A goaltender is one of six players on the ice during five on five situations in your typical hockey game.
His worth to his team is measured as significantly more however.
In past eras an offensively minded hockey team could simply out score the opposition, masking deficiencies in defence or in goal. Today however goaltending is THE focal point for a club's chances at winning on a consistent basis.
Defensive systems and disciplined hockey teams have limited offensive chances to the handful, shifting the onus to a club's goaltender to stop everything he can see on a consistent basis.
A flubbed point shot through the legs can basically translate into a loss, especially for a club with limited offensive weapons like the Calgary Flames.
Roman Turek simply has to battle Jarome Iginla for the moniker of the club's best player on game in game out basis if the Calgary Flames are to have any chance at qualifying for the playoffs.
He has to stare down the stopper at the other end of the ice and out play is counter part on most nights for the club to register a "W" in the win column.
When he's not playing his backup has to give the club a chance to win against the league's weakest opponents and chip in their share of consistency towards the bottom line.
Without goaltending to stir the drink, the Flames are finished before the season begins.
Jamie McLennan - Mike Vernon won only two games as Roman Turek's backup two seasons ago, a statistic that had as much to do with the veteran's retirement as save percentage or goals against average. Last November, Jamie McLennan won back to back games with Turek on the limp, setting himself up for a banner season for a backup goaltender in Calgary. He never won again. To blame a backup goaltender for his win/loss record is somewhat unfair given the club's performance over the past several seasons, but it's a game of results, and McLennan did nothing to fortify his position last season. His biggest advantage is his one way contract in a stare down with Dany Sabourin for the backup role.