Rules of Engagement

Justin Goldman

2009-03-02

lehtonen

 

March Madness is in the air and for most of you that means fantasy league playoffs start in just a few short weeks. That being said, the chaotic mayhem known as “jockeying for position” has taken over the lands. Leashes are the shortest ever as drastic times call for drastic measures. Do you need one last miracle acquisition to push you into the post-season? Do you need one more piece of trade bait in order to land the big fish you’ve been seeking all year?

 

Well, before you go out and make those outrageous trade proposals, please look over my Rules of Engagement for winning the goaltending battle down the stretch. Hey, if you’re like me, it’s all about just trying not to be last place in the Dobber Elite League (at least my goalies rule!). But this is Dobber Nation, where nobody loses and everyone wins.

And of course with the trade deadline only a few days away, I’m also going to bring some insight on a few goalies that could be wearing different colors on Wednesday. Make no mistake about it, decisions are huge right now, so post this up on the big board at work and prepare for battle!

1.    NOTHING IS GUARANTEED
Miikka Kiprusoff can allow five goals on 19 Tampa Bay shots and Colorado could sweep Detroit in the regular season for the first time in Avalanche history on Wednesday night. Enough said. It’s not WHO you are in net, it’s WHAT you just did in the last game. Who knows, maybe Antti Niemi takes over the crease in Chicago and leads them deep into the playoffs. Hey, you never know. That’s the point. Keep those eyes open and never underestimate an NHL goalie.

2.    THE INJURY BUG IS ALWAYS BUZZING
If Ryan Miller and Nikolai Khabibulin can go down in the final quarter of the season, it can happen to any goalie at any given moment. Did you know that Tomas Vokoun missed three games with an inner-ear infection and both Evgeni Nabokov and Alex Auld missed a game because of the flu?! Your trigger finger must be ready for the next nagging injury…because compensating for it with another goalie can make all the difference come Sunday night.

3.    SCOUTING FOR THE FUTURE

If you are in a keeper league, getting a chance to soak in the play of all these young prospects is like money in the bank for next year. There are a number of potential acquisitions to be made that will set you up for great success down the line. Keep an eye on HOW they play, not how their statistics look. Goalies like Yan Danis, Karri Ramo and Michal Neuvirth are taking advantage of their chance to see some solid NHL action and raising their stocks.

4.    TRADE DEADLINE DEALS
I don’t see many goalies having a new address come Wednesday afternoon, but then again this is clearly not my best area (rumors) when it comes to goalie analysis.