Not every Ontario Hockey League team has a Michael DiPietro or a Matthew Villalta or a Dylan Wells that they can go to as their no. 1 guy between the pipes. As a matter-of-fact, more than a third of teams in the OHL have starting goalies with save percentages that are well below the .900 watershed mark.
Teams really cannot hope to be in playoff contention or be a championship contender without a bona fide starting goalie and a reliable backup.
And while it is still early in the 2017-2018 OHL season, there are seven teams who are having net issues to the extent that their no. 1 goalies have save percentages well south of the .900 mark.
Check out the numbers. Analyze the analytics.
Owen Sound Attack is poised to once again be a Western Conference contender. But can the Attack go for it with a starting goalie who has a save percentage that is below the standard?
Same with the Mississauga Steelheads, who have aspirations of once again winning the Eastern Conference.
And can the Erie Otters, London Knights, North Bay Battalion, Ottawa 67s and Sudbury Wolves just make it to the playoffs with the current state of their goal-tending?
I am not suggesting that all of the aforementioned teams go into all-out panic mode and make a major goal-tending change.
As an example, Troy Timpano helped backstop to Erie to an OHL championship in 2017-2018 and Jake McGrath led Sudbury into the playoffs as a rookie puck-stopper.
But there are proven OHL goalies out there — Joseph Raaymakers and Mario Culina as prime examples — who would provide an upgrade over what at least one of the aforementioned teams is currently going with as their starter.