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2018 Player Report Card: Casey DeSmith

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The rookie proved to be a valuable asset in the carousel that was the backup goalie position.

NHL: Carolina Hurricanes at Pittsburgh Penguins Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Name: Casey DeSmith

Position: Goalie

Glove: Left

Age: 26 (27 on 8/13/2018)

2017/2018 Stats: 6-4-1/2.40 GAA/.921 SV%

Career Resume:

Image via: hockeyDB

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DeSmith’s Fancy Stats

Season Team GP TOI CF CA CF% FF FA FF% SF SA SF% GF GA GF% SCF SCA SCF% HDCF HDCA HDCF% HDGF HDGA HDGF% On-Ice SH% On-Ice SV% PDO Off. Zone Faceoffs Neu. Zone Faceoffs Def. Zone Faceoffs Off. Zone Faceoff %
Season Team GP TOI CF CA CF% FF FA FF% SF SA SF% GF GA GF% SCF SCA SCF% HDCF HDCA HDCF% HDGF HDGA HDGF% On-Ice SH% On-Ice SV% PDO Off. Zone Faceoffs Neu. Zone Faceoffs Def. Zone Faceoffs Off. Zone Faceoff %
20172018 PIT 14 559.25 563 522 51.89 420 377 52.70 307 266 53.58 26 18 59.09 269 242 52.64 114 116 49.57 14 13 51.85 8.47 93.23 1.017 178 209 172 50.86
Data via: Natural Stat Trick
Image via: Hockey Reference

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Although he was thrown to the wolves in his NHL debut, the undrafted netminder settled in and became a calming presence between the pipes while subbing in for Matt Murray and/or Tristan Jarry. The .921 save percentage, even in a 14-game sample size, is a very respectable number for a guy who never had any prior NHL experience.

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Comparables

Image via: Hockey Reference

DeSmith’s primary competition was fellow WB/S youngster, Tristan Jarry. Jarry’s stats, (listed in the above image), show some stark contrasts to DeSmith’s numbers, namely Jarry’s save percentage, and GSAA (goals saved above average).

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Monthly Splits and Miscellaneous Stats

Image via: Yahoo!

January was one helluva month for DeSmith. The sub-2 GAA and .944 save percentage helped combine for 3 victories in the month. DeSmith filled in incredibly well for Matt Murray, who was dealing with the death of his father.

Image via: Yahoo!

DeSmith is certainly a home body judging by these numbers. A stellar 1.82 GAA, .937 SV%, and one shutout helped give the Penguins one of the best home records in the league.

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Quotes and Praise

“He’s had a real good run in WBS, he’s one of the best goalies in the American League and we believe in him.” —Mike Sullivan

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Grades

Regular season: B

After the Antti Niemi experiment backfired, the eyes turned to both Jarry and DeSmith. Even with Jarry’s higher pedigree and expectations, being drafted in the second round in 2013, it was DeSmith who was relied upon to backup the oft-absent Murray. Jarry was sent back to the minors to get more consistent playing time, while DeSmith stayed with the big club until season’s end in May.

Some were even clamoring for DeSmith to become the starter over Murray because, well, it’s not a Penguins season post-Fleury without a starting goalie debate...

Fancy Stats: B

14 games may not be enough to convince some that DeSmith can replicate these numbers next season for a more permanent role with the big club. His career trajectory may fall in line with that of other average backup goalies.

Durability: A

Durability was never an issue during DeSmith’s 2017-18 campaign. As such, he gets a gold star and a nice A grade.

2017/2018 Grade: B

Simply put, DeSmith came in and did his job. Nothing uber flashy or out of the ordinary. Just a solid presence in the net while Matt Murray received a breather every now and again.

Looking back and comparing to how the season started to how it ended, having the DeSmith/Jarry combination was a blessing for the Penguins, given Murray’s injuries and the unfortunate passing of his father.

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Poll

How would you grade Casey DeSmith’s season?

This poll is closed

  • 40%
    A
    (132 votes)
  • 52%
    B
    (168 votes)
  • 5%
    C
    (19 votes)
  • 0%
    D
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    F
    (2 votes)
322 votes total Vote Now