Thursday, October 3, 2019

Dustin Tokarski Swatch Card

It's that time of year where we think of goalies that are not currently playing in the NHL and wonder where they've been...

Today's subject is Dustin Tokarski, who can be so hot he looks like Tim Thomas or so cold that he looks like Scott Darling; there is seemingly no middle ground in his case; one need only look at his stats from last season alone in the AHL to see the disparity:
from HockeyDB
His statistics were the best on the Charlotte Checkers - the best team in the league - for whom he played 7 games, so roughly 10% of the season. In 21 games with the Hartford Wolf Pack, his numbers were dangerously close to starting a conversation about a demotion to the ECHL.

At 30 years of age, his window for NHL call-ups is getting smaller, but goalies get injured more and more often now, so he'll at least get to suit up in games, if not actually play in any. This season, he's signed on to play with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, the Pittsburgh Penguins' affiliate, meaning he has Matt Murray, Tristan Jarry and last year's NHL backup, 28-year-old Casey DeSmith, ahead of him on the depth chart. It's a harder path than that of the, say, Carolina Hurricanes.

I'll always remember his fierce battle with Henrik Lundqvist in the 2014 Easter Conference Final, as he single-handedly forced the New York Rangers to play two more games than they had to, seemingly by sheer will.

Here he is wearing the Bolts' worst-ever white (then-away) uniform on card #60 from Panini's 2011-12 Pinnacle set and Threads sub-set:
It features a black game-worn jersey swatch that is probably from the darker home uniform.

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