Stephan Sent Down

by Kristine

In the world of news that surprises nobody, the Stars assigned backup goalie Tobias Stephan to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (AHL) today, as expected. Also as predicted, goalie Brent Krahn has been recalled from the Chicago Wolves, but is not expected to be in net tonight against the Rangers.

To be honest, here at SHR we wonder how going from a goalie who is widely thought to be unproven even with seven NHL games under his belt to another goalie who is unproven with no NHL games in his history is going to help our netminder situation. We have a lot of questions about it. Will Tippett be more willing to play Krahn? If so, what does he see in Krahn that he didn’t see in Stephan? Why was Stephan really never given a chance? Will the Brass be keeping an eye on Stephan’s play in the AHL, with the intention of giving him another chance in the NHL later this season or next? Is this the precursor to a trade for some depth in net? As usual with the Stars Brass this season, this decision doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense.

On the one hand, I’d rather Stephan get some playing time than sit on the bench game after game. On the other, I’m annoyed that he wasn’t given that opportunity with the Stars. Why switch him out for yet another backup goalie who might not ever see NHL ice? For one, Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News points out that Krahn is a veteran minor league goalie but that he also has fought a knee injury throughout his career. So does his veteran status make him more trustworthy than Stephan, at least in Tippett’s eyes?

Just to be fair to both goalies, let’s look at their AHL records. During his time with the Iowa Stars, Stephan posted a .910 sv% and a 2.65 GAA, going 27-25-2. Krahn has had a quiet season, playing eight games in the AHL and recording a .910 sv% and a 2.28 GAA for a 4-3-0 record. In his 14 games with the Quad City Flames last season, he put up a .905 sv% and a 2.49 GAA to go 6-6-2. Now, I’m no goaltending expert, but those numbers seem pretty evenly matched to me. So what gives Krahn the edge over Stephan?

No matter what that edge is, I don’t think we’ll have to wait long to find out how Tippett feels about actually using this backup. Heika writes, “Marty Turco is going to be tested during this run of three games in four days – and even if he takes the full two days off next week, he has a run of four games in six days with two road trips mixed in after this little test.” If there’s ever a time to give Turco a rest and test out this new backup, it’s about to be here. As with many of the Stars Brass’s decisions this season, it will be interesting to see how this whole thing plays out.

The official press release can be found here.

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4 Comments to “Stephan Sent Down”

  1. Man, that guy is huge. I told Hub and Patty last night that he looked like Herman Munster walking onto the bench. (Not looks wise but size wise.)

    Who knows what Tipp and the Two-headed Monster are planning. I haven’t understood anything related to the backup goalie situation this year.

  2. I know! We were across from the benches and could see both Krahn and King Henrik and Krahn looked like two people taking up that spot, especially compared to Lundqvist.

    I don’t think anyone understands our backup situation this year, except maybe in an elementary “they don’t trust Stephan” way.

    BTW we could’ve met up last night after the game after all. The DART was late and we ended up waiting out there for half an hour!

  3. Too bad! We are going to the Hawks game on the 21st and Patty has tickets for that one as well. If y’all are going to that one we can try to coordinate something by email ahead of time.

    I kinda felt sorry for King Henrik. You know he had to be feeling miserable and not just from the flu. Although as bad as the Rangers were playing, I’m not sure he would have made too big of a difference.

  4. I don’t get it. What did Stephan do to Tippett? Did he like make a pass at Mrs. Tippett or call his kids a nasty name or something? I mean, what I saw of Stephan in the net in his limited chances, he hardly frightened me so much that I would be as terrified to put him in net as Tippett suggested. And he won tonight (though obviously it wasn’t an NHL game). Why is (was?) he so “untrustworthy?”

    This whole situation is just bizarre. And it seemed horribly unfair to Stephan to keep him with the big club when the coach had absolutely no intention of ever letting him play. Oh well, hopefully he’ll impress enough in the minors to have another team interested and maybe pick him up. so maybe he can get a chance.

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