Like it or not, the net now belongs to Joonas Korpisalo.
While he may not have inspired confidence last season by posting a 10-7-3 record in 21 games started, a 2.95 GAA and .897 sv%, he tends to post solid numbers when starting consecutive games – or playing a chunk of games in a row, as he did a few times when Sergei Bobrovsky went down with an injury.
In January, Korpisalo started four out of five games and in those games he was 3-1, had a 1.98 GAA and .933 sv%. With him now being the man in net for the Columbus Blue Jackets, Korpisalo figures to receive a majority of the starts – at least to begin the season – so it's set up for him to prove that this small sample is representative of how he'll play when given the reigns.
Despite the doubters, Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella believes he is ready.
Korpisalo has formed a strong relationship with Blue Jackets goaltending coach Manny Legace, going back to their time in Cleveland, and Legace is an asset for the young Finn as he makes this transition into a 1A-1B role with Elvis Merzlikins. Of course, a goalie's work is never done.
Make no mistake: Korpisalo's career numbers don't inspire a ton of confidence. But if he can shut the door when necessary and keep his team in games, the Blue Jackets will have a chance to win games more often than not. Long story short: if you were looking for the comfort and stability of the Bobrovsky Era, you've come to the wrong place.
Shut the dang door. pic.twitter.com/PqZA969gan— Columbus Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) September 28, 2019
Korpisalo is, for now, the man in net for the Blue Jackets and should get the opportunity to establish himself as a No. 1. And if history repeats itself, he will relish the opportunity to carry the mail, and make the Blue Jackets and fans happy that he was handed the net this season.