Tuesday, March 06, 2007


Arturs Irbe Lives!

by Jes

Not too long ago... well 2001-02, Arturs Irbe's great goaltending helped lead the Carolina Hurricanes to a surprising Stanley Cup Finals birth. The little Latvian, who is more likeable than chocolate ice cream, was almost on top of the world.

Unfortunately, the next two years saw him fall off of a cliff, eventually landing in the ECHL in 2003-04 after putting up a horrid 87.7 SV% in 34 games in 2002-03. Even Dan Cloutier was better than that! (barely...)

The NHLPA bigwig faded into obscurity quite quickly, landing in Austria after the lockout, where he played for Salzburg, and then for Riga, in his home country.

Irbe, now 40, made big waves in Slovakia a few months back when he signed with HK Nitra. Obviously, Irbe is one of the biggest foreign names ever to play in the fledgling Slovak Extraleague.
Arturs Irbe
Doesn't he look so cute? awww...

Well, it's too bad that his skills have continued to deteroriate, as he provided some of the worst goaltending in Slovak history.

My friend Daniel reports:
Irbe definitely left Nitra yesterday. Arturs was huuuuuugest disappointment of this season. All fans especially Nitra's ones expected elite preformances from him. But if you check his stats you realize the Save Percentage 81.35% compared to (teammates) Konrad 92.44% or Racko 90.3% is real disaster. Nitra needed elite goalie for the playoffs but he wasn't able to fullfil their expectations.

Yep, in 6 games, Irbe put up a stinking 5.31GAA and 81.35SV%.
Don't expect a comeback any time soon.

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