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Daoust takes a look at the best fantasy bets for goalies in the Eastern Conference…
Over the next few weeks we will examine the best goalies, defensemen, right wingers, left wingers and centers in the Eastern Conference. The rankings will be based on fantasy value for the upcoming NHL year. Thus age will not be a huge factor other than forecasting potential breakouts and disappointments. For the goalies the key factors will be individual talent, the team the goalie plays behind, other goaltending options and the goalie's fantasy production history. Wins, GAA and save percentage will receive the bulk of the focus.
5) Tuukka Rask – Boston
To the surprise of many, the Bruins failed to qualify for the playoffs last year. Despite the setback, Rask still had a very strong campaign with 34 wins and a .922 save percentage. In fact, this was only the second time in his career that he has fallen short of .929. Needless to say, Rask has been extremely stable statistically over the years.
When the Bruins were a powerhouse, Rask's GAA hovered around the 2.00 mark. While this is likely not possible with the current team in front of him, last year's 2.30 is still solid and should be attainable again as the Bruins should still be a strong defensive club. Plus, the fact that the team appears set to go without a proven backup for the second straight year makes Rask likely to once again push the 70-game mark.
Evidently, Rask has been an excellent goalie over the years and once upon a time was considered an elite fantasy goalie. However, the Bruins are in a state of transition at the moment and have made some big changes this summer. A lesser squad means Rask will be in tough to post elite-level totals in wins and GAA. Keep him on your radar at your fall draft though. Your opponents may overreact to the decline of the Bruins and forget that Rask is still a high-quality fantasy goalie.