Goalies can be notoriously difficult to rank and project for accurately. I give each starter projections but I might not bother trying to predict what kind of numbers a backup is going to offer unless I have reason to believe that they’re going to play enough to be worth owning. Most of the time, backups aren’t, but there have been some gems in the understudy group in recent years. Cam Talbot‘s stellar work behind Henrik Lundqvist last year helped ease the pain of the wounds Jimmy Howard’s 2014 campaign left me. Damnit, Howie! At any rate, Chad Johnson filling in for Tuukka Rask showed similar value. For the most part, though, backups are backups and largely worthless without a starter getting injured. Then we have the always wonderful goalie committees. Is there anything worse than goalie by committee? Yes, yes there is, but for the purposes of this post, no, no there is not. The Hurricanes look to provide a buttload of frustration for anyone willing to draft their way into that sad state of affairs again in 2015 with Anton Khudobin set for a bit of a regression and Cam Ward being, well, Cam Ward. On the flip side the duos of Brian Elliot and Jake Allen in St. Louis and Frederik Andersen and stud rookie John Gibson where if either guy is asked to go 60 starts their season would end up bleh, but limit them to around 40 starts a piece and they stay healthy and rested, the numbers stay sexy, and you stay happy with a cheap no. 2 tender. Anyhooze, lets get to the meat o’ the matter, Razzball’s 2014-2015 Fantasy Hockey Goalie Rankings:

1) Tuukka Rask – my RageMonster projections were covered the 2014-2015 Fantasy Hockey Top 10.

Backup: Niklas Svedberg – wasn’t covered and deserves to be. The rich get richer as the B’s are going to give this blue chip prospect some time between the pipes on big ice this year with Chad Johnson out of the picture. Svedberg was being talked about as a contender to Johnson as Rask’s backup last season but he wasn’t ready. In the meantime h’s been the no. 1 for the B’s AHL affiliate the Providence… Bruins. How original! I digress, he delivered. In 2012-13 he posted a 2.17 GAA and .925 SV% over 48 GP but fell flat in the playoffs with a 3.29 GAA and .889 SV% in 12 GP. In 2013-14 he followed up with a 2.63 GAA and .910 SV% in 45 GP, but improved in the post season with a 2.70 GAA and .905 SV% in 9 GP. There’s a lot to like here and he should continue to get better with age. Word has it he is a bit hot tempered; maybe the B’s have a thing for goalies with anger management problems?

Coming up: Malcom Subban, Jeremy Smith


2) Henrik Lundqvist – my Hank projections were covered in the 2014-2015 Fantasy Hockey Top 20

Backup: Cam Talbot – broke out last year and though he only started 19 games those 19 games were absolutely critical for the sustained health and vigor of his royal highness King Henrik. A rested Hank lead the Rangers to an improbable Stanley Cup run so you can expect the Rangers to give him around 20-25 starts and while a GAA under 2.00 and a SV% over .930% are unlikely again in 2015, he’s going to remain one of the best backups in the league.

Coming up: Cedrick Desjardins, Jason Missiaen


3) Jon Quick – my Quick projections were covered in the 2014-2015 2014-2015 Fantasy Hockey Top 20.

Backup: Martin Jones – was so good filling in for Quick and fighting for starts with Ben Scrivens that the Kings moved Scribbles to the Oil and slotted Jones in as Quick’s understudy moving forward. This season is no different and Jones will be to Quick what Cam Talbot is to Henrik Lundqvist. He’s big, he’s smart and he doesn’t give up many rebounds and with that stout Kings D in front of him Jones looks like he’s going to have another stellar year backing up one of the best tenders in the league.

Coming up: Jean-Francois Berube, Patrik Bartosak


4) Carey Price – my Price projections were covered in the 2014-2015 Fantasy Hockey Top 50.

Backup: Peter Budaj – had a decent year backing up Price last year. He’s a known quantity so don’t expect anything more from him than what he gave last year. If Price gets hurt for any reason I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Habs call up Dustin Tokarski considering how well he performed in the playoffs last season. If Price is hurt and Toker gets called up, which he will, I’d add Toker then Budaj in that order.

Coming up: Dustin Tokarski


5) Ben Bishop – my Bishop projections were covered in the 2014-2015 Fantasy Hockey Top 50.

Backup: Evgeni Nabokov – managed to find a home, but it wasn’t as a starter. That was predictable as Nabby is old and mostly past it, but he’ll be a serviceable backup for Bishop when Bishop needs a rest. There’s the potential for Nabby to see more than a handful of starts if Bishop implodes or gets hurt, as there’s no real NHL ready options for the Bolts after him, but barring injury Bishop should be one of the best goalies in the league, so Nabby will have to kick back and enjoy the ride to retirement. I mean, that’s why he signed in Florida after all, right?

Coming up: Kristers Gudlevskis, Andrei Vasilevskiy


6) Sergei Bobrovsky – my Bobs projections were covered in the 2014-2015 Fantasy Hockey Top 50.

Backup: Curtis McElhinney – is nothing to write home about, but I’m not writing home, I’m writing for you, my dear readers. Seriously though, he’s not that great and if Bobrovsky gets hurt the Jackets are going to be hurting pretty badly too.

Coming up: Oscar Dansk, Joonas Korpisalo


7) Cory Schneider – my Schneids projections were covered in the 2014-2015 Fantasy Hockey Top 50.

Backup: Keith Kinkaid – should be the backup for Schneider this season despite Scott Clemmensen getting signed to a one-year deal. How old is Clemm now? He was Martin Brodeur’s backup for like 20 years! Or doe sit just seem that way? Dude must love Jersey. Anyway, The key here is the deal is a two-way contract, which means that Clemm will likely spend a good amount of time in the AHL as insurance for the Kinkaid experiment. To his credit Clemm says he’s going to battle for the backup slot, but it sounds like Lou Lamoriello sees Kinkaid in that role this season.

Coming up: Scott Clemmensen, Scott Wedgewood


8) Semyon Varlamov – my Varlamov projections were covered in the 2014-2015 Fantasy Hockey Top 100.

Backup: Reto Berra – is a big, solid goalie that has the ability to steal games, but I doubt you’ll see him in many. I expect Varlamov will regress a bit after what was possibly the best overall season he’ll have in his career but there’s almost no chance he can’t hold on to the starting job, leaving Berra to clean up the back-to-backs and such as the season goes on. Considering the improvement we saw in Varlamov under head coach Patrick Roy, I wouldn’t be surprised to see some solid play for Berra in limited action this season.

Coming up: Calvin Pickard, Sami Aittokallio


9) Marc-Andre Fluery – my MAF projections were covered in the 2014-2015 Fantasy Hockey Top 100.

Backup: Thomas Greiss – looks poised to swoop in and steal the backup job from Jeff Zatkoff this season despite a solid rookie campaign for Zats who signed a 2 year extension for his efforts last season. Unfortch for him that was under the old GM Ray Shero, who was canned. Jim Rutherford came in to replace him and promptly signed Greiss to a one-year deal. Can’t say I blame him, Greiss is solid and Zats is young, raw and largely unproven despite a solid season in 2014. I don’t know if this signals a lack of confidence in Zatkoff or just that Rutherford thinks he needs more time to developer properly. Greiss is a year older than Zats but he has about three times as more experience and has looked more than capable doing it. There’s a battle to be had here for the job, but my money is on Greiss with Zatkoff headed to the AHL to mature a bit more.

Coming up: Jeff Zatkoff, Eric Hartzell


10) Corey Crawford – my Crawdad projections were covered in the 2014-2015 Fantasy Hockey Top 100.

Backup: Antti Raanta – holds the backup job for now, but considering how poorly he played overall backing up Crawford last season I wouldn’t be surprised if he loses the job to newly signed Michael Leighton, who is working his way back after a string of injuries and the horrors of tending net in Philly. Raanta is the guy to grab if Crawdad goes down, but he might not hold the job for long, so keep an eye on Leighton.

Coming up: Michael Leighton, Scott Darling


11) Kari Lehtonen – my Lehtonen projections were covered in the 2014-2015 Fantasy Hockey Top 100.

Backup: Anders Lindback – is an interesting prospect, and I call him a prospect because despite seeing three seasons of NHL time he’s only started 67 games, which amounts to one heavy year of work as a starter. His numbers aren’t eye popping, but the monster 6’6” tender has the ability to fill in for Lehtonen capably. He’ll be the guy to grab should Lehtonen return to the injury riddled ways of the past and misses time this season.

Coming up: Jack Campbell, Jussi Rynnas


12) Pekka Rinne – my Rinne projections were covered in the 2014-2015 Fantasy Hockey Top 100.

Backup: Carter Hutton – ended up winning out over Marek Manzanec in a long, drawn out see-saw battle last season while Rinne nursed his infected hip back to health. Honestly I don’t like anyone here save Rinne, who I love but cautiously. This situation will be pretty much exactly the same as last year should Rinne go down with an injury and you’ll see a time share with a marginal advantage to Hutton over Manzanec in games played.

Coming up: Marek Manzanec, Magnus Hellberg


13) Antti Niemi – my Niemi projections were covered in the 2014-2015 Fantasy Hockey Top 100.

Backup: Alex Stalock – is the goalie of the future for the Sharks and given what happened last season and the following upheaval of their roster, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get an extended look this year if Niemi can’t hold fort. That being said, Niemi should be just fine and that will limit Stalock, but Niemi’s a UFA after this season so it behooves the Sharks to test Stalock and makes sure he’s their guy for 2016.

Coming up: Troy Grosenick, J.P. Anderson


14) Brian Elliot – my B-Money projections were covered in the 2014-2015 Fantasy Hockey Top 100.

Backup: Jake Allen – might be the young goaltender not named John Gibson, and considering Elliot’s track record you can expect this to be a 1A/1B situation by season’s end, if not right out of the gate. Lets face it, Elliot has never been asked to handle 60-plus starts and it’s not going to happen this season. Enter Allen, who dominated the AHL last season with a line of 33-16-3, 2.25 GAA, .916 SV%, 7 SHO in 44 GP. He led all goaltenders in the AHL in wins, GAA, SV% and SHO. Damn, that’s baller. Ken Hitchcock is known to go with the hot hand and Allen has all the tools to be that hot hand. If you see Allen string together a handful of good starts grab him immediately. That’s if he wasn’t drafted, which he might be in the later rounds. Speaking of which, if you hit the later rounds and you’re hurting in the crease and you see Allen out there? Do yourself a favor and grab him. 2015 Projections: 40 GP, 26-12-2, 2.32 GAA, .915 SV%

Coming up: Jordan Binnington, Niklas Lundstrom


15) Roberto Luongo – my Lu projections were covered in the 2014-2015 Fantasy Hockey Top 100.

Backup: Al Montoya – always the bridesmaid and never the bride. Sadface. Montoya is not fit to carry the load of a starter and so he won’t, but he has shown himself to be a serviceable backup in the right situations. The wrong situation is putting him on a team with a porous D that will allow a ton of sho—ah crap. Punt!

Coming up: Dan Ellis, Michael Houser


16) Mike Smith – my Smith projections were covered in the 2014-2015 Fantasy Hockey Top 100.

Backup: Devan Dubnyk – is Devan Dubnyk and you know what he’s about by now. If you don’t? Just trust me and don’t bother. If Smith goes down and you’re absolutely dying for goaltending you can try him, but don’t expect much more than his bleh career numbers (2.90 GAA, .909 SV%). He might see a slight uptick because he doesn’t play for the Oilers anymore, but there’s a reason this guy can’t get a starting gig anywhere. Honestly I think the ‘yotes’ goaltending will be their downfall in 2015.

Coming up: Micke McKenna, Mark Visentin


17) Ryan Miller– my Miller Time projections were covered in the 2014-2015 Fantasy Hockey Top 100.

Backup: Eddie Lack – doesn’t lack for talent, he just needs time to mature and develop at the proper pace, so in comes Ryan Miller. As an MSU alum I have a soft spot in my heart for fellow my fellow Spartan, but Miller is past his prime and while still very capable, no longer then top 10 option he once was. Lack will learn from Miller over the course of the next few seasons and supplant him completely sooner or later. Should Miller blow up or go down, add Lack immediately.

Coming up: Jacob Markstrom, Joe Cannata


18) Frederik Andersen – had a pretty ridiculous rookie season winning his 20 games in just 24 chances. For serial? Serial, y’all. With Jonas Hiller off to the Great White North in Calgary and rookie John Gibson already nipping at his heals, Andersen slots in as the starter for the talented Ducks squad this season. His .926 SV% last season was good for 8th best in the league; his 2.29 GAA was good for 10th His meltdown in the playoffs isn’t anything to be concerned about; he was a rookie after all so we have to cut the kid some slack. I think the Ducks are trending slightly down this season, and he is a sophomore after all, so temper your expectations a bit. 2015 Projections: 52 GP, 30-16-6, 2.50 GAA, .918 SV%, 3 SHO

Backup: John Gibson – is your top rated rookie goaltending prospect in 2015 and he comes with a serious pedigree. He lead the Team USA 2011 U18 team to gold (6-0, 2.34 GAA, .926 SV%), then lead the Team USA 2013 Under-20 to gold in the World Championships as well posting stellar numbers again and becoming the first goalie to earn MVP honors for his efforts. He’s a big kid at 6’3”, 212lbs with a strong, athletic base he moves laterally with ease. He can be tricked into dropping into the butterfly and getting beat over his shoulder, but that’s just one of very few flaws we’re seeing early on from Gibs. He’s good enough to challenge Andersen for the starting gig right now, but I think Andersen wins out to start the season. Veteran Jason HannaBarbera was added as insurance, but I doubt he sees much time on the big ice in 2015.

Coming up: Jason LaBarbera, Igor Bobkov


19) Jonathan Bernier – faced so many shots last year it isn’t funny. He faced an average of, yes, an average of over 35 shots per game trying like hell to tend net for one of the league’s worst possession teams. Despite that he managed to stay upright for 60 starts finishing with a line of 29-22-8, 2.68 GAA, .920 SV%, 4 SHO. That’s ridiculous considering the workload he faced night-in-night-out. That all being said, it’s not going to change much for him this season and he’ll routinely face a bucket o’ shots and it will likely wear him down yet again. James Reimer looms as his backup, but Reimer has been unable to stay consistent enough to truly usurp Bernier who is clearly the better goalie. 2015 Projections: 59 GP, 29-21-8, 2.50 GAA, .918 SV%

Backup: James Remier – signed a two year deal in the off season that made a lot of folks scratch their heads when it came out that he was told he’d get a “fair shot” at winning the starting gig. Don’t be fooled, he’s a backup and he’s going to stay that way. I mean, you can’t completely count him out, but after a mediocre season last year I don’t see how he could overtake Bernier for the starting job. If Bernier gets hurt Reimer is absolutely the guy, but add him at your own risk and only if you’re absolutely desperate.

Coming up: Garret Sparks, Christopher Gibson


20) Braden Holtby – looked posed to take a step forward in 2013 but fell on his face instead. That being said it probably had more to do with poor coaching that lead to bad tweaks to his mechanics, which returned poor play and bombed his confidence. To add to the cocktail o’ sadness for the young tender he had guys like Jaroslav Halak and Philipp Grubauer nipping at his heals or outright taking the job from him at different points in the season in 2014. Enter new coach Barry Trotz and his defense first system, key signings in Matt Niskanen and Brooks Orpik to bolster the D and fewer footsteps from backups haunting his every move and you should see a better season from Holtby, albeit nothing outstanding. 2015 Projections: 60 GP, 29-22-5, 2.64 GAA, .919 SV%, 4 SHO

Backup: Justin Peters – was signed because the Caps didn’t want to bring in another vet to knock Holtby’s confidence around again. That, and Peters has a ton of upside and had no chance to sniff the crease in Carolina where he was mired behind Anton Khudobin and Cam Ward. That doesn’t mean he shouldn’t have found the crease in Carolina considering how bleh Cam Ward played, but money talks. Peters will challenge Holtby if he falters and in either case get around 20 or so starts. He has the talent to usurp Holtby completely, but it seems like the Caps front office is commited to Holtby for now.

Coming up: Philipp Grubauer, Edward Pasquale


21) Jaroslav Halak – was bounced around the league last year but it didn’t really matter where he suited up, he took care of business finishing with a line of 29-13-7, 2.25 GAA, .921 SV%, 5 SHO in 52 GP. Halak is as steady as they come but he isn’t elite, hence is lower ranking here despite the good numbers. Garth Snow was not foolish enough to think Jaro could handle 60+ games so they added Chad Johnson who was arguably the best backup in the league last year spelling Tuukka Rask when needed in Beantown. Halak is a decent no. 2 option this season. 2015 Projections: 60 GP, 29-25-7, 2.45 GAA, .920 SV%, 4 SHO

Backup: Chad Johnson – was stellar backing up RageMonster last season but you can’t expect the same kind of numbers he posted with the Bruins now that he’s on Long Island. I mean, he might as well be playing on a different planet now. Halak gets the majority of the work and Johnson is serviceable as his understudy, a situation that will remain the same for the entire season. Johnson will only worth adding if Halak gets hurt, and even then, brace yourself for a serious let down if you’re expecting last year’s numbers.

Coming up: Kevin Poulin, David Leggio


22) Jake Allen (1B) – was covered a few inches north of here in the Brian Elliot blurb. Scroll up!

Backup: Brian Elliot (1A)

Coming up: Jordan Binnington, Niklas Lundstrom


23) Jonas Hiller – has waffled from serviceable to injured and back again for his entire career and last year was no different. He managed to start 50 games and his record was pretty sexy (29-13-7) but don’t be fooled, that had more to do with his team than it did with his play as evidenced by the borderline-bleh .911 SV%. Now he moves to Calgary to be their undisputed number one and, yawn, I’m not excited aboot it at all. Ramo will battle him for starts all year, but I can see Hiller getting 50-55 in and putting up a semi-acceptable numbers. 2015 Projections: 58 GP, 26-25-7, 2.55 GAA, .913 SV%, 3 SHO

Backup: Karri Ramo – is as yawnstipating and bleh as they come. I’m thinking the Calgary goaltending situation waffles from serviceable to injured and ba—hey wait a minute, that sounds familiar.

Coming up: Joni Ortio, Brad Thiessen


24) Anton Khudobin (1A) – was one of the lone bright spots in a rough season for the Canes last season. Khudobin set a career high in starts with 36 and posted a very nice season line of 19-14-1, 2.30 GAA, .926 SV%, 1 SHO in those 36 contests. His SV% was good for 7th in the league and he sported an even strength SV% better (.926) than Semyon Varlamov. Damn, really? Fo’ sho’. It’s tough to see him keeping those sexy peripherals over the course of 60 some starts, but I don’t think he actually gets to 60 starts as there will be no clear starter for the Canes for another season. With Justin Peters off to the Caps it’s at least a two-man show between him and Ward, which makes it a bit easier to predict. Expect some regression from last year and heartache because Cam Ward. I would avoid him if I were you, but I’m not you! You’ve been warned. 2015 Projections: 48 GP, 20-23-5, 2.59 GAA, .918 SV%, 2 SHO

Backup: Cam Ward (1B) – was once considered among the league’s elite tenders, but injuries have slowed him significantly over the last few seasons and now he’s a bit of an afterthought. His $6.3 million dollar cap hit won’t let Canes fans forget, though. He’s a 30-year old goalie past his prime with bad knees and an injury history that gets worse by the year. Draft either of these guys and you’re in for a frustrating season in net.

Coming up: Drew MacIntyre, Daniel Altshuller


25) Jimmy Howard – head, groins, knees and toes, knees and toes… all injured. That was Jimmy Howard’s 2014 campaign. Injuries, inconsistences and sadness. He posted his worst numbers of his young career and frankly I think they’re more in line with what we can expect from Howie moving forward than his early seasons of ~2.10 GAA, ~.920 SV% greatness. The Wings as a whole suffer from the injury bug and on a team that relies on Henrik Zetterberg (Back) and Pavel Datsyuk (Everything) to stay healthy and drive the offense it might be hard for Howie to pick up many wins. The upside, if there is an upside here, is that Petr Mrazek and The Monster won’t challenge him for the no. 1 job, but should get some starts when he gets hurt. 2015 Projections: 55 GP, 26-20-9, 2.58 GAA, .911 SV%, 1 SHO

Backup: Petr Mrazek – is talented but raw and young and won’t challenge Howie for the starter’s job. I envision Howie getting around 55 starts and Mrazek and Jonas Gustavsson splitting the rest. Run away!

Coming up: Jonas Gustavsson, Thomas McCollum


26) Steve Mason – was never as good as he played to start the season and that’s a horse I beat until it was dead and then kept beating it after the fact. Yeah, sorry about that. Still, Mason isn’t that great and I expect we’ll see a season full of that lack o’ greatness from start to finish this season. A porous Philly D and offense first mentality isn’t going to help matters as Mason comes back down to earth for the poor schmucks that overvalued him at draft time and take him as their no. 1 tender. Don’t be that guy. 2015 Projections: 58 GP, 27-20-6, 2.75 GAA, .913 SV%, 4 SHO

Backup: Ray Emery – is still Ray Emery and if Mason isn’t going to do very well in front of that meh Philly D, what do you think Emery will do? I feel a song coming on… You’ve got to, uh uh, run away, you’ve got to, uh uh, run away from the pain and the, uh uh, Philly goaltending shizstorm! Ah, a classic. Punt!

Coming up: Rob Zepp, Anthony Stolarz


27) Josh Harding (1A) – is an immensely talented goaltender and if it wasn’t for the MS he’d probably be and remain among the league’s elite. Alas, he has MS and it’s a bummer disease that is very difficult to predict. Last season Harding exploded out of the gates (29 GP, 18-7-3, 1.65 GAA, .933 SV%, 3 SHO) and was easily the best goalie in the league with oft-injured starter Niklas Backstrom, well, injured. The only thing that slowed Harding down was his MS, or rather his MS medication, which took a few months to tweak and get right. Word has it he has it right and he’s healthy and ready going into the season, but I’m skeptical that he can get in more than 40 or so starts, severely limiting his value. 2015 Projections: 40 GP, 22-9-8, 2.25 GAA, .920 SV%, 3 SHO Harding broke his foot, or ankle, or both and is out indefinitely. I covered the ramifications and possible solutions in a recent post Josh Harding Breaks Foot, Hearts of Wild Fans

Backup: Niklas Backstrom (1B) – doesn’t stay healthy and he’s well past it. I wouldn’t own him with your team, though keep an eye on Darcy Kuemper who stands to take over the reigns when both Harding and Backstrom inevitably hit the IR. This isn’t a situation to avoid, it’s one to wait and see on. If Harding can stay healthy he’s money. I think you can basically assume that Backstrom will go down and Kuemper will get some starts and do well in those starts when called on. Tread carefully. 2015 Projections: 31 GP, 14-14-3, 2.68 GAA, .908 SV%, 1 SHO

Coming up: Darcy Kuemper, Johan Gustafsson


28) Ben Scrivens – is actually pretty good, so don’t let the low ranking fool you. How does that make any sense? Well, he plays for the Oil, one of the worst possession teams in the league. Their defense is young and sloppy and Scribbles hasn’t ever been called on to handle a full 60 game set as a team’s no. 1, so I’m skeptical. He has the natural talent to succeed but at 27 he isn’t going to be getting better as time goes on. He’s going to get pounded by shots to the tune of a Jon Bernier-esque 35 per game, but he has the skills to turn in a high SV% despite it. 2015 Projections: 55 GP, 23-26-4, 2.62 GAA, .919 SV%, 3 SHO

Backup: Victor Fasth – is about the same as Scribbles in just about every way save age (32 vs. Scribbles’ 27 years), so you can’t really expect a ton out of him, either. For what it’s worth I think Scribbles holds on to the top job in Edmonton for most of, if not all of the season, but Fasth will get his opportunity and could run away with it. Maybe. Honestly if you’re digging for goalies this deep, you’re already in trouble.

Coming up: Richard Bachman, Laurent Brossoit


29) Ondrej Pavelec – posted a SV% so miserable that he ranked 46th among eligible tenders last season. There aren’t that many teams. That means the Jets starter was worse than many backups in that category last season. Yikes. He hasn’t ever been good and I doubt very highly that he’ll break out this season and show me what’s what. Rookie Mike Hutchinson is his backup now with Al Montoya off to the hockey hell of South Florida to kick back in the sun behind Roberto Luongo, so Jets fans have another full season of bleh to look forward to in 2015! If you draft this guy you deserve to lose. Yeah, I said it. 2015 Projections: 59 GP, 26-24-7, 2.92 GAA, .907 SV%, 2 SHO

Backup: Michael Hutchinson

Coming up: Connor Hellebuyck, Eric Comrie


30) Craig Anderson – is not my favorite goaltender. If you’ve read my stuff last season you know this. I have a hate-hate relationship with Anderson like he owes me money. He’ll have plenty to spare after the Sens inked him to an inexplicable three-year, $12.6 million dollar extension. The Sens are bad. That deal is bad and Anderson is bad. 2015 Projections: 50 GP, 18-26-6, 2.95 GAA, .910 SV%, 2 SHO

Backup: Robin Lehner – is good! Really good! No, seriously, he is. He had the opportunity to take the no. 1 gig from Anderson last year and he blew it hard, but to be fair he was a rookie playing with a sub-par defense and a mediocre offense in a clubhouse mirred with bad attitudes and sadness all around. He gets yet another opportunity to grab the reigns again this year, but with how bad I expect the Sens to be, I wouldn’t count on anything amazing from Lehner either. 2015 Projections: 32 GP, 14-16-2, 2.75 GAA, .916 SV%, 2 SHO

Coming up: Andrew Hammond, Chris Driedger

  1. SMLV1 says:

    JD, I thought I signed up for an Autopick draft but turns out it was an Auction and I missed the draft. What are your thoughts on this team? 12 Teamer standard scoring,

    C -Giroux
    C- Thornton
    RW – Ovechkin
    RW -Eberle
    LW – Ryan
    LW – Kreider
    D – Karlsson
    D – Shattenkirk
    D – Burns
    D – Demers
    BN – Zuccarello – LW
    BN – Flippula – C/LW
    BN – J. Williams – RW

    G – Luongo
    G – Pavelec
    BN – J. Allen

    • JD

      JD says:

      Wow, for an autopick team that’s pretty outstanding in a standard 6×4. I would recommend trying to move Bobby Ryan in a trade if you can. The moment he goes on a few game goal scoring streak sell high, maybe package him with Jake Allen if he’s also doing well to help solidify your goaltending which is your biggest weakness. I love Lu, but he’s past his prime and playing for the Cats, who allow oh so many shots, so Lu isn’t in for a stellar season. Pavelec is bleh no matter how you cut it, and Allen has a lot of upside but is completely untested at the NHL level. You can probably let Justin Williams go depending on who is on the wire, same with Flip, but neither are bad enough to drop just to drop them. All-in-all I’d say you have a great core to work with to contend for the title. You lucked out, yo!

      • SMLV1 says:

        @JD: On Waivers are – Nichushkin, Parenteau, Stewart, Dupuis, Shaw, Hodgson, Heatley, Henrique, Doan, Silfverberg, Monahan, Hudler, R. Smith, C. Smith, Galchenyuk, Gallagher, Brouwer, Brassard, Roussel, Plekanec, Fisher, Nielson, Zajac, Killhorn, Soderberg among others. Like any of these guys over J. Williams and Flippula?

        • JD

          JD says:

          @SMLV1: I’d hold on to Flip, he’ll be better than most of, if not all the wire fodder you listed. As for Williams, I’d drop him for Nichushkin, Henrique or Silfverberg in that order.

  2. Troy: The Collector

    troy says:

    play in a league where wins and shut outs only count and they r 5 points a piece. looking to target bob after i grab my 1st 3 forwards but after that kind of need a sleeper. thinking about holtby but he really isnt a sleeper because hes on everyones list and may get over drafted because of it. who else would you have in mind as a later round guy, kind of like varlemov last season. thanks and great stuff as always

    • JD

      JD says:

      There are so few goalies out there that there aren’t any sleeper picks really, but Jake Allen is probably a good target for a later rounds flier. He’s got the pedigree to do well in the NHL but hasn’t been tested yet, so it could go either way. I figure he has a solid year, though, and the 1A/1B setup with Brian Elliot will drop him into lower rounds most likely. That being said, Brian Elliot is also someone worth targeting. It’s a tough call because your league only counts wins and shutouts, and shutouts are fickle and rare per goalie while wins are almost wholly a team stat, so you could grab, say, Ben Scrivens in the late rounds and get decent peripherals, but wins may be tough to come by. You might want to push goalies up your rankings slightly because they seem to be more highly valued in that league.

      • Troy: The Collector

        troy says:

        @JD: yea I agree, can only start 2 and no bench spots as well. So a starter is key. Like u said prob have to move them up and grab 2 in the first 6 or 7 rounds. Probably going to ignore defense and grab bunch if late fliers. ( it is points only 2 points for goal 1 for assist and 3 for hat trick… lol) like a lot of guys late for defense so could work out since I only need 4.

  3. SMLV1 says:

    Hey JD, What do you think about my other Auto-Draft Team? 12 Team Standard League.

    C- Malkin
    C- Thornton
    LW- Skinner
    LW- Hartnell
    RW- Kessel
    RW- Tarasenko
    D- Shattenkirk
    D- B. Campbell
    D- Goligoski
    D- Josi
    BN- H. Sedin
    BN- Stastny
    BN- Huberdeau

    • SMLV1 says:

      @SMLV1: Forgot my Goalies

      Fleury, Miller and BN – Allen

      • JD

        JD says:

        @SMLV1: A solid team up front but your defense is pretty weak after Shattenkirk. Skinner is an injury risk as ever, and Tarasenko maturing a bit this season is going to be critical for your team’s success. I’m worried about Miller in goal this season, he’s aging and he should have a decent year, but nothing to be excited about. Allen’s high upside helps offset concerns about Miller for now. What’s with all these auto-drafts? I can’t stand auto-drafting!

        • goodfold2 says:

          @JD: yeah, i’ve actually quit leagues within like 5 minutes after joining after finding out autodraft is how they WANTED to do it.

          • goodfold2 says:

            @goodfold2: i mean everybody has the right to auto, why would anyone force that though? it’s like playing with needles in yr eyes for fun.

  4. SMLV1 says:

    Goalies Khudobin and Backstrom just hit waivers. Would you put a claim in for any of those 2?

    I currently own Luongo , Pavelec and Allen. 12 Team Standard redraft league

    • JD

      JD says:

      @SMLV1: Drop Pavelec for Khudobin.

      • goodfold2 says:

        @JD: if you don’t get the big burrito (khudobin) you’d be better off streaming backups in good matchups than using pavelec.

  5. SMLV1 says:

    1. Drop J. Williams, Flippula and or Zucarrello for any of these guys?

    Franzen, Yakupov and or Dustin Brown?

    2. Drop Burns or Demers for any of these?

    Muzzin, Wideman, Enstrom and or Lindholm?

    3. Drop Campbell, Goligoski, and or Josi for any of these?

    Schultz, Sekera, S. Jones, Enstrom

    4. Drop Stastny, Huberdeau and or Tarasenko for any of these guys?

    Stepan, Kadri, J, Jokinen, Dubinsky, Schenn, Nichushkin, Parenteau

    5. Enroth worth an add?

    Thanks for all your help JD!

    • JD

      JD says:

      @SMLV1: Basically no on all of those. Lindholm is interesting in deeper keeper/dynasty leagues, but that’s it for the time being. I wouldn’t make any moves right now, but keep an eye on Nichushkin, Schenn, Stepan and Lindholm when the season starts.

      • SMLV1 says:

        @JD: @JD: you wouldnt drop Huberdeau for Dubinsky? I saw Dubinsky made your Top 100.

        • JD

          JD says:

          He did! But I would hold Huberdeau for now. He had a rough sophomore season, but he’s just too talented to not rebound and have a good year. I expect them to be on par for points (around 50ish each) but Dubs does get an edge in standard leagues for the PIM he brings to the table. That said, Hubs’ upside is way WAY better than Dubs’ so for now I’d sit tight and wait and see how the lineups shake out to start the season. The Cats are going to be awful, but I bet Huberdeau is their best offensive player.

  6. Big W says:

    Nice work here JD… Nice work!

    • JD

      JD says:

      @Big W: Thanks mate!

  7. SMLV1 says:

    With Harding missing months now, Whos the starter? Backstrom or Kuemper? Should I add one over Luongo, Khudobin or Allen?

    • JD

      JD says:

      @SMLV1: Backstrom is the starter for the Wild, in fact he’s the only active, healthy goalie they have on roster right now with any NHL experience. Kuemper is still in a contract dispute, though that playing field has likely changed in a radical way now. The Wild offered a two-year, two-way deal, but the two-way bit is only for the first year. That means they can send Kuemper to Iowa without waivers at any point before he’s logged 14 games in 2015. Kuemper countered with a one-year, one-way deal because what he wants is playing time, and who can blame him? Before the Harding injury Kuemper wasn’t working with much leverage, but now? He might just get it.

      Avoid the Wild goaltending mess for now. I’d add Luongo, Khudobin, Allen in that order. Allen could easily jump to the top of that list after the season starts, though, a lot depends on how Elliot fares early on.

  8. Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey says:

    you didn’t give pavelec a projection.

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