Ramblings: Harsh Words in Big D, Goalie Overuse, World Juniors (Dec 29)

Ian Gooding

2018-12-29

 

Hey, why not preorder your Midseason Guide here? DobberHockey staff are working on this feverishly so it’ll be available for you on January 11. You’ll find second-half projections, sleepers, advanced stats, historical trends, prospects, and more.

I’m currently working on the goaltending piece. As I do with any large assignment (writing or otherwise), I tend to start with the easy and work my way out to the more difficult. So when projecting the goaltending situations for 31 teams, I’m starting with the more predictable situations and working my way out to the more difficult. That means I’m getting the workhorse starters like Craig Anderson, John Gibson, and Carey Price out of the way.

Wait, what… all three are dealing with injuries?* Now I’m not trying to suggest that all three goalies’ injuries are due to overuse, but goalies who are overused become more susceptible to injuries. Whenever a goalie who starts a ton of games is injured, I tend to wonder when teams will start managing goaltending minutes the same way major league baseball teams now manage their pitchers’ pitch counts.

So who could be in danger of overuse? Marc-Andre Fleury is your league leader with 35 games played. As much as his fantasy owners have been able to count on him for starts and wins, he’s one of the league’s older goalies at 34. He missed two months with a concussion last season and also suffered two concussions in 2015-16, which is something for you to keep in the back of your mind.

I’m also looking at Frederik Andersen, who is only one win behind Fleury and among the top 5 in games played. Andersen has started 66 games in each of the previous two seasons, so he has a track record of durability. But what concerns me is the high volume of shots that the Leafs face on a nightly basis. If you’re a Fleury or Andersen owner and Malcolm Subban or Garret Sparks happens to start, don’t be dismayed. Consider it necessary rest for your goalie.

*Gibson and Price are on my 9-year-old son’s fantasy team, his very first team and a team he drafted only a few days ago. Welcome to fantasy hockey, son.

*

I don’t read about these types of comments in hockey as often as in other professional sports – maybe because of the more polite nature of hockey culture. Yet on Friday, Stars’ CEO Jim Lites ripped into Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin with a few choice words (