Handicapping Current Tandems

Justin Goldman

2011-10-27

Schneider

 

We're now three weeks into the season, and already there are some intriguing developments taking place between "starters" and their "backups" right now. For example, you could stab my eyes out with a plastic fork, but I'd still see the polarizations taking place between Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider advocates and fans. The tandem of Jonathan Quick and Jonathan Bernier in Los Angeles has also been a hot-button topic over the past few days.

 

Because of these storylines, the legit strategy of handicapping and securing tandems is either lingering in the back of your mind, or staring you right in the face. It's a great move to make if you have the room, and if certain goalies are available, so let's look at a few teams that might be worth handicapping.

 

First of all, there's the ever-so-endearing tandem in Vancouver. Luongo is inexcusably struggling in October again, while Schneider isn't off to the same stellar start he had last season. Sure, he'll play in more than 25 games this season, but because there's so much pressure on the Canucks right now, I don't think it makes sense to handicap them both. I personally wouldn't touch Luongo with a 10-foot pole in the first place, even if he does get better in November. I just think there will be too many frustrating losses compared to the other "Top-10" fantasy goalies.

 

I do like the potential of securing the tandem in New Jersey right now, but mainly for strategic purposes. Martin Brodeur is still nursing that shoulder injury (Johan Hedberg starts tonight), which is another sign he's inching towards retirement. But it is because his value is so low right now that grabbing him could pay off huge later in the season.

 

When Brodeur returns from his injury, I could see him having a strong push lasting anywhere from 3-5 games. That's when it will pay off to sell high – cash in on that window of opportunity before he gets hurt again. If he stays healthy and finds a way to return to top-notch form, you're all the wiser. Hedberg is always a steady asset to own, so you're essentially playing the buy-low, sell-high game with Brodeur, while The Moose acts as a perfect insurance policy. Hell, you could even keep Keith Kinkaid in your queue if you'd like; he's an underrated prospect for sure.

 

The same situation could be applied to Tampa Bay's tandem. Dwayne Roloson is a disaster right now, and can't be considered a steady asset at all. But by grabbing him when his value is this low, and knowing that Mathieu Garon is going to continue to play well this season, it makes for a great opportunity to sell Roloson when his value inevitably increases when he does start to win a few games. Garon is also another great insurance policy as well.

 

Finally, I would roll the dice on the Islanders tandem of Al Montoya and Evgeni Nabokov. Even though they're both lacking a rhythm right now, I think both have good upside this season and both will post better stats than most people are led to believe. The Islanders may or may not trade one of them, but if they do, it probably results in their fantasy value going up. I'm only speculating on that one, as injuries could pop up and chance things at any given moment.

 

In my opinion, Mike Smith and Jason LaBarbera continue to be one of the best "hidden" tandems to own. Dave Tippett's system goes a long way in making both goalies more valuable than they originally appeared a month ago. Smith has quietly been playing really well so far, and LaBarbera has already stepped in and