16 games with the Cyclones this season, Houser has a 8-6-1-0 record, one shut out, .925 save percentage, and 2.31 gaa.
Does Forsberg Have What it Takes?
Forsbeg has grown since last season’s Calder Cup performance.
His agility and quickness is something to marvel. The way Forsberg can quickly move from left to right across the crease is phenomenal.
It's clear Forsberg worked on watching the puck this summer. He can see through a plethora of bodies to spot the puck. While having an open line of sight is nice, Forsberg doesn’t need it to be an effective goaltender.
One thing which will prove beneficial for him in the NHL is his toughness. Forsberg is not afraid to hit a person. If you are in his crease, you are fair game to the netminder. Forsberg will be kind enough to give you a warning tap. After that don't be surprised if you see his glove in your face.
If you get in Forsberg's personal space while he's trying to clear the puck, he's not afraid to shove you.
The only thing which worries me about Forsberg being called up is he is not a backup goaltender. I don’t think his mind works that way. Forsberg needs to play every night.
Sitting for multiple games in a row will be his biggest challenge but in the end will teach him more than he could imagine.