(Buffalo) Sixty-four minutes. Just over an hour. Sixty-four minutes is the total time Jakub Dobes was not in goal for the Ohio State Buckeyes last year. In 40 matches.
Before that, in 2021-2022, Dobes’ assistant, Ryan Snowden, was entitled to 182 minutes. The equivalent of three games, in a season which included 37.
We therefore understand that if there is a position to which the Canadian prospect is not accustomed, it is that of sitting at the end of the bench, watching the action closely, talking to teammates and lifting head to watch the replays on the giant screen.
I’ve played so much hockey in the last three years, I’m just used to playing a lot. It will be different to train more.
Jakub Dobes, after Saturday’s match
This season, the situation should change. Dobes got a taste of it on Saturday, as he watched the Canadian-Bruins duel from the LECOM Harborcenter bridge. It was Quentin Miller who defended the Montreal net.
The Czech will therefore have to share the net, but with whom and in what circumstances? Who knows. The weeks pass and the Habs are still struggling with a congestion of goalkeepers stuck between Laval and Montreal. A reminder of the main suspects:
- Samuel Montembeault and Jake Allen, the men of confidence last season;
- Casey DeSmith, acquired from the Penguins this summer, number 2 goalie since the start of his career;
- Cayden Primeau, formerly the CH’s goaltender of the future, today at risk of being placed on waivers during camp if he does not secure a position in the NHL;
- Strauss Mann, hired as a free agent by the Rocket this summer.
Final count: six goalkeepers for four positions. There is always the possibility that it will be five or six positions, if the Rocket and – or – the Canadian start the season with a menage a trois in front of the net. But in this case, in addition to playing fewer matches, the goalkeepers would see their volume of pucks in training reduced.
Dobes could therefore find himself in an uncomfortable situation, but he remains a good player. “Last year, I don’t think I watched any games from the bench, then when I arrived in Laval (for the end of the season), I was left out. I didn’t mind just watching and cheering, and it’s the same today. I like hockey because it’s a team sport and we improve together. »
Jean-François Houle recognized that there will be an “adaptation period” for the man the CH drafted in 5e tour in 2020. “When you are always in the net, and you are two, three games in a row at the end of the bench and you are called, you have to be ready. But maybe he will take the net and he will be there all the time! We’ll see what happens. »
An involved father
During his meeting with the media on Saturday, Dobes simply mentioned a conversation with his father after Friday night’s 6-3 loss.
“We were talking about it, we were leading 2-1 and I can’t allow two goals in three minutes. I have to have good starts and good ends of the period. But that’s okay, it was just a game,” Dobes said.
The problem: his father, Zdenek, still lives in the Czech Republic. The call in question took place at 11 p.m., so at 5 a.m. for the father.
“He’s watched every one of my games for five years,” Dobes said. It’s a beautiful relationship. He takes it as much to heart as I do. When I play, we each have our own rituals, I think my mother is going to bed at that time! »