Ottawa Senators logoOttawa Senators

Pascal Leclaire or Brian Elliott? Ottawa Senators' Tough Goaltending Decision

Pascal Leclaire waits to learn who the starting goaltender will be for Friday night's opening game.
Pascal Leclaire waits to learn who the starting goaltender will be for Friday night's opening game.Phillip MacCallum/Getty Images
Christopher SmithContributor IOctober 5, 2010

During the preseason, there was hope that either Pascal Leclaire or Brian Elliott would step up their game and grab the starting goaltending job for the Ottawa Senators.

That never happened.

Instead, Leclaire was 1-2-0 with a 4.43 goals-against average and a .856 save percentage in the preseason and Elliott was only slightly better at 1-1-1 with a 3.24 goals-against average and a .882 save percentage.

Hardly the kind of numbers to excite Coach Cory Clouston.

“To be honest, we wanted both of them to play better,” Clouston said, “and we wanted one of them to step it up. We didn’t get that, but we’re still confident we can have at least one guy ready to go to start the season.”

With Leclaire set for free agency after this season, he must realize the implications this season holds for the rest of his career. The pressure is on for him to establish himself as a starting goalie, or he risks an uncertain future with NHL teams not wanting to sign him next summer.

If Leclaire is feeling this pressure, he's not showing it. Instead, he says he feels comfortable with how his game is progressing.

“It’s totally out of my control,” said Leclaire. “I feel good and I’m ready to go if they want me to play. If not, I’ll just wait for it, and when I get a chance to play, I’ll be ready.”

With only a few days left until Ottawa's Friday night opening game against the Buffalo Sabres, Clouston clearly showed some frustration yesterday when asked if he has made his goalie decision.

“I'm not going to tell you when our decision is made,” Clouston said. “You will know on Friday morning who we start.”

Until Friday morning then, the Ottawa Senators' fans wait anxiously.

 

More Sens Stories

  • The Ottawa Senators have high expectations for the season ahead - Winnipeg Free Press
  • This is the week you will see everyone's previews and predictions for the 2010-11 season for the Ottawa Senators. Here's the first one of the day - Montreal Gazette
  • Here's another season preview… from Miami - Miami Herald
  • The Sens spend two days at Canadian Forces Base Petawawa, experiencing military exercises and signing autographs - Yahoo Sports
  • Ottawa's 2009 first-round draft pick Jared Cowen sent back to Spokane a victim of the numbers - The Spokesman Review
  • For a change of pace, here's a 2010-11 season preview of the Sens AHL affiliate, the Binghamton Senators - Hockeys Future
  • Defenceman David Hale wasn't given much attention, but he quietly played his way onto the Senators with a strong preseason - Ottawa Citizen
  • Keeping a watch on our prospects and who are making an impression in Binghamton - Silver Seven
  • Is Bill Guerin the player the Sens have always needed? - Sens Army Blog
  • Pascal Leclaire needs some time to build his game and establish himself as the starting goaltender - Black Aces
  • Taking a look at the Sens depth chart - SenSay
  • Entering into his contract year, Jarkko Ruutu isn’t worried about his future but he hopes it includes an extended stay in Ottawa - Ottawa Sun
  • One last season preview for the Ottawa Senators. This one focuses on the offensive in Part 1 of 4 - SenShot
  • Senators to host 7th Annual Canadian Forces Appreciation Night on Saturday, Oct. 30 - PR Canada

Christopher Smith runs senspedia.com, an Ottawa Senators fan site.

Where can I comment?

Stay on your game

Latest news, insights, and forecasts on your teams across leagues.

Choose Teams
Get it on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Real-time news for your teams right on your mobile device.

Download
Copyright © 2017 Bleacher Report, Inc. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved. BleacherReport.com is part of Bleacher Report – Turner Sports Network, part of the Turner Sports and Entertainment Network. Certain photos copyright © 2017 Getty Images. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Getty Images is strictly prohibited. AdChoices