The Pittsburgh Penguins Should Stick With Louis Domingue

Courtesy of NHL.com

I'm not someone who overlooks the human factor in sports.  I don't just take a guy's stats and assume that in a given situation he will perform based on those prior numbers.  It's not just plug and play when you're dealing with human beings.  Otherwise, why even play the game?  

In fact, I bet the Arizona Diamondbacks 1st 5 innings moneyline last night because I saw that Madison Bumgarner was pitching his first game since being ejected.  I also noticed it was against the same team he was ejected against.  Sure enough, Bumgarner shined and the bet hit.  That's betting on the human aspect of the game.

That's why the Pittsburgh Penguins have to stick with Louis Domingue, even when Tristan Jarry is healthy.  Domingue is the hot hand.  And from a human standpoint, you have to ride the guy who has now gotten you to a 3-1 lead against the New York Rangers.  If he remains hot, you do not just simply replace him with a healthy Jarry when Jarry is cleared to play.  

Now, I am not saying that you ride Domingue until the Penguins die.  Dying in this case is losing a series and getting eliminated from the playoffs.  However, if Jarry is cleared to play tonight for Game 5, I don't care.  I stick with Domingue until he shows a reason to doubt him.  If he loses tonight, giving up 3+ goals in the process, then sure switch back to Jarry.  But then, and only then do you make that move.

If the Penguins lose, but Domingue performs well in the loss, I think you still ride Domingue in Game 6.

I am also OK with switching back to Jarry if he has shown in the past to be successful against the team we, hopefully, end up playing in the 2nd round.  Making adjustments based on the opponent is the prerogative of head coach Mike Sullivan.  I understand that.  I still like Domingue, especially if the Penguins finish the series tonight, but I understand it a little more when starting a new series.  

However, don't only base the decision on Jarry being the regular season starter.  I want it to be an informed decision based on the opponent and the strengths of the two goaltenders.  This is not a decision that has an obvious choice as so many think it does.  It should not be taken lightly.

Also, for those who do want the stats, I have them for you.

Postseason Career:   

Tristan Jarry - 7 GP, 2-5 record, 2.90 GAA, .894 Save %

Louis Domingue - 5 GP, 3-1 record, 3.11 GAA, .911 Save %

Last/Current Playoff Series:

Tristan Jarry - 6 GP, 2-4 record, 3.18 GAA, .888 Save %

Louis Domingue - 4 GP, 3-1 record, 3.40 GAA, .906 Save %


Neither Domingue nor Jarry are the clear favorite when you look at those particular numbers.  Are they cherry picked?  Somewhat.  However, it just shows how the two have performed in the NHL postseason, which we can all agree is a different animal than the regular season.

Look at Igor Shesterkin.  He has crumbled in the postseason so far, yet will still probably win the Vezina Trophy.

Of course if you look at both Jarry's and Domingue's career stats in the regular season, Jarry has the edge.  But so does Shersterkin, over both of them.  However, you don't think Rangers coach Gerard Gallant hasn't had the thought cross his mind to start Alexandar Georgiev tonight?  I think it has.  It's only human to consider that.

So combining the numbers with the human factor, Jarry hasn't performed well in the playoffs, he hasn't played in almost a month, and Louis Domingue is the hot hand right now.  For all of those reasons, I go with Domingue until he gives me a reason to pull him.  At least to finish out this particular series against the Rangers.  And maybe even beyond that.


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