Posted - 11/19/2007 : 12:28:22
By Fantasy Fanatics
With October now in the books, it's time to review the most heavily debated position in fantasy hockey - the goalies. With poolies investing so hard in proven stars like NJ G Martin Brodeur, VCR G Roberto Luongo and CAL G Mikka Kiprusoff, looking at the stats right now might cause some people some sleepless nights.
Here's a glance at some of October's unsung heroes behind the mask
COLU G Pascal Leclaire - Anyone see this one coming? He currently leads the NHL with a stunning 1.25 goals against average and has four - that's right, count them, four shutouts already. Guess all that was needed was good health and a good coach in Ken Hitchcock that could instill a proper defensive system.
Sell High Now - Leclaire has not proven he can stay healthy over the course of a full season, and the Jackets are playing way above their heads right now. Both should come crashing back to earth - get what you can for him while his value is so high.
NSH Backup G Dan Ellis has stepped in for a struggling Chris Mason and played brilliant - He's off to a 4-0 start with 2 shutouts and a 1.35GAA. Mason may have lost his job for now.
Don't trade yet - With this kind of start, give it another few weeks to see if he's a fluke, or the real deal.
DET Backup G Chris Osgood is apparantly happy to be back in Detroit, because he's off to an oustanding start - In 7 Games played, he's 7-0, sports a 1.43GAA and a .936 save percentage. All that's missing is a shutout, but he does have two assists!
Sell High - At some point Osgood will falter, plus Hasek is still their #1, no matter what you read or hear.
BOS G Tim Thomas, a veteran that has never amounted to much in his NHL career, is off to his best start as a Bruin. He's 5-3-1 with a brilliant 1.65GAA. WIth fellow platoon goalie Manny Fernandez on the shelf and the only other option rookie Tuurka Rask, expect Thomas to get a lot of starts.
Sell High - Thomas has never been considered more than an average goalie and has already started his descent back to the pack. All it will take is one bad stretch and the Bruins will turn back to either Fernandex when he's healthy or give Rask his first opportunity to shine
Here are some other upstart players to consider selling high now - some of them are more than doubling their career averages based on their early pace.
CAR LW Corey Stillman - Stillman has a stunning 19 points in 12 games on a streaking Hurricane offense that is currently torching opposing teams. That said. he has never produced an 80 point season, so consider selling him now while his value is so inflated.
CAR C Matt Cullen - Like Stillman, is playing way above his head right now - 17 points in 15 games is astounding considering the fact that his career best for points was 49 two years ago when the 'Canes won the Stanley Cup.
TOR F Nik Andropov - After a torrid start, Andropov has slowed down and is back on a point a game pace (15 points in 15 games). His reputation for fighting the injury bug is well documented, so consider selling him now while he still maintains relatively solid value.
DAL C Mike Ribeiro - His career best for points in a season was 65 with Montreal, his pace at the moment would have him cracking 100. (16 points in 11 games) Ribeiro has never been a favourite of coaches, so don't be fooled by his offensive output. Get rid of him now before his pace and good standing with HC Dave Tippett tail off. Both are inevitable.
ANA G JS Giguere - After starting the season in the press box with a groin injury, is slowly finding his stride as the defending champs slowly recover from their poor start. With the club still awaiting the return(s) of D Mathieu Schnieder and perhaps D Scott Niedermeyer, Giguere's numbers will improve by default.
BUF LW Thomas Vanek - Had the weight of his monster contract on his shoulders as he struggled to get off the mat early this season. Has settled down and started scoring with regularity again, despite the club's recent struggles. Has 10 points in 13 games thus far, he may be a good target to buy at the moment due to poolie expectations when they drafted him early.
BUF G Ryan Miller - Off to his worst start as a starter (4-6-1 with a less than average .894GAA), has struggled due to the club's injury woes and talent losses this off-season. That aside, the club still has enough talent and resiliancy to recover - Miller will benefit the most and should be considered a great bargain right now.
CAL G Mikka Kiprusoff - No one would have seen this coming - Kiprusoff is ranked 30th in the NHL in GAA at .884, hasn't record a shutout yet and is only 6-6 on a club with championship-level aspirations. It wouldn't be a shocker to see any owner of Mikka ready to dump him now so get your offers out there. He's too good to keep playing this poorly.
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