As we enter the penultimate weekend of Hockey East play, points are at a premium for Northeastern who is currently tied with UMass for the final playoff spot. So as they prepare for two must-win games, there is a decision to be made (or at least there should be): Who should get the call in net?
The Case for Rawlings
He has been the guy all year. He has put up decent numbers. During the win streak, he was rock solid and he was a big part of the team’s success. Witt has had chances this year and he has not forced Madigan’s hand. Rawlings has been The Guy for 3 years now, you aren’t going to sit him with 4 games left and your playoff lives hanging in the balance. He does let up some shaky goals, but he usually settles down after that and makes a ton of saves. You stick with the guy that got you there.
The Case for Witt
Here are some interesting stats for you. Chris Rawlings in February (career) 7-6-3, .9191 save percantage, 3.03 GAA. In March 2-5, .8800 save percentage, 4.25 GAA. So in 23 career games in February and March, Rawlings has a 9-11-3 record, a .9095 save percentage, and a 3.35 GAA. I understand its a bit of a small sample size, but thats not exactly reassuring. And since he has been letting up soft goals every game lately, why not sit him down for one game? Rawlings has played the 2nd most minutes among Hockey East goalies this season. Only Joe Cannata has more. That tells me that other teams are willing to give their goalies a night off every now and then. Why hasn’t Madigan done that? Rawlings looks worn down and he seems to have regressed as the season has gone on. Maybe all he needs is a night or two off. Witt hasn’t looked great this year, but he proved in his freshman year that he has a capable goalie. With Rawlings on his annual decline, maybe its time to give Witt a shot.