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2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs: Oscar Dansk Becomes Blue Jackets Black Ace

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Elaine Shircliff

Today, the Blue Jackets left many scratching their heads when they recalled Oscar Dansk over Anton Forsberg as the third goalie for NHL playoffs.

Yes, Oscar Dansk is the Blue Jackets’ Black Ace.

The past few seasons have been a bit dicey for Dansk. He won only 19 of the 60 games he played in for Rogle BK of the SHL.

The last time Dansk had a “goals allowed average” below 2.68 was the 2013-14 season. For the bulk of his career Dansk’s save percentage has been in the low 90s, high 80s.

Even knowing this, I think recalling Dansk was the best choice.

Final Contract Year

This is the final year of Dansk’s contract with the Blue Jackets organization. Bringing Dansk up as a “Black Ace” allows them to be able to assess his skills. They also need to see what’s going on inside his head and if he’s mentally ready to play professional hockey in North America again.

In the unlikely event, Sergei Bobrovsky and Joonas Korpisalo go down, the Blue Jackets will see if Dansk truly has what it takes to be an elite NHL netminder.

If he doesn’t have what it takes, I think they will end up parting ways during free agency.

Calder Cup Playoffs

The Cleveland Monsters are on a playoff push. They need a dependable and consistent goalie tandem for the final two games of the season.

Dansk hasn’t played a game with the Monsters this season. The team has finally begun to gel. Throwing a brand new goaltender into the mix could possibly throw everything off. Having Dansk as the number two goalie for the Monsters is a bigger risk than having him as the Blue Jackets’ third goalie.

I know there are many people out there who are going to say “the AHL is there to serve the NHL”. They are going to throw out stats proving Forsberg is the better choice to be the “Black Ace”.

The people that will question this move want only the best on their team. I understand it, I appreciate it, and I think it’s great. Please, never stop settling for less.

However, the Jackets are rolling into playoffs with two incredible goaltenders. The likeliness one will be demoted is slim. The likeliness both will get injured is equally as slim.

Why sit Forsberg for postseason play when he can help lead the Monsters to their second Calder Cup Playoff appearance in a row?

The Monsters getting into the 2017 Calder Cup Playoffs will be the best way to serve the Jackets organization. As the Jackets become more successful, they need to know they can depend on their farm team in the future.

Five players on the current Blue Jackets roster helped lead the Monsters to their first Calder Cup Championship win. Josh Anderson, Oliver Bjorkstrand, Lukas Sedlak, Zach Werenski, and Joonas Korpisalo played a big part in the success of the 2016-17 Blue Jackets. They will likely continue to play a big role in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Playoff hockey is different than regular season hockey. Every night there is a looming feeling of finality in the air. Win four games, you move on. Lose four games, you’re going golfing. The finality is what makes the games intense. Every time you touch the ice you have to play like this is the last shift you might ever play in your life.

Those five former Monsters understand what it takes because last season they hoisted the Calder Cup over their heads. They have kept that feeling with them throughout the season and it will likely power them through the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Helping the Monsters succeed this season will help the Blue Jackets succeed next season.

It’s not always about the here and now. Sometimes, it’s about the long game.