McKenna Match of the Day: April 28 – Linus Ullmark vs. Dustin Tokarski
Former NHL goalie Mike McKenna offers his daily starting goalie game of the day for Thursday. April 28, 2022:
Why I love this game:
With the Stanley Cup Playoffs less than a week away, Linus Ullmark is in a heated but friendly battle for the net with his partner, Boston Bruins goaltender Jeremy Swayman. And Buffalo Sabers goaltender Dustin Tokarski is auditioning for another NHL season.
To monitor :
I’m really intrigued by this game, especially because I think Ullmark really has a chance to leave for the Bruins in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. He’s been consistent all season, posting a .914 save percentage and 25 wins in 38 starts. In Boston’s last 10 games where Ullmark was the record goaltender, he didn’t allow more than three goals against.
What I love about Ullmark’s game is how active his hands are. His technical base is solid, but he can also think outside the box if necessary. The only knock on Ullmark is that he tends to get overly aggressive with his depth in stressful situations, causing him to continue the game.
I can only admire the career of Sabers goaltender Dustin Tokarski. In his 12th season of professional hockey, he played a personal best 27 NHL games. A two-time Calder Cup winner in the AHL, Tokarski has seen his contract status fluctuate over the past few years. He played on AHL-only deals as well as two-way games in the NHL. Yet he continues to grind.
He has a .901 save percentage this season, which closely mirrors his career mark of .903. He’s a short goalie by today’s standards, standing six feet tall. Fun fact about Tokarski: he hates new equipment. His sticks often crumble before breaking. Old school.
What fantasy owners should do:
Start Ullmark. He was good in all categories. Especially wins. Tokarski has allowed three or more goals in his last five games, despite three wins. The Sabers have been better lately, but they’re hard to predict. I would leave Tokarski on the bench if your team had a better option.
Conclusion for Linus Ullmark:
It’s a great opportunity to put his stamp on a solid first season in Boston.
Conclusion for Dustin Tokarski:
End the season with a good game and show the hockey world that they still deserve to be in the NHL.