With the end of the regular season in sight, it’s time to take a look back at how your Western Conference fantasy players have fared this season and hand out some April flowers.
Western Conference Goaltending
Most Valuable Goaltender
Winner: Pekka Rinne
The Predators' version of their saviour recorded 33 victories, only five back of the eventual NHL leader Roberto Luongo. Rinne's save percentage (0.930) was good enough to sit him in second place amongst starters behind only Tim Thomas of the Bruins. His 2.12 goals-against-average is the third best and just a smidgeon below the Roberto Luongo (2.11) and the aforementioned Thomas (2.00). He recorded the seventh most saves in the NHL (1771) while finishing the season with six goose eggs. Considering he didn't have a dominant defensive or offensive corps in front of him, Rinne certainly saved a few hides this season, so there's probably isn't anyone more deserving of the award.
Runner Up: Roberto Luongo
Luongo essentially had the best season of his career year (at least from a numbers perspective). He finished top of the league with 38 victories and ranked amongst the top-three both in terms of goals-against-average and save percentage. Perhaps having a 75/25 start/rest ratio does make a big difference after all? The Nucks are poised to make a big run at the Cup this post-season, now only if he can get rid of that giant gorilla, aptly named the Blackhawks, off his back then all should be well.
The Charlie Sheen Commemorative Award (Duh, Winning!)
Awarded to the best goalie who wins at the expense of all else.
Winner: Mikka Kiprusoff
If wins were all you're after, then Kipper was your man. He finished with 37 victories just one shy of league leader Luongo. Unfortunately from the peripheral perspective, he finished 23rd and 26th overall in terms of goals-against-average and save percentage respectively, which would have been pretty detrimental to many fantasy leagues out there.
Runner-up: Jimmy Howard
After a great rookie season last campaign, Howard succumbed to the dreaded sophomore slump. After displaying spectacular 2.26 and .924 numbers in 2009-10, he dropped the ball with 2.78 and .908 numbers 12 months later. But thanks to the offensive juggernaut of the Red Wings offense, the win totals didn't suffer too much as he finished with just oneless than he did a year ago.