Strauss Mann Finally Released From Montreal Canadiens Limbo

Feb 16, 2022; Beijing, China;  Slovakia forward Marek Hrivik (not pictured) scores a goal against
Feb 16, 2022; Beijing, China; Slovakia forward Marek Hrivik (not pictured) scores a goal against / Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

The Montreal Canadiens three goaltender situation at the NHL level has received a lot of attention. Most of it negative and people questioning why it has to continue, but it has been discussed ad nauseam.

What is interesting, or funny, or maybe just kind of pathetic is that the Laval Rocket also have had a three goaltender system going on for much of the season. That means the Habs and Rocket have been carrying a total of six goaltenders for two creases pretty much all season.

The Rocket started the year with a couple of unproven young netminders. Jakub Dobes, a 22 year old fifth round draft pick in 2020 was coming off two successful seasons at Ohio State. Strauss Mann had a great college career at Michigan and played the past two seasons split between the SHL in Sweden, the AHL and the ECHL.

Mann's 3.32 GAA and .894 SV% in 20 AHL games with the San Jose Barracuda should not have given the Rocket a lot of confidence, but this was the tandem they went with.

It did not go well. Dobes was getting crushed early this season and Mann was not able to slow the opposing team's offense when the Rocket turned to him. He allowed at least four goals in each of his first four starts and though he had a couple of solid outings in the meantime, he allowed seven goals against on December 16th and pretty much hasn't been seen since.

The Rocket brought in veteran Kasimir Kaskisuo in December, on an amatuer tryout, and he has been excellent. The 30 year old is 5-1 in seven starts and has a 2.70 GAA with a .923 SV%.

Also working against Mann since December has been the incredible play of Dobes. After allowing three or more goals in 11 of his first 13 career pro games, Dobes has been excellent for the Rocket. Dobes has an 11-5-2 record since late December and a .915 SV% to go with it.

Dobes and Kaskisuo running with their opportunity left Mann on the outside looking in. A lot of Habs fans think Cayden Primeau hasn't played a lot but Mann has played one game of hockey since December 16th which is just over two months ago.

Mann was finally sent down to the ECHL yesterday, where he posted a 2.51 GAA and a .932 SV% in 13 games with the Witchita Thunder last season. He should help the Trois-Rivieres Lions who have been leaning heavily on Joe Vrbetic this season though he has a 3.67 GAA and a .888 SV% after a hot start.

Of course, Vrbetic isn't the only goalie already on the Lions roster as Zach Emond and Zachary Boutilier are also on the team's roster. We thought a three goalie system was weird...