Goaliepost Ramblings For Feb.7, '16

Feb 7th 2016, 12:55pm EST

By Jason Banks

So lots to discuss since we are past the All-Star showcase, let's dive into one of two non-recognized holidays for hockey fans, The Deadline.

All year there are lots of rumors of goalies losing jobs and needing to move, but very few places to go. The only goalies changing hands have been Ben Scrivens, Kevin Poulin and Dustin Tokarski moving to new apartments, all have little prospects on being meaningfully relevant. For the most part, the goalie exchange is a buyer's market, I've got over 30 names that need a change of scenery or new contracts that could be had rather easily and I can only think of maybe four teams buying, the rest of the action is a shell game.

Starting in San Jose, they badly need a better option than Alex Stalock to back up Martin Jones, and likely someone who can take the net and run with it. Stalock costs 1.6 mill and UFA which makes for an extremely expensive backup option that is on pace to see less than 20 games, makes for an easy reason to upgrade. I believe San Jose is the best bet to see big names float, guys like Cam Ward, Freddie Andersen, Kari Lehtonen, Jimmy Howard, Karri Ramo, Jonas Enroth and even former backup Thomas Griess are all guys that would make SJ look serious about the playoff run.

Chicago is heading into the post season strongly, but having Scott Darling backing up Crawford is questionable at best. They have one of the best 3rd stringers in Mike Leighton tearing up the AHL, but pulling in a more legit cheap backup should be a priority, then you can take your chances with Darling on waivers and use him again next year. Michael Hutchinson, Anders Lindback and Jeff Zatkoff are the best options, or if you want to spend a bit Chad Johnson could be had.

Calgary has no goalies signed for next year, so they are in a different section of the market. More than likely Karri Ramo has earned a contract similar to the current one going forward, but no movement has been made on that signing, so he may get moved. Calgary can take a few risks and look at next year as they are pretty much out of the hunt. Detroit's Jimmy Howard and Dallas' Kari Lehtonen make the most sense to me as both are paying way too much for goalies playing less than 40% and look to have no future in the organization. Both are playoff bound, so having Jonas Hiller as return who goes off the books at seasons end seems like a good starting point, then Calgary can add extra depth to fill in the blanks to get something done. Ondrej Pavalec or Hutchinson would be ok gambles, Andersen would be a great fit, Jean François Berube would be worth a gamble or even Griess, or look at Leafs tandem of Jon Bernier or James Riemer, either one would be a forward looking move.

In a bold statement Washington has let it be know they would like to use Phil Grubauer more on this run to the post season, his numbers are encouraging and the teams hopes lay in a fresh Brayden Holtby, but I would want a more secure backup option with more experience and let Grubauer finish the year taking charge in Hersey again. Washington has little in the way of cap problems, so they can get expensive with Carolina's Ward or Calgary's Hiller or just secure the backup spot with Anton Khudobin, Jonas Enroth either Peter Budaj from LA, Carter Hutton or Al Montoya.

Other names that could be seen moving hands include: Nathan Lieuwen, Andrey Makarov, Reto Berra, Sami Attiokallio, Jack Campbell, Anders Nilsson, Niklas Backstrom, Antti Raanta, Jeremy Smith, Drew MacIntyer, Ben Scrivens, Jason Labarbera, Justin Peters and Dan Ellis. Most of these types would be as 3rd string depth on the farm teams.

Former top prospect Jack Campbell needs a change of scenery from Dallas as the organization is about done with him, he has shown positive numbers snice being downgraded to ECHL, but that's moot from a guy expected to be a top AHL performer and open himself an NHL job next year.

Anders Nilsson has shown he can handle the NHL fine and hold a poor team up for a while, but as an RFA the future is unknown and Edmonton needs to bring in better support for Cam Talbot via free agents in the off season.

Antti Raanta is an interesting under the radar name only because he has played rather well and is in a mode that he needs to look out for what's best for his future, which in my opinion is not behind a guy that starts 60-65 games a year, not many realize he is UFA at season end.

While the trade deadline is rather uncontrollable to fantasy managers as we can only react, let's look forward at ideas to improve your back end for the stretch run that we can somewhat project.

One of my favorite goalies to own in the past has been Antti Niemi. I say past because I finally traded him early in the year after owning him for 7 years. He has always hit my targets of what I want in a playoff run goalie, he is on a playoff bound team so he has something to play for, his teams are always looking to upgrade late season and he is a big game goalie despite the fact he is not a superstar. The latter means he can be had at fair to cheap value. Niemi is always average at start of season, but post All-Star he has a career save percentage of .918 compared to .913 before. His shutout rate also jumps from a doughnut every 11.6 games to 9.2 games on tail end of regular season, 7.6 in the month of March alone to get yourself to the finals in most Yahoo leagues. In championship play he isn't reliable for a shutout but his .918 is more than nice April and wins 68% of games is topping on the cake!

Cory Schneider turns into a winner late season going from 46.6% to 55.4% winning, matched with up ticks in both shutout rate 13.5 to 9.2 and SV% .923 to .931. Owners can get excited they may not have gotten his best play yet.

Braden Holtby is super attractive at any time, but numbers that jump from .920 to .924, 13.2 to 7 on games between shutouts and winning percentages that go from 61.3 to 64.8 can make you a favorite at seasons end.

Mike Smith when healthy could be a commodity that could be acquired cheaper if you a good talker. You can see reasoning for trying that includes .907 to .919, from 22.1 games per shutout to 8.7 and winning percentage jump from 42% to 46.7%. Keep in mind these may be tempered in Arizona and I would only recommend him as a 3rd guy in your system.

Craig Anderson is also a nice late season hold. This year could be different as he is not in playoff contention at the moment. But a jump in SV% from .913 to .918 is nice coupled with a shutout rate going from every 14.5 games to 10.9, the winning % has a small increase to 49.6% from 47.4%. Not the best option but not a bad one.

Devan Dubnyk can be seen as a favorite 2nd half performer this year as Minny needs add if they want in. His past stats show a large bump .907 to .923, 16.3 to 12.4 and 40% to 50.8%

Jaro Halak flies under the radar most of the time, but not from me! May I present to you .915 to .921 and 10.1 to 8.1. His winning percentage is the only flaw at 54% as opposed to an early season of 56.3%, but I hazard to say the Islanders look like a team that could improve that this year.

Kari Lehtonen on a playoff team is a great option to have, even better if he was starter. He looks like .911 to .916, 17.4 to 14.1 and his winning percent is a wash at 50%. He might be a reactionary target if he gets traded wouldn't recommend him behind Niemi shown from above commentary.

Cam Ward use to be one of the best late season performers due to terrible starts. His numbers are mostly swayed from early career, .907 to .914, 28.2 to 17.6 and 45.3% to 55.7%. Now your pretty much playing poker blind, but odds are favorable.

And finally the real gambles, both Jon Bernier and James Reimer have limited numbers, but both are positive. Bernier is splitting .912 to .919, 23.4 to 10.3 and 45.3% to 46.8%, while Reimer owns .915 across, 42 games per doughnut to 11 and 41.7% to 49.5%.

Many people view Marc A. Fleury as a flop late season, but there are only two times in the season you should own him, March through summer and trade him for large value by October. March is his best month of play (and few others compare), then of course playoff question marks arise, but your stubborn, you hold him through camp and into October where his numbers start off looking elite, then move him for value as his mid-season looks very sub average.

Those are your winners and the losers are rather relative, due to the fact you would have to be ballsy to deal any of them away. Only a trio of goalies fit into a category of fallers, I can only guess mostly due to workloads and team qualities/makeups late season.

Most people question Roberto Luongo's ability to be a big gamer, the stats support it, but very frail argument. He has slashes that look like .920 to .919 (oooh), 11.2 to 14.6 (scared yet), but his winning percentage jumps from 46.9 to 50.2. Hardly a guy I'd get rid of, but maybe look to add some support to.

Is anyone excited to move Jon Quick? He goes from .917 to .914, 10.8 to 11.6 and 55.4% to 51.9%. I can reason this to work load early season getting LA competitive, then having a drop late due to overwork, letting up to conserve energy and finally LA is known for late call-ups and resting important players late season including Quick himself which can cause an upset in rhythm.

Finally Ben Bishop, slashes drop from .924 to .914 and 61% to 54.3% but his shutout rate moves upward to 11.6 from 16.9. He is known for his work loads so late season can be questionable and he is rarely 100% healthy going into post season. He is the only question mark that goes from a top 10 goalie to average starter.

Few other notes and musings:

Josh Robinson in the ECHL is yet to lose outside of a shootout in 24 games, not really NHL notable, but interesting.

Peter Budaj from not winning in 19 games last season to being the best goalie in the AHL. Currently he is the only qualifier with a GAA below 2 at 1.53, might deserve an NHL backup shot again next year. Or if Quick goes down in LA he is a waiver grab.

Carolina is usually quiet on prospect growth, Daniel Altshuller is making noise and Rasmus Tirronen looks good, they have a few years to serve still, but worth monitoring.

Scott Wedgewood has been very subpar for a couple years now, but after being promoted from ECHL after struggling, he is on fire in the AHL, if he keeps it up, he might regain very notable prospect status again.

Bold prediction time. Marek Mazanec is backing up Pekka Rinne next season. Juuse Saros is still the one to own as a top prospect, but Mazanec isn't a terrible backup option.

Top prospects really struggling in Pro would be Zach Fucale and Matt O'Connor. I've had several looks at Fucale including a recent trip to St. John's, Newfoundland, and he is showing growth in his game and I like how he looks and controls the games, the team is rather poor in front of him. Matt O'Connor I've seen a few times, not touching him with a 60 foot pole! He is big… that's about it. Struggles with movement and play reading, which means he is easy to take advantage of side to side. Has allowed 11 goals in his past two starts, his only two, after a good December. Has kept opponents below three goals in just 6 of 17 games.

Ilya Sorokin who's rights the Islanders own, has a GAA below 1 in the KHL. There's a name to watch kids.

Harri Sateri former San Jose prospect is also having a good 'K' campaign, originally I heard he is only over there for this season and will be brought back. That sounds good to me, he is proving he is a capable top tier goalie and San Jose needs a NHL ready 3rd string or even backup next year.

Alexander Salak many will remember from Florida and a bit in Chicago, is having another excellent season, at 29 years old might be worth a UFA gamble and jump on an NHL roster… (Arizona)

Ville Husso the St. Louis prospect looks ready to come to North America, Jordan Binnington, Pheonix Copley and Niklas Lundstrom are in the way, but the latter seems like a miss.

I stated Mazanec moves up, that means Nashville has an opening, Janne Juvonen can fill that gap possibly. If Nashville's ability to draft and develop goalies doesn't amaze you, I don't know what will.

Thacher Demko, I believe could play in the NHL next year, but Vancouver would have to create room for him, but I don't see that happening, either way he is the best goalie to own that is not on Yahoo's system.

Buffalo should have a house cleaning in minor pro over the summer, Jason Kasdorf who was traded from Winnipeg should join the ranks and be a very stable AHL'er with Linus Ullmark and they have more coming too.

Philly has most eggs in the Anthony Stolarz basket. He is either well liked or hated depending on who you talk to. Marrick Madsen should enter the equation next season after an excellent NCAA season. Justin Goldman believes they both might be placeholders for Matej Tomek in 3 years if he develops correctly. The Flyers seem to have good prospects both on the blue-line and in net going forward, might be a good place to have a holding after many years of question marks.

Finally Alex Lyon seems to be the front runner as 'best undrafted NCAA goalie prospect' that should command a decent contract in a couple months. He was a reserve goalie for Team USA's World Cup roster last season. Hobby Baker Finalist likely too.

Other Ramblings

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September 11, 2015
Big announcement! For the first time ever, Goalie Post is offering FREE email notifications. Yep.
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By Jason Banks Happy Wednesday all, Shall we start on Pekka Rinne? How has this guy been?! Many were selling due to his hip issues which usually sound like a career killer, but if you were lucky enough to be at the last DobberHockey event, you would have known better and attempted to buy low. Justin Goldman explained the hip issue Rinne had been suffering and discussed how the procedure would actually make him more flexible and stronger in net.
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Hello all, Jason Banks here, Dobber and co. have called me up to help watch over the world of netminding for fantasy poolies.
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By Jake Schenkman So Fleury becomes the third youngest goalie to get to 300 wins. I can't see I saw that coming but good for him as this is a big accomplishment and he's having a fantastic year.
Nov 25th 2014, 12:27am EST
Throwback Thursday
By Jake Schenkman Reminder that the Sabres-Rangers game that was scheduled for tonight has been postponed due to the storm in Buffalo. As of now, there has been no make up date announced.
Nov 21st 2014, 1:11am EST
Quiet Wednesday in Hockey
Cam Talbot had 30 saves in a shutout win for the Rangers against Steve Mason and the Flyers. Mason could not be faulted at all in this one and actually kept it close for the most part.
Nov 20th 2014, 9:01am EST
Sunday Night Ramblings
By Jake Schenkman Talk about making your NHL debut in style. Troy Grosenick had a 45 save shutout in his NHL debut against Khudobin and the Hurricanes.
Nov 17th 2014, 12:31am EST
Saturday Night Goalie Review
By Jake Schenkman - Rask brought the Bruins back in the win column with 33 saves over the Canes. Ward had a decent game, and while Khudobin will start today, Ward will be right back in next game.
Nov 16th 2014, 11:37am EST
Throwback Thursday
We start off with the Varlamov and the Avs beating Lundqvist and the Rangers. I am kind of surprised with this as I thought the Rangers were turning it around and Lundqvist had his A game going but Varlamov was great in this one and pretty much stole the two points for the Avs.
Nov 14th 2014, 9:23am EST
Throwback Thursday
We start off with the Varlamov and the Avs beating Lundqvist and the Rangers. I am kind of surprised with this as I thought the Rangers were turning it around and Lundqvist had his A game going but Varlamov was great in this one and pretty much stole the two points for the Avs.
Nov 14th 2014, 9:22am EST
Tuesday Night Specials
By Jake Schenkman The Devils were led back in the win column by Schneider last night. After a couple bad games, he made at least four spectacular saves last night with helped them beat the Wild.
Nov 12th 2014, 9:19am EST
Monday Night Review
By Jake Schenkman Rask and the Bruins scored two late goals on Schneider in the second period to win this one. Schneider admittedly wasn't happy with his performance and there's a chance we see Kinkaid start tonight.
Nov 11th 2014, 9:56am EST
Saturday Night Goalie Review
By Jake Schenkman In the lone afternoon game, Montoya gave Luongo a rare night off and unfortunately, the Panthers took off the 3rd period which gave Al Montoya the loss. Ramo got into a start, and while he played well, I figure Hiller is back in there next game.
Nov 9th 2014, 3:40pm EST
Struggling Goaltenders
I posted this on Puck Daddy earlier today, but here is a snippet relative to goaltenders. Specifically - the struggling ones Cam Ward, John Gibson, Steve Mason and Semyon Varlamov.
Oct 23rd 2014, 10:34pm EDT
Berra, Bobrovsky, and Braden
by Justin Goldman It has been a really fun start to the season when it comes to scouting backups and prospects. With 49 goalies appearing in games so far (you could say that's 19 backups), minutes have been really spread out in Week 1.
Oct 14th 2014, 2:26am EDT
On Steve Mason and Mike Smith
by Dobber For our new feature on Goalie Post, we've taken a page from DobberHockey and created a Ramblings. I'll weigh in with my thoughts, but you can also expect content from goalie expert Justin Goldman, as well as Goalie Post manager Jake (known as "smack" in the Forum).
Oct 11th 2014, 11:10am EDT
Test for the ramblings
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Oct 10th 2014, 11:32pm EDT
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