On the final day of Fantasy Week here at RLD, we preview the goaltenders for this season, with some bonus analysis below from Dobber Hockey’s Jeff Angus… 1. Ryan Miller
2010/11: 65 GS, 34-22-8, 2.59 GAA, .916 SV%, 5 SO Yes, Miller has only finished one season with a GAA lower than 2.50. But if the Sabres are going to win as many games as some think, Miller will have a big year. 2. Henrik Lundqvist
2010/11: 67 GS, 36-27-5, 2.28 GAA, .923 SV%, 11 SO Year in and year out, ‘King Henrik’ is a safe bet in fantasy. Will he finally knock down the 40-win door? 3. Pekka Rinne
2010/11: 64 GS, 33-22-9, 2.12 GAA, .930 SV%, 6 SO If it weren’t for Tim Thomas, Rinne would have a Vezina Trophy on his mantle. Don’t expect much of a drop-off as he’s entering a contract year. 4. Carey Price
2010/11: 70 GS, 38-28-6, 2.35 GAA, .923 SV%, 8 SO Price proved himself last year and will continue to get the bulk of the starts for Montreal. Pick with confidence. 5. Roberto Luongo
2010/11: 60 GS, 38-15-7, 2.11 GAA, .928 SV%, 4 SO Based on the fact that Vancouver could repeat as Presidents’ Trophy winners, Luongo will have another solid year. 6. Tim Thomas
2010/11: 55 GS, 35-11-9, 2.00 GAA, .938 SV%, 9 SO Thomas had such a good season, from start to finish, that he’ll naturally come back to earth a bit. 7. Marc-Andre Fleury
2010/11: 62 GS, 36-20-5, 2.32 GAA, .918 SV%, 3 SO Fleury placed himself among the NHL’s top goaltenders with his standout 2010-11 performance. 8. Tomas Vokoun
2010/11: 57 GS, 22-28-5, 2.55 GAA, .922 SV%, 6 SO Assuming the Caps continue their regular season dominance, Vokoun will be a valuable fantasy goalie. 9. Antti Niemi
2010/11: 60 GS, 35-18-6, 2.38 GAA, .920 SV%, 6 SO Niemi had an unbelievable second half of last year and San Jose’s defense has improved. What’s not to like? 10. Ilya Bryzgalov
2010/11: 67 GS, 36-20-10, 2.48 GAA, .921 SV%, 7 SO Two questions: (1) Which goalie are the Flyers getting? (2) Will the team limit his starts to 60-65 and give youngster Sergei Bobrovsky some time? 11. Corey Crawford
2010/11: 55 GS, 33-18-6, 2.30 GAA, .917 SV%, 4 SO Crawford will get his fair share of wins. If he repeats his other rookie numbers, he’ll move into the Top 10. 12. Jonas Hiller
2010/11: 46 GS, 26-16-3, 2.56 GAA, .924 SV%, 5 SO Hiller’s vertigo problems are apparently in the past. In Anaheim, you know he will get plenty of offensive support. 13. Jonathan Quick
2010/11: 60 GS, 35-22-3, 2.24 GAA, .918 SV%, 6 SO I’m simply not high on Quick this year. One reason is because, at some point, he’ll be pushed by Jonathan Bernier in a big way. 14. Jimmy Howard
2010/11: 63 GS, 37-17-5, 2.79 GAA, .908 SV%, 2 SO In Detroit, Howard will rack up the wins. However, his other stat categories from last year should make you think twice about picking him. 15. Jaroslav Halak
2010/11: 57 GS, 27-21-7, 2.48 GAA, .910 SV%, 7 SO Halak needs to show more consistency from month-to-month to be reliable for fantasy owners. 16. Martin Brodeur
2010/11: 54 GS, 23-26-3, 2.45 GAA, .903 SV%, 6 SO Brodeur, the most reliable fantasy netminder for the last decade, has become the opposite. Also, Jacques Lemaire isn’t walking through that door anytime soon. 17. Cam Ward
2010/11: 74 GS, 37-26-10, 2.56 GAA, .923 SV%, 4 SO Ward is a workhorse, so he’ll get wins. But he tends to falls short in other categories when you compare him to other goalies ranked ahead of him. 18. Craig Anderson
2010/11: 49 GS, 24-20-4, 2.83 GAA, .913 SV%, 2 SO In 18 games with Ottawa, Anderson recorded a 2.05 GAA. He won’t be that good, but he won’t be the sieve we saw last year in Colorado, either. 19. Miikka Kiprusoff 2010/11: 71 GS, 37-24-6, 2.63 GAA, .906 SV%, 6 SO In three of the last four years, ‘Kipper’ has had a GAA above 2.60 and a save percentage lower than .910. Put simply, he’s not valuable anymore in fantasy. 20. Dwayne Roloson
2010/11: 54 GS, 24-25-5, 2.59 GAA, .914 SV%, 4 SO Roloson will be an option for a No. 2 goalie on fantasy teams if the Lightning carry over their success. But that is no guarantee, plus Roli will be 42 in October.
Note: Rankings are based on projected 2011-12 stats, not based on 2010-11 stats.
Sleeper: Tuukka Rask
As I alluded to, the chances Tim Thomas repeats his banner season aren’t great. With that in mind, keep your eye on Thomas’ backup, Tuukka Rask. The 24-year-old led the NHL in GAA two years ago (1.97) and was stellar that postseason. He started last year as the No. 1, but was understandably unseated by Thomas. Rask, arguably the best backup in the league, is good enough to be a starter for a good amount of NHL teams. If Thomas falters, Rask will be a hot commodity.
Bust or Trust: Dwayne Roloson? Trust
Tampa Bay found out last season what Edmonton found out in 2006 – Dwayne Roloson is a winner. He’s north of 40 and not getting any younger, but he was a significant upgrade for the Lightning last season, who were struggling with their duo of Dan Ellis and Mike Smith for much of 2010-11. Roloson looks to have some hockey left in his legs, and Tampa Bay should once again be in playoff contention in the Eastern Conference. Roloson won’t play as many games as some other goalies in the league, but he should still post very solid numbers across the board. - Jeff Angus
I don’t know if you can trust Roli. Yes, he has proved the critics wrong by continuing to post solid numbers into his 40’s. I get that. With that being said, the Tampa Bay Lightning are a prime candidate to take a step back before taking another step forward. If that is the case, the goaltender’s value will take a hit. Roloson was magnificent during Edmonton’s playoff run in 2006, but he followed it up with a below-average campaign (27 wins, 2.75 GAA, .909 SV%). If I’m a fantasy owner, I’m shying away from picking Roloson this year. - Ryan Porth
Draft Day Dilemma: Ryan Miller or Henrik Lundqvist? Ryan Miller
2009-10 was by far Miller’s best season. He won a career-high 41 games, posted a 2.22 GAA and, most importantly, claimed the Vezina Trophy. Every other year he has seemingly underachieved. I don’t expect that to be the case this year. If Miller stays healthy, he will start at least 65-70 games. Assuming the Sabres will be in contention for the division crown, Miller could win 40 games again. Plus, the defense in front of him is better and has depth. Lundqvist is a top-notch goalie as well, but I like Miller’s chances of having similar success to what he had two years ago. - Ryan Porth
You wouldn’t go wrong drafting either of these goaltenders, but Lundqvist is a stride or two ahead of Miller (and the rest of the NHL). The Rangers have a very, very young defensive group, which shows their trust in the man they call King. Miller will play behind a much improved defensive group in Buffalo. Flip a coin here. Lundqvist is the best goaltender on earth; Miller is in the top five. - Jeff Angus
Rookie to Watch: Jacob Markstrom
There aren’t many rookies you’ll need to worry about on draft day. However, there’s one you need to keep close tabs on (especially in deep leagues) once the season progresses. His name is Jacob Markstrom, considered to be the best goaltending prospect in the league. The Swede struggled in the AHL last season (16-20-1, 2.98 GAA), but that’s not expected to continue. If an injury occurs to either Jose Theodore or Scott Clemmensen, Markstrom’s will see some NHL ice-time.
Contract years Al Montoya, NYI… He will get a chance to earn the starting gig in training camp. Will Montoya capitalize on that opportunity and show the league he still has the talent that made him the No. 6 overall pick in 2004? Tomas Vokoun, WSH… Vokoun knows what he went through on July 1st, getting zero offers. On a one-year deal in Washington, will he play with a chip on his shoulder and earn a bigger paycheck next summer?
Note: Stat categories taken into consideration – Wins, GAA, SV%, SO
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