Midyear S.O.S. Goaltending Primer

Updated: January 13, 2010 at 10:49 pm by Barry Robinson

Most pooler websites are posting mid-season reports of NHL stats and player comparisons and we at DailyFaceoff.com are no exception! We pride ourselves in up-to-date starting goalie information, so let’s review the goaltending situation around the NHL to help you win those valuable points in your pool.

If you were lucky enough to draft any of the healthy elite goaltenders in your league, great!  The rest of you have some crafty decisions to make to acquire those hidden gems between the pipes. Let’s break it down by team performance, the goalies in bold have the upper hand as the starter to date:

Atlanta: Wins are slim pickings here.

Hedberg (17 GS, 9W, .914 sv%), Pavelec (25 GS, 9W, .901 sv%, 25% owned) and Lehtonen (injured, could be a good pick up in a month or so, he’s 24% owned in most leagues)

Boston: The Heat is on.

Thomas (26 GS, 12W, .922 sv%), Rookie sensation Tuuka Rask is making a run at the starting position and if it wasn’t for Thomas’ big cap hit, Rask gets it without question (16 GS, 10W, .934 sv%, 55% owned),

Chicago: Flying High, Wins galore!

Huet is the starter (33GS, 20W, .908 sv%), but another rookie Antti Niemi (13GS, 11W, .921 sv%, 56% owned) is beating at the starter’s door and is creating quite a buzz, if he is available in your league, consider him. Chicago puts up the wins and whoever is between the pipes reaps them!

Columbus: 50-50..

Recent reports at rotowire.com have Garon (14GS, 7W, .909 sv %, 10% owned) taking over the number one seed from Steve Mason (33GS, 11W, .890 sv %). The numbers are average, put if you need some help look here.

Dallas: Outside of the playoffs looking in..

Turco (32GS, 14W, .910 sv%) is having an average year, and his job seems safe with Auld putting up less than stellar numbers (13GS, 5W, .897 sv%).

Detroit: The beat goes on..

The wings find ways to win and the goalie of the day benefits. Osgood (18GS, 7W, .901 sv%) has expressed his discontent to the lack of starts, but that is due to the great play of 25 year old rookie Jimmy Howard (26GS, 16W, .928 sv%). He’s hard to acquire, 68% owned in most leagues, but again, another good pickup if possible.

Montreal: The revolving door..

Carey Price (28GS, 10W, .915 sv%) was the announced starter walking into the 2009-2010 season, but his slow start, and better play by Halak (19GS, 12W, .927 sv%, 40% owned) has had Jacques Martin platooning his goaltenders ever since (his ‘Win and you’re in’ philosophy for the most part) . This is the one team in the league that has not enthroned a starter and the controversy just keeps growing.

NYI: Treading water, but starting to swim..

Roloson (30GS, 17W, .911 sv%) really seems to have found a home in NY, but the boat might just get rocked a little now that DiPietro and his large contract are scheduled to return from injury. The odd man out will no doubt be Biron (17GS, 2W, .900 sv%), who has put up terrible numbers this year.

Ottawa: Stuck in neutral..

Leclaire (24GS, 11W, .892 sv%) has had a mediocre year to date and has seen his goals against steadily rise since the beginning of the year (2.76 to 3.75 GAA). This has given Elliot a few more starts as a backup, but the stats are almost identical (21GS, 10W, .896 sv%). Still at 14% owned in most pools, he could get you some saves and the occasional win.

Philadelphia: Three is a crowd?

Leighton (9GS, 7W, .928 sv%, 21% owned) has been consistent since starting for the Flyers and has helped put together the Flyers’ 7-2-1 record in the last 10 games. This has slowed the return of Emery (21GS, 11W, .901 sv%) to the starting post. This could be a good time to jump on the Leighton bandwagon.

St. Louis: Looking up?

Normally I wouldn’t place St. Louis on this list as Chris Mason (31GS, 12W, .908 sv%) is the bonafide starter here, but with St. Louis playing a slew of games in January,  Ty Conklin  (13GS, 6W, .916 sv%, 24% owned) should see quite a bit of action in the back-back games.

Tampa Bay: Youth leads the way..

Mike Smith (26GS, 10W, .906 sv%, 36% owned) has been the most consistent which is not saying much for the Lightning, yet he has managed to take the starting job from Nittymaki (18GS, 7W, .918 sv%, 22% owned). Both should be available for some emergency help.

Toronto: The birth of a monster?

Both Toskala (19GS, 6W, .871 sv%, 23% owned) and Gustavsson  (22GS, 8W, .903 sv%, 25% owned) have faced 500+ shots this year, and neither one has done a very good job of stoppingthem, but the buzz is that Gustavsson will go no where but up, so watch for him to grow.

Washington: Ride the O.V. wave..

Semyon Varlamov (14GS, 12W, .924 sv%) was stepping into his own when he went down with a groin injury in early December. Theodore (21GS, 10W, .898 sv%, 36% owned) should have taken advantage of the situation, but his average play in December opened the door for another rookie Neuvirth (9GS, 5W, .910 sv%, 11% owned) who took the bull by the horns, so to speak.. Pick him up now while he is still unknown for those precious W’s!

That’s it for now, enjoy the  games ;)

Atlanta Thrashers, Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks, Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, New York Islanders, Ottawa Senators, Philadelphia Flyers, St. Louis Blues, Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs, Washington Capitals