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Thread: Start With Your Starters

  1. #1
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    Default Start With Your Starters

    Fantasy Hockey is an art. When you draft your team, you select the tools necessary to create a masterpiece, or win your league’s championship. Unfortunately, sometimes we abandon these trustworthy tools for more enticing short term options. We cast aside a high quality paintbrush because we think we’ve found a much better one lying around. Now let’s ditch this analogy that suggests hockey players are tools (ha.), and focus on the fantasy hockey implications of this mindset, specifically when it comes to goal-tending in head-to-head leagues.

    Most managers went into their draft and selected at least one goalie that they could rely on. A workhorse that would ensure you met the required number of goalie starts, while keeping you competitive in goal-tending categories. In my opinion, any one of the following will meet the criteria to be your 1st string goalie this season:

    Goalie GP (Past 3 Seasons) SV% (Past 3 Seasons) GAA (Past 3 Seasons)
    Carey Price 137 .931 2.11
    Braden Holtby 187 .920 2.42
    Cory Schneider 172 .923 2.13
    Ben Bishop 186 .922 2.20
    Martin Jones 99 .919 2.11
    Jake Allen 99 .912 2.36
    Corey Crawford 174 .922 2.30
    Henrik Lundqvist 174 .921 2.36
    Roberto Luongo 179 .921 2.37
    Pekka Rinne 154 .911 2.48
    Tuukka Rask 192 .922 2.30
    Devan Dubnyk 159 .913 2.61
    Sergei Bobrovsky 146 .916 2.61

    Quick Notes: I wouldn’t include John Gibson in this group just yet, considering he is still new to the starting gig on an overrated Ducks team. Jake Allen, on the other hand, gets a mention for playing behind a very good St. Louis squad. Although Luongo and Lundqvist are on this list now, age might see them fall off as the season progresses. Jonathan Quick should find his way into this group upon return from injury. It will be interesting to see if Rinne and Bobrovsky can remain trustworthy options, and when Bishop will restore his owners’ faith after a rough start.
    Now that we have established the names that we should be putting our trust in, let’s delve deeper into why this trust is so important in a head-to-head league.

    Every now and then, you’ll notice a subpar goalie with a favorable matchup available in free-agency. It’s the first night of your matchup, and understandably, thoughts of perfect goalie stats dance in your head. Stop right there. You already have a high quality goalie on your roster. This is a very unnecessary risk, no matter how small it seems. I don’t care if he’s playing against the league’s lowest scoring team, who are on the second half of a back to back, with all of their “good players” on the injured reserve. Please, for the love of Brent Burns’ beard, if it’s possible, let one of your trusted goalies get the first start of the week.

    By no means am I putting down the art of the spot start. I’m simply stressing the importance of allowing a proven goalie to dictate what categories you target to win. Once Schneider has a quality start, maybe you can test your luck in the free agent market. If Lundqvist gets lit up, maybe streaming a goalie can help you take the ‘Wins’ category. In most cases, you used a very good draft pick to make sure this goalie represented your team, so get your money’s worth!

    Of course, there are some exceptions to this general rule. Maybe your workhorse has been in a funk recently, stringing together a few stinkers, and it just makes sense to bench him against a high powered offense. Or maybe you need an early spot start to guarantee you meet the minimum number of goalie starts. Here lies the importance of making judgement calls based on the situation.

    To some, this might seem like a no brainer, while others might use different strategies to find success. But too many times have I allowed Carter Hutton to offset Carey Price’s sexy stats. Too many times have I watched a non existent Buffalo offense light up Michael Hutchinson. And too many times have I regretted wasting an add on a 3 goals against performance from Scott Darling. My fellow armchair GM, weeks ago, when you clicked your mouse to draft a top tier goalie, you selected a top tier tool, now go build your masterpiece.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Start With Your Starters

    Solid forum debut, what I'm targeting is the quality of writing and the overall knowledge of fantasy hockey. Color me impressed good sir
    Thank you
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