The fine lines separating quality long-term fantasy goalie gems from total busts become more blurred with every passing day. The position is kind of like an amorphic, shape-shifting biological entity that finds a way to mutate into a stronger, more refined being. The different genetic codes that make up every NHL goalie then leads to many different interpretations of what the future holds for said goalie. To be blunt, nobody knows for sure what will happen next.
Now more than ever, with so many seemingly solid prospects evolving at a younger age (and all over the European leagues), you need to have a much wider scope of things and see the big picture. By that, I just mean understanding what it takes for any style of goalie to compete and win in today's NHL game, both mentally and technically.
Take my advice – show some patience with the goaltending prospects in your line of sight, but at the same time never stop learning about them. Whatever your expectations may be, don't form a hasty opinion and don't allow that opinion to be steadfast. Give yourself some time to determine how they handle adversity, pressure and some tough losses. A lot can be lost in translation, but ultimately it will be the facts that set you free from the madness of drafting prospects.
In my own personal endeavors, I know my predictions are not always right. When I am right, I don't always "call it" with total accuracy. But if you want to experience more success in the fantasy realm, then do what I do and go with what you know as a matter of fact. Don't draft goalies simply on hearsay and haphazard notions. Always be open to different interpretations and opinions from other fantasy managers and fans. Discuss, dissect, debate and research.
Did I ever expect Miikka Kiprusoff to go on a streak where he only allows 15 goals in 11 games? Not a chance. But now that he's done it, can I explain why he's playing so well? Absolutely. And to be honest, that's all that matters to fantasy managers looking for an edge. Remember, it's not how these goalies get there, but what they do once they arrive in the NHL.
Despite what everyone might think after Neuvirth's two NHL games and losses this season, he's ready to play in the NHL. Does he deserve a spot in Washington right now? Not yet, because there's no real rush. But once Jose Theodore's contract expires and Semyon Varlamov stays put, Neuvirth will get a real chance to shine.
There's a good debate taking place right now regarding Neuvirth in the School of Block forums. This is the stuff I love to see, because there are so many different interpr