We are back with player predictions. We won’t know the Washington Capitals official roster until Wednesday morning so bear with us. But here’s what we do know, the goalies are set in stone. Today we’ll predict Charlie Lindgren’s numbers.
This will be very tricky. In fact it’ll be much trickier than it looks. Usually Lindgren will get the second leg or first leg of a back to back game. But Lindgren last season played more than expected after starting goalie Darcy Kuemper hurt himself in early December.
Lindgren played in a total of 31 games last season with 26 of them coming as starts. He went 13-11-3 with a .899 goals against average and a 3.05 save percentage. Both of those are career worsts. But last season was a topsy turvy season for the Caps.
For one month they played amazing hockey. The other months? Not so much. As injuries kept happening and the playoffs looked more and more out of reach, both goalies struggled.
Lindgren’s career goals against average is 2.89 while his career save percentage is at .906. He’s played for three different teams, the Caps being the third one. He’s spent five years with the Montreal Canadiens and one season with the St. Louis Blues before the Caps scooped him up in 2022 free agency.
During the stretch where Kuemper got hurt, the Caps got hot. Part of why they got hot that month was the play of their backup. In that 11 game stretch, Lindgren went 9-2-0 and posted a save percentage of .929.
Simply put that’s outstanding. Unfortunately the Caps weren’t able to sustain the momentum when the calendar flipped to 2023 and that cost everyone dearly. In fact, Lindgren won just two of 12 games during that run.
Predicting this, I’m just going to assume that Kuemper doesn’t get hurt. Even if he does, Lindgren and Calder Cup champion Hunter Shepard can rotate.
I got Lindgren playing in 20 games and starting 16 of them. His record will be 10-8-2 with a .930 save percentage and a 2.80 goals against average. That’s an improvement and can help him establish himself as one of, if not, the best backup goalie in the league.