In The Cage: The Veteran Presence

Jan 23rd 2012, 8:50am EST

Every Monday during the season, goalie specialist and founder of The Goalie Guild Justin Goldman will provide you with an in-depth analysis of fantasy goaltenders in NHL.com's weekly segment: "In the Cage." From updated goalie rankings to guys you should keep a close eye on and much more, Goldman will be your fantasy goalie expert all season long.

The NHL's All-Star Weekend is just over the horizon, and with each passing day, teams are gearing up for the post-season push. For goalies, that means every save is more important than the last, and one weak effort could mean the difference between making and missing the playoffs. Since timely stops are so crucial right now, it's often the presence of an experienced veteran that can key a young team's success.

With that in mind, we see two goalies, Evgeni Nabokov and Jean-Sebastien Giguere, rising well above the rest. Nabokov is owned in 34 percent of Yahoo! Fantasy Leagues, and Giguere in 37 percent.

Jonas Gustavsson

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Giguere's veteran presence has earned him the No. 1 job in Colorado, and with a whole week to rest during the All-Star break, he'll have plenty of gas left in the tank when play resumes. He has been a motivational leader since early December, going 9-3-1 in his last 13 games and winning three of his last four. He's also 3-1-1 in his last five games, with a 2.37 goals-against average and a .921 save percentage.

Giguere's renaissance story is based on the "fatherly" element he brings to his young teammates. His wisdom is on display every night thanks to his economical, stoic and patient Francois Allaire style, one that minimizes rebounds and makes life much easier on his defensemen. Giguere's stabilizing energy leads us to believe he'll continue earning a majority of the starts in February.
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