Not the best option, not the worst option.
Our 2022 Buffalo Sabres player report cards continue today with a look at goaltender Dustin Tokarski.
Total Season Stats (Sabres): 29 GP | 10-12-5 record | 3.27 GAA | 0.899 save percentage
Contract Status: UFA
The Buffalo Sabres’ goaltending situation this season was, quite frankly, a bit of a mess. We have to say that, and acknowledge that, before we can really evaluate any of the netminders. When it comes to Dustin Tokarski, he was neither the best nor the worst option for the Sabres, and was a serviceable goaltender for the team with some bright spots.
To his credit, this season saw Tokarski’s most NHL action in his career. Nearly 40 percent of his NHL experience came in this season, and before joining the Sabres last year, he a) hadn’t played in the NHL since 2016-17 and b) had a combined total of 34 NHL games under his belt since 2009.
No one would expect a player in such conditions to come to the NHL and be an all-star netminder. Tokarski did face a heavier workload this season compared to last with Buffalo – he played in more than double the number of games and faced more than double the shots. His numbers aren’t great, but for what can be expected, they’re about on par.
We also have to take into consideration that Tokarski was out for an extended period of time this season due to COVID-19, including a positive test and ‘bothersome, lingering effects.’ He didn’t play at all between November 29 and January 30, then was relied on pretty steadily toward the end of the season.
In the end, I don’t think he’s an NHL starter, but he’s not a bad option for a back-up.
Season Grade: B