Hamilton goaltender Dustin Tokarski Monday was named the AHL’s Player of the Week, culminating a three week run that has seen him rise to second place among all league goaltenders in both goals-against average and save percentage.
Talented as he may be, because the Canadiens are set in goal at the NHL level, Tokarski’s chances of advancement rank somewhere between slim and nil unless there is a long-term injury to either Carey Price or Peter Budaj.
In three starts last week, Tokarski stopped 98 of 100 shots with a 0.67GAA and a .980 save percentage in wins over the Texas Stars (5-1), Syracuse at the Bell Centre (5-1) and Saturday’s 3-0 shutout win in Syracuse.
Tokarski, who was acquired from Tampa last February in a swap for goaltender Cedrick Desjardins, has had a sensational year. At 8-3-1 he ranks second in the AHL in both goals-against-average at 1.91 and save percentage .935. He has allowed two goals or fewer in 12 of the 14 games in which he’s appeared.
When the season started, Tokarski was considered a close second to Robert Mayer and they basically alternated game-by-game until three weeks ago when Bulldogs head coach Sylvain Lefebvre settled on Tokarski. He has started six of the last seven games and he is as responsible as anyone for the team’s current four game winning streak.