Mason vs. Fleury vs. Ward

Justin Goldman

2009-08-03

Fleury

 

There's an interesting decision for Team Canada to make regarding their third goaltender. Obviously Martin Brodeur and Roberto Luongo are currently seen as the team's top two masked men of choice, as they lead the way in overall experience. But between Cam Ward, Marc-Andre Fleury and Steve Mason, which one is best suited as the third?

 

When analyzing three elite goalies, all of which just put together pretty incredible seasons, you know that the decision cannot be based strictly on what they accomplished or where they might rank in talent. Instead, the key is to choose the goalie that would be the most successful in a third-string ROLE once the rest of the team is constructed.

Of these three goalies, who would handle going from wearing a business suit to a Team Canada jersey in an instant with the utmost success? That is the true essence of this decision, one that could in turn bear great importance if an injury or terrible game occurs. And what hammers this lesson home for fantasy managers is, like Team Canada, we all have a similar decision to make.

With a pool of very solid goalies to choose from, which one will act as our own third netminder? We have a fantasy team comprised of some very talented hockey players, but still, it's not always the most talented goalie that fits a certain team best. In fact, different countries have different pools to choose from, just like your own fantasy team and league settings. So join us as we discuss who should be the third goalie on an Olympic level, which acts as a perfect example of how you could handle similar decisions at the fantasy level.

STEVE MASON – How can you possibly not choose a kid who just had a Cinderella rookie season in which he provided Columbus with the edge they needed defensively to make the playoffs for the first time in franchise history? That alone is a monumental achievement, let alone some of the games he won single-handedly.

Mason is set to start around 65 games as the undisputed starter in Columbus, but what impact could a sophomore slump have on his overall value? From a fantasy standpoint, you should feel quite confident that Mason won't fall victim to the same influences that others have gone through in the past. I say this because he has more than enough confidence heading into the season, especially now that his long-time goalie coach is by his side. That being said, there's going to be times when Mason's timing and rebound control is not his best, but they will be addressed quickly and fixed in a timely and efficient manner.

But at the same time, you will need to personally weigh some of the real pressures he will face to perform even better than last se