With the regular season over, it’s time for players around the league to be evaluated for their effectiveness and their value to a team. We’ll be doing the same thing throughout the month of May, and we’d love to hear your opinions on our grading.
We’ll travel through the team in numerical order this year and we’ll hit every individual that was on the roster as of Saturday April 27; the official end of the Stars season.
It wasn’t a busy NHL season for goalie Cristopher Nilstorp, but it w as a very busy AHL season. The 29-year-old Swede played in only five games for Dallas this season, standing in as backup for Dallas’ starting goalie Kari Lehtonen at the end of January and February. With Dallas, Nilstorp took three losses, but his performance with the Texas Stars was drastically different.
This year was both Nilstorp’s first in the NHL and first in the States. He began his professional career eight years ago and played in various leagues throughout Sweden. In his last year in Sweden, Nilstorp spent 2,590 minutes in net and allowed only 88 goals in 45 games, closing the season with a career-best 2.04 goals allowed against average. In his short stint in Dallas, Nilstorp allowed 15 goals and ended his NHL debut with a 3.09 goals allowed against average.
Nilstorp skated in 39 games in the regular season with the Texas Stars, and was Texas’ only goalie in net for the Stars’ chase for the Calder Cup. While he played in fewer games than his counterpart Jack Campbell, he spent more time between the pipes and finished the season with a better record. In 2146 minutes of play, Nilstorp saved 831 shots, allowed just 85 goals, and finished the season with a .907 percent save average and a 2.38 goals allowed against average.
It wasn’t his best outing, and surely there are some nervous jitters that have to be worked out when someone hits as big as stage as the NHL for the first time. But Nilstorp made it crystal clear he is a talented, strong and reliable goalie whose skill can only improve with time and direction. For his short stint in Dallas, and his impressive season in Austin, I give Cristopher Nilstorp a B for the 2012-2013 season.
Goals Allowed: B
Save Percentage: A
On-ice presence and performance: B