I’ve been the guy who said we should trust the Pensguins decision to re-sign Tristan Jarry this past off-season. But here we are, a month into the new season, and it’s time for a reality check.
Even though the defense has been about as reliable as a paper umbrella in a downpour, Jarry’s inconsistency is still stealing the show. So, let’s cut to the chase: I wasn’t wrong to put faith in the decision to keep him on board. But it sure does hurt to see where we sit a month into the season.
The Numbers, Averages, and Costly Kyle Dubas Decision
Let’s talk numbers, shall we? In the seven games Jarry has played this October, he’s managed to secure just two wins against five losses. No overtime heroics to speak of. His Goals Against per Game stands at a concerning 2.84, with a Save Percentage of .893. Now, let’s put that in context: Over his career, Jarry has a Goals Against per Game of 2.65 and a Save Percentage of .913.
So what’s going on here? These stats aren’t something you would confidently bet your dollar or even your house on—especially when he’s underperforming compared to his own career averages. He’s faced 169 shots this October and let 18 of them find the back of the net. That’s not just a couple of bad bounces; that’s a pattern, and it’s one that diverges from his career norm. Adding insult to injury, this is hardly the performance you’d expect from someone who’s just been locked into a five-year contract with a $5+ million AAV and a modified no-trade clause.
Should the Penguins trade Jarry? Easier said than done. His 12-team no-trade clause not only limits the options but also complicates matters from both a locker room and business perspective. As for potential replacements, the Penguins could look internally, but that’s a risky move. Exploring the trade market comes with its own set of challenges, thanks to that pesky no-trade clause. And free agency? Let’s just say the pickings are slim.
What is the Most Likely Solution?
I know this won’t sit well with a lot of fans, and believe me, I get it. There are two sides to this coin for the Penguins: Jarry’s rollercoaster performances and a defense that’s been about as reliable as a weather forecast. Some games, Jarry looks like he’s in Vezina form; other times, like in the Ducks game last week, he seems utterly lost in his crease. And let’s not even talk about the defense hanging him out to dry, failing to hustle back on turnovers or show any grit around the net.
So, what’s the most likely solution? It’s not glamorous, and it probably won’t involve any blockbuster trades. The answer is as straightforward as it gets: they need to play better. Yeah, I can hear the collective “duh” from here. But that’s the cold, hard truth and our best option at the moment. Jarry himself admits he needs to step up, so the puck’s on his stick. The defense also needs to tighten up, especially when it comes to turnovers and net-front battles.
Will they? I’m not in the prediction business, but I’d expect them to put in the effort. If they don’t, brace yourselves for a long, dismal Fall and Winter.
All stats courtesy of Hockey-Reference.