The Goalies! As I intimated in the Strategery post there are alot of good goaltenders out there. Different leagues start drafting Goalies at different times, so the more you know about your league the better. If you forgot the Top 6 goalies, go here and scroll down slowly, they’re in there. There will be more about Goalies to come, so stay tuned. It’ll be a hoot!
7) Ilya Bryzgalov – G (Phi): The Flyers have a franchise goalie! Rejoice! Wait, they paid him what? They traded who? Who is Wayne Simmonds? Is this Jagr kid they signed from Russia related to Jaromir? No no no, it couldn’t possibly be the same guy. It is? Oh Christ…
8) Jonas Hiller – G (Ana): Vertigo is a feeling that you or your surroundings are moving when there is no actual movement. You may feel as though you are spinning, whirling, falling, or tilting. When you have severe vertigo, you may feel very nauseated or vomit. You may have trouble walking or standing, and you may lose your balance and fall. Thanks WebMD! Now I’ve never played hockey on actual ice before, but if I had to guess I would say things like “standing” and “balance” are kinda important. No wonder he couldn’t play for most of the 2nd half last season. He’s supposedly free of symptoms though, so theres that..
9) Jonathan Quick – G (LA): Bernier looms, but Quick’s already been fighting him off for 2 years. He’s a legitimate #1 Goalie in real life and on your fantasy team. And it’s a good thing, cuz if he had to resort to doing porn he’d have a hard time finding work.
10) Tomas Vokoun – G (Wsh): This may be a little aggressive considering Neuvirth is still on the roster, but I’ve always loved Vokoun. He benefitted early in his career by playing on the Trotz coached Nashville Predators for 8 years, but then he went to Florida and proved he’s more than a “system” goalie. In 4 years with Florida, playing for one of the worst teams in the league, Vokoun averaged 2.56GAA, .923SV% and 6 Shutouts. And he’ll be motivated – he passed more money and years just to give himself the best possible chance at a cup.
11) Miikka Kiprusoff – G (Cal): Miika has one of those names I don’t even bother trying to memorize, its straight to the Flames website for a copy & paste. He also makes me think of one of Grey’s favorite words: Yawnstipating. I know he’s better than that, but if you take him as your #1 goalie there’s nothing to get excited about. It’s like going to a top notch steak house and getting a sirloin.
12) Marc-Andre Fleury – G (Pit): I get the feeling that Fleury takes more flak than he should. Yeah he’s not the best Goalie in the NHL, but he’s solid and he has a Cup. Marc-Andre (so did his parents give him 2 first names or is Andre his middle name? Can’t you just drop the Andre so I don’t have to think about this?) M.A. Fleury is a perfect example of unreasonable expectations being heaped upon a #1 overall pick. But remember it could be much, much worse. The last #1 overall pick to be a goalie? Rick DiPietro.
13) Jimmy Howard – G (Det): I always wonder why franchises don’t treat Goalies like the Red Wings do. You find a decent one, sign him cheap, and then spend the majority of your payroll on forwards and defenseman. They won 4 cups from ’98 – ’07 with this approach. Is Jimmy Howard the new Chris Osgood? Probably, just with fewer cups.
14) Corey Crawford – G (Chi): Well here is at least 1 team trying the Red Wing model of success. Crawford is blech. But his team is great so for fantasy hockey purposes that still makes him a high end #2 goalie.
15) Antti Niemi – G (SJ): How come this guy doesn’t have a cool nickname like Antti-Goal or Antti-Loss? And if he is the Antti Niemi, what is a Niemi? His name raises many questions… I definately could’ve justified ranking Niemi much higher and I do think that by next year, Niemi will be a Top 10 guy. But I had to drop him based on the fact that last year was the 1st time he had 60 starts in a season. And before that his career high was 35. I need to see it again before I buy in completely.
16) Cam Ward – G (Car): Thanks to Newton, he is no longer the most famous Cam in professional sports. Poor guy. Lets all go follow him on twitter.
17) Martin Brodeur – G (NJ): I haven’t looked yet cuz I don’t want my own rankings to be influenced, but I can’t wait to see where the “real” experts put Brodeur. He’s 39 and coming off the worst season of his career. That sounds like someone you’d want to avoid. But then again, its Martin Brodeur. Plus he’s only 1 year removed from a 45 Win, 9 Shutout, 2.24GAA and .916SV% season.
18) Jaroslav Halak – G (Stl): Yeaaaaaahhhhh baby, Halak it like that! It’s funny, my wife often tells me that I’m this guys first name.
19) Mike Smith – G (Phx): Hey I know this guy! We used to hang out and smoke wee…. Errrr….. study together in college! And I didn’t even know this guy played hockey, what are the odds? Anyway, I always thought Mike Smith was a good goalie with horrible defense in front of him (in Tampa Bay). Now he’s got an awesome D coached by a *Trotz clone Dave Tippet and his only threat is 31 year old Jason LaBarbera: The definition of a backup goaltender.
20) Ondrej Pavelec – G (WPG): I was highly disappointed when the team decided to stick with the old Winnipeg Jets name. I heard that their was consideration to stealing one of the greatest team names in all of sport: The Manitoba Moose. That would’ve been sweet… Well, at least their new logo kicks ass.
21) Kari Lehtonen – G (Dal): If you’re a seasoned fantasy hockey player you know what this guy’s all about. Injuries. And if your new to hockey, then you’re probably just wondering why he has a girls name. Bottom line: there is some upside here but actually drafting him makes me queasy.
22) Semyon Varlamov – G (Col): Here is a guy with legitimate upside who I actually would draft. He’s still young and he has a good pedigree, but he’s going to a worse team and I have to see him get through a full season before I start going crazy for him… And is it just me or does it seem like at least half of all Russian last names end in “ov”?
23) Niklas Backstrom – G (Min): This is where we start getting into the Schmohawks. Niklas (without the c) Backstrom has had good seasons in the past. But that was under the godfather of the *Trotz – Jacques Lemaire. Now he’s just 33 years old stuck on a bad team.
24) Steve Mason – G (CBJ): If you live where I do and listen to sports talk radio, you know who Steve Mason is… And he’s actually a better sports talk show host than this guy is goaltender. Thats not good.
25) Dwayne Roloson – G (Tam): You know this guy’s old just by looking at his first name. I’d guess the last white guy to get named Dwayne was sometime in the late ’60′s.
26) Craig Anderson – G (Ott): Maybe some of Ottawa’s young talent takes the next step and their not as bad as I think they’ll be, but ANY goalie would scare me on this team. When it’s Craig Anderson? No Thanks.