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2018-19 Player Review: Joonas Korpisalo had a decent season, but he’s going to be in a battle for the net next season

Joonas Korpisalo played alright this season but he saw limited action down the stretch. With a fight for the net next season, can he assert himself?

NHL: Columbus Blue Jackets at Ottawa Senators Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

Joonas Korpisalo had a fine season for Columbus, given his role. He was not asked to carry the load for the Jackets, merely to spell Sergei Bobrovsky and look solid while doing it, giving the front office a reason not to immediately turn the net over to Elvis Merzlikins.

To that end, Korpisalo was adequate. He has at least given the team a reason to consider keeping him around.

At one point, Korpisalo was 9-2-2 on the year with a 2.94 GAA. While his goals allowed number was not spectacular, his record allowed him to temporarily take the net from Bobrovsky. Unfortunately, while his goals allowed did not change drastically, puck luck meant Korpisalo won just one more game down the stretch as he finished with a 10-7-3 record.

Korpisalo may get a chance to win the starting job. He might get traded as the net is turned over Elvis Merzlikins, or even a tandem of Merzlikins and a short term backup (think a Keith Kinkaid or Cam Ward type).

This summer (and upcoming season, if he stays) will determine Korpisalo’s future with the organization.

Joonas Korpisalo 2018-19 Stats

Games played/started: 27/21
Record: 10-7-3
Save percentage: .897
Goals against average: 2.95
Shutouts: 0
EV/PP/SH save percentage: .906/.900/.818

Joonas Korpisalo Contract Status

Joonas Korpisalo signed his entry level contract on March 21, 2014. He spent the first year of the contract with the Cleveland Monsters before backing up Sergei Bobrovsky for the final two years of the deal. Coming off his ELC, Korpisalo signed a two year contract worth $1.8 million over the life of the contract.

This summer, Korpisalo is another one of the restricted free agents that filled out the roster last season. Korpisalo is expected to sign an extension of some length and term and fight for the number one goaltender position with Elvis Merzlikins, the Latvian wonderkind seen as the heir apparent to Sergei Bobrovsky.

Will Korpisalo get an extension in Columbus? Possibly. He has shown that he at least deserves a chance to compete for the starting job here. But, if the franchise decides to move on with Elvis Merzlikins, Korpisalo could possibly fetch a good draft pick in return for trading his rights to a team that needs a goaltender.

How the franchise feels about Elvis Merzlikins will go a long way in determining Joonas Korpisalo’s future here.

High Point

Joonas Korpisalo’s best game of the season came in January 2019. Korpisalo got the start for the Columbus Blue Jackets on January 15 against the New Jersey Devils. The Jackets won that game 4-1 with Korpisalo giving up the fewest goals he allowed in a start all season.

Korpisalo posted a .967 SV% as he saved 29 of 30 shots. New Jersey took 56 total shot attempts, 19 of which were blocked by the Jackets. Korpisalo had a relatively easy night between the pipes, but he still had to make the saves to get the win. He allowed hos only goal of the night with 1:36 remaining in the second period.

Korpisalo improved his record on the season to 9-2-2 with a 2.94 GAA and a .902 SV% with the win. It was Korpisalo’s 3rd straight victory, stopping 93 of 98 shots and leading the Jackets to first place in the Metropolitain Division at the time after his win over the Devils.

Low Point

Monday night. National television. The presumptive President’s Trophy winners came into Nationwide Arena. Columbus gave Korpisalo the start after Sergei Bobrovsky melted down and was suspended in the previous meeting between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Columbus Blue Jackets.

On Monday, February 18, 2019, Joonas Korpisalo got the start and gave up five goals on 20 shots, including two in the first 46 seconds of the third period to Brayden Point. Korpisalo played the entire game and allowed the most goals he gave up the entire season. On national television.

Korpisalo only appeared in six more games on the season (two of which were in relief of Sergei Bobrovsky). Not exactly his best outing of the year.

Report Card


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