Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Has Your Goaltending Left You Weekes In The Knees?

These recent weeks have been a fantasy GMs nightmare when it comes to goaltending. Goaltending is an interesting position from both a general sports perspective and from a fantasy sports perspective. There's no other position in the four major US sports that is anything like it. I would argue that it's the most exclusive and important position in all of fantasy sports. And yet a lot of the time GMs will neglect drafting three strong goalies. Why? I guess offense is sexier than a guy dressed up like the Michelin Man, I don't know. Every fantasy hockey team I've had success with has been based around strong goaltending. But don't fret, if you didn't draft the best goaltending, it's not too late. Take a look at who's available on free agency, or make some trade offers and don't be afraid to give up whatever it takes for the goalie you need. Come the playoffs, you'll be glad you did.

Nikolai Khabibulin - He's available in about 40% of leagues right now, and you better believe that's not going to last much longer. Khabi is the prime candidate to get traded to a team like New Jersey. Even in his platoon currently he's worth owning in all leagues and is an absolute neccesity for all Huet owners.

Kevin Weekes/Scott Clemmensen - I'm amazed at how little I know about Clemmensen for how long he's been around. I'm fairly sure that Weekes is the only goalie of the two worth owning right now, despite the fact he's coming off back to back losses. Weekes is a better goalie than most people give him credit for, which isn't all that surprising when you look at his bad career record (99-161-33) along with his very good career SV% (.902) especially considering he's been playing since 1997. Still, all that said, a Devils trade for a goalie is a realistic possibility, so if Weekes has become one of your top 3 starting goalies, start looking at a backup plan for your backup plan.

Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers - His ridiculous name and douchey Yahoo profile picture are no excuse for the fact he's only owned in 17% of leagues. This kid is playing out of his mind right now and even when Garon and Roloson are healthy neither one are a sure fired bet to take the job from him. This is another situation where a trade seems likely in the near future, but for the time being unless your have three very good #1 goalies, JDD should be on your team.

Erik Ersberg - I know I just mentioned him earlier this week, but 8% owned?! Seriously?? News flash people, the Kings don't suck anymore, and chances are Ersberg is the #1 goalie from here on out! To quote Gob Bluth, COME ON! (Speaking of which, some great news from Jeffrey Tambor regarding the Arrested Development movie)

Joey MacDonald - Okay, a lot of this update is me beating a dead horse. But I see too many people saying "I need someone to trade me a #1 goalie!" while decent starters sit on the FA list. I mean seriously, with the goaltending catastrophes that some fantasy teams are going through right now, if I told said GM that there was a goalie already available in 80% of leagues that has a 4-6-2 record with a 3.04 GAA and a .902 SV%, they'd probably be at least a little interested. Marty Turco would kill for those numbers. Nabokov's SV% wishes it was that good. But as soon as you tell the GM that the goalie with those stats is Joey MacDonald, they run in fear. Fantasy GMs, they are a fickle bunch.

Manny Legace/Chris Mason - I'm man enough to admit when I'm wrong. And when it comes to my constant pimping of Manny Legace so far this season, I was wrong. Of course I have Sarah Palin to blame for that, but I never let Palin stop me from managing good fantasy hockey teams before, and I'll be DAMNED if I'm going to let her stop me now. If you own Legace, now is the time to bite the bullet and carry Mason as an insurance plan. I'm not sure when Manny is going to be 100% again, but I think it's safe to say that it isn't the case right now.

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