Dave Simms' Steelers column: Thompson will sleep easier now goalie Moose is back
Coaches don't sleep at the best of times. Always worrying about something.
Maybe the power-play isn’t working, an injury to your number one goal scorer or your penalty kill is breaking down.
The number one reason a coach doesn’t sleep during the season, though, is a lack of confidence in your starting goalie.
And no disrespect to both Plante and Pinc, but Thommo didn’t sleep well all last season.
Plante kept Thompson awake from the day he arrived and whilst Thompson loved Pinc’s attitude, commitment and desire, it was clear for all to see that his best days were behind him.
That’s why Wednesday’s announcement that former Steelers goalie Ervins Mustukovs, also known as Moose, is coming back after his years away in Europe was so big.
Thompson, of course, knows Moose as well; they were Aalborg together two seasons ago.
Moose delivered 11 shut-outs when playing for the Steelers before, and returns a better goalie than the one that left after times in higher leagues in Europe.
Thompson still won’t get his eight hours every night but he won’t have the goaltending nightmares he experienced last season.
Mustukovs’ record is amazingly consistent everywhere he has played.
Just look at the stats for the past six years; five of them are at 92 per cent (and the sixth is 90.2, which isn’t too shabby).
If the Steelers had 92 per cent goaltending last year, we would have won the league four games earlier than we did.
Big signings have already been made in Andersson and Phillips, more big signings will be made this week and in the summer.
Not one of those signings, though, will come close to being as important as this one.
Goaltending is key - and Thompson just signed one of the best. Welcome home Moose.