As the Free Press’s Helene St. James notes this evening, new Red Wings goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic hasn’t been lights-out great–or even very good–over the course of 2 preseason games, but Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill is not worried about Nedeljkovic’s ups and downs:
Nedeljkovic, brought in via trade in the offseason, has allowed six goals on 42 shots through 67:07 of ice time. On Sunday, Jeff Carter and Danton Heinen fired shots that went in off Nedeljkovic, and Kris Letang came out of the penalty box, up the middle, and ripped a shot for a goal.
“I like Ned, I think he’s going to be real good for us,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “He works his tail off, he pays attention to detail in practice. I think he had some squeak through him that he’d like to have back, but this is what preseason is for. I certainly don’t pass a whole lot of judgment on anybody in this short a period of time. He’s played two halves. I’m fully confident he’s going to give us really good goaltending through the season.”
Nedeljkovic was a finalist for the Calder Trophy (given to the league’s top rookie) last season; he posted a 1.90 goals-against average and .932 save percentage in 23 games with the Carolina Hurricanes last season. He signed a two-year, $6 million contract with the Wings immediately after the trade.