Sergei Bobrovsky can’t play every game. That’s why the Columbus Blue Jackets have backup goaltender Joonas Korpisalo, who played his third season for the CBJ in 2017-18. Korpisalo saw limited action with another healthy season from Bob, but how’d he do?
Korpisalo played in 18 games, starting 17 of those. He finished with an 8-8-1 record but posted career-worst numbers across the board, including save percentage (.897) and goals against average (3.32). That said, 11 of his starts came against playoff teams (going 6-5), so he was facing some quality competition.
Bob handled much of the load through the first half of the season as Korpi played only two games in November, three weeks apart. His load grew late in the campaign, playing five games in March and the season finale in April (the “tank” game). His three wins in a row (over Vegas, Colorado and Boston, no less) were a key part of the 10-game win streak that pushed the Jackets into the playoffs.
On the surface, it was a ho-hum year for the recently-turned-23-year-old Finn. We can all remember some big saves and moments from Korpisalo, but they all added up to pedestrian numbers. Korpisalo has one more year at $900,000 before he can hit the open market as an unrestricted free agent.
Joonas Korpisalo 2017-18 Stats
Games played/started: 23/17
Save percentage: .897
Goals against average: 3.32
EV/PP/SH save percentage: .898/.900/.889
Korpi made 37 saves against Stanley Cup Final (and possible Cup champion) participant Vegas Golden Knights on March 6, allowing only one goal in a 4-1 win. The victory was the team’s second in that aforementioned 10-game win streak as the CBJ avoided the season sweep and kickstarted their playoff push.
Valentine’s Day. Korpisalo allowed five goals to Toronto on 27 shots for a putrid .815 save percentages as the Leafs rolled to a 6-3 home win.
How would you grade Joonas Korpisalo’s 2017-18 season?
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