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:
Mats Zuccarello (1 G, 1 A, 2 SOG, +1, 2 PIM) has established himself as both a staple of the New York Rangers’ offense, such as it is, and a guy that’s now worth a look in standard formats. After a dismal start to the season that saw Zucc post just 3 points (1 G, 2 A) in 11 games he’s turned it around completely and is actually producing and nearly a point-per-game pace since with 27 points in his last 30 games. Not only has that, 12 of those points came with the man advantage as his TOI there continues to increase. Zucc has been productive enough over the last two months to be on pace for 60 points and 20 goals this season, and that’s after three lousy points in all of October? I’d buy that for a dollar! And that’s what the Rangers must be thinking when they look at the individual stats and salaries and find Zuccarello leading the Rangers in points (30), goals (10) and assists (20) while high priced talent like Rick Nash (16 P in 25 GP), Brad Richards (27 P in 42 GP) and Derek Stepan (25 P in 42 GP) continue to struggle. I’d wager a decent sum that Zucc’s lack of production early on had a lot to do with his finding a place in and learning new head coach Alain Vigneault’s system. Well, he gets it now and all you need to do is go get him; standards, deeper, keeper, it doesn’t matter, Mats is worth a look errywhere! Anyway, here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy hockey:
Henrik Lundqvist looked more like the goaltender we came to expect this season. Finally. Lundqvist turned aside all 22 shots he saw and picked up a 2-o win over Washington. Please, blog, may I have some more?
The Anaheim Ducks used a franchise-record 56-shot barrage to down the Ottawa Senators 4-1. Corey Perry scored twice for the Ducks to give them all the offense they need. Nick Bonino and Ryan Getzlaf also scored for Anaheim while Bobby Ryan picked up the lone Ottawa goal. Please, blog, may I have some more?
It’s not sunny in Philadelphia right now when it comes to hockey. The Flyers dropped a 3-1 decision to the Carolina Hurricanes to fall to 0-3-0 this season and they have scored just three goals in three games. Please, blog, may I have some more?
That didn’t take long. Patrick Roy had his first outburst as head coach of the Colorado Avalanche in his first game behind the bench. He got into a shouting match with Anaheim head coach Bruce Boudreau at the end of the Avs 6-1 win over the Ducks. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Jimmy Howard turned in a 34-save shutout and Johan Franzen scored twice as the Detroit Red Wings kept their playoff hopes alive with a 4-0 blanking of Phoenix. Henrik Zetterberg added three assists in the win and Damien Brunner added a goal and an assist. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Derek Stepan scored twice and Rick Callahan had a goal and three assists to power the NY Rangers to a 4-2 win over Winnipeg.
SPIN: The Rangers maintained their grip on the last spot in the East for now but the Islanders on their heels. Please, blog, may I have some more?
It finally happened. The Colorado Avalanche was the team that was the first to beat the Chicago Blackhawks in regulation when they thumped the Hawks 6-2 last night. Matt Duchene had a goal and three assists to fuel Colorado and deal Chicago its first regulation loss since last March. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Jonas Hiller turned aside all 18 Phoenix shots and Ryan Getzlaf posted an empty-net goal and an assist as the Anaheim Ducks blanked the Phoenix Coyotes 2-0. Corey Perry had the Ducks’ other goal. Please, blog, may I have some more?