Roll Them Bones

Justin Goldman

2011-03-14

holtby

 

The clock is ticking, my fantasy friends. The playoffs, at least for most one-year leagues, are just a week away. And with that in the back of everyone's mind, the chance to make one or two last-ditch efforts to improve your team for the playoffs is there for the taking. I mean, this is why you rationed your allotment of trades and waiver moves, right? But are there any risks worth taking right now in the world of NHL goaltending?

 

 

FANTASY MAILBAG – MARCH 14

 

I say yes, there most certainly are. Just like we see every year around this time, a goalie appears out of the mist and finds a way to write a special story we never expected to read. This year, the potential for Ray Emery in Anaheim and Braden Holtby in Washington to convert opportunity into fantasy points clearly exists. But it's up to you to roll them bones and take a chance.

 

Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to be dissecting Emery's short and long-term fantasy value in March. When he was placed on the IR last season, I figured that was it. Avascular Necrosis?! He's done! But with a few weeks left in the season, and with him finally getting into a game last night against the Coyotes, he will be a possible tipping point in the Ducks' playoff push.

 

The same can be said for Holtby in Washington. As long as Semyon Varlamov is out with his knee injury, clearly the Capitals have no other choice than to roll with the 21-year-old rookie that was just named the NHL's First Star of the Week.

 

So let's take a look at what the future might hold for both of these goalies in the final month of the season. One goalie is simply looking to keep his hot streak going, while the other is right in the middle of a playoff push and heading for a crucial off-season that could easily determine the fate of his NHL career.

 

Will Ray Emery play enough games to bring me legitimate fantasy value?

 

Just like any veteran player, a goaltender like Emery comes attached with a fantasy reputation. Like a tag on a t-shirt, it gives you basic pros and cons of what you can expect from said player. In Emery's situation, experts will consider him a major fantasy risk due to his fight with Avascular Necrosis. He's also considered a risk due to the many off-ice shenanigans that have distracted him from playing at his best in years past.

 

Now don't get me wrong, those are both legitimate risks. But due to his horrific hip issues and his burning desire to return to the NHL, and then accomplishing that goal, I feel like the off-ice attitude problems are a thing of the past. He has matured through this process, his focus is now where it needs to be, and he now relishes any opportunity thrown