Reminder: You can still vote on all previous first round match-ups by clicking on the “2017 Favorite Blue Jacket Tournament” link at the top of the page.
Today’s match-ups feature a couple of promising young goalies who never quite met their potential in Columbus.
Round 1, Game 7: Pascal Leclaire vs. Marc Methot
Leclaire, G: 125 GP; 45-55-12 record; .907 SV%; 2.82 GAA
Notes: Leclaire was the second first round pick in franchise history. He struggled with injuries and inconsistency before being traded for Antoine Vermette in 2009. 2007-08 was a stand-out year, with a 24-7-6 record, 9.19 SV% and 2.25 GAA.
Methot, D: 275 GP; 7 G; 44 A; 51 P
Notes: A solid depth defenseman in Columbus, Methot was traded to Ottawa for Nick Foligno in a perfect example of a so-called “hockey trade” that benefits both teams equally.
Round 1, Game 8: Steve Mason vs. Nikolai Zherdev
Mason, G: 232 GP; 96-99-27 record; .903 SV%; 2.90 GAA
Notes: Mason burst onto the scene as a 20 year old rookie in 2008-09. He seized the starting job with a 33-20-7 record, .916 SV%, 2.29 GAA and a league-leading 10 shutouts. He won the Calder Trophy, finished runner-up for the Vezina and fourth for the Hart. After that - well, there were peaks and valleys. He was traded to Philadelphia in 2013 after Sergei Bobrovsky earned the full-time starter job.
Zherdev, RW: 283 GP; 76 G; 105 A; 181 P
Notes: The 2003 first round pick twice earned 26+ goals in his five seasons in Columbus. He was traded to the Rangers for countryman Fedor Tyutin, then left the NHL for the KHL in 2011, where he remains today.
Share your memories in the comments, and cast your votes below:
Favorite Blue Jacket, Games 7 and 8
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Leclaire and Mason
Leclaire and Zherdev
Methot and Mason
Methot and Zherdev