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Both Jonathan Bernier and Nazem Kadri left last night's pre-season game with undisclosed injuries. It's probably nothing to get worried about, certainly not in Kadri's case because he's got a job guaranteed but Bernier is in a battle for minutes.
Personally, I don't see the logic behind bringing Bernier in. James Reimer was solid last season, skating on a team that was consistently outshot. I'm not sure Bernier could hold up under fire the way Reimer did last season. If Bernier is just in Toronto to be a backup or an insurance policy the Leafs are paying way too much for it.
I'm not saying that I'm in love with Reimer but I'm not sure Bernier makes the issue better. Both goaltenders are big stay-aways for me in fantasy this season beyond taking a late flyer. Neither one has a long track record, nor has one been a workhorse starter. This situation is doomed to end in a time-share and that's a situation I would rather avoid.
Of course, I'm the knucklehead who took Cory Schneider in the Dobber Experts' League draft on Wednesday and I didn't get Brodeur to lock down the tandem. In my defense, this is just me sticking to my guns. I said it yesterday and I'll say it again today, if New Jersey wants to field their best team, they will give Schneider the ball and let him run with it. Brodeur just isn't as good as Schneider at this point. Anything short of 60 starts for Schneider will be a disappointment to me.
I also snagged Jonathan Quick as my number one. In a 16-team league it was important for me to grab two starters I felt comfortable rolling with for the season. Quick is coming off of a down year but I don't question his talent. He was coming off a down year and was able to recover in time for the playoffs. I'm expecting a really solid bounce-back for him.
Since we are on the subject of goaltending allow me to elaborate on my goaltending drafting strategy. I like to use a "tier" system to help determine when and who I should draft to fill my goaltending spots. The strategy is simple, rather than ranking goaltenders 1-60 I put them into groups of similar value. There will always be favourites within groups but the logic is that you can address other aspects of your team prior to going after a goaltender if there are enough goaltenders of similar value still available to be picked.
For me the tiers go as such:
One: Henrik Lundqvist, Pekka Rinne, Quick and Tuukka Rask
Two: Carey Price, Antti Niemi, Corey Crawford, Jimmy Howard and Roberto Luongo
Three: Sergei Bobrovsky, Kari Lehtonen, Mike Smith, Cory Schneider, Craig Anderson, Marc-Andre Fleury and Braden Holtby
Four: Ryan Miller, Cam Ward, Devan Dubnyk, Ondrej Pavelec, Niklas Backstrom, Semyon Varlamov
Five: The terrible tandems of Anaheim, Philadelphia, Florida, Toronto, St. Louis, Tampa Bay and Calgary.
My feeling is that the top four guys are basically beyond reproach. Rinne is still dealing with a nagging hip issue but I would still take him over anyone outside of tier one because he's such a workhorse. Beyond the top tier, however, I see a middle-class that is altogether pretty tightly packed. There's an argument to be made that any of those tier four guys could step up/bounce back and have a top-ten season. Or maybe one of the tandem goalies gets injured and suddenly there's a new 60-start goalie added to the talent pool. I could see a big year out of a goalie from any of those destinations given the right circumstances. Hell, Bobrovsky emerged from the wreckage of Columbus' goalie tandem