Every Sunday, we’ll share 21 Fantasy Rambles from our writers at DobberHockey. These thoughts are curated from the past week’s 'Daily Ramblings'.
Writers/Editors: Ian Gooding, Michael Clifford, Cam Robinson, and Dobber
1. One thing I have been thinking about is the schedule. Whether we end up with 48 games, or 54 games, or 60 games, we’re not going to be playing 82. With the league needing revenue, my assumption is they squeeze in as many games as quickly as possible.
Anyway, all that leads to this: I am not sure how much goaltender rest we’re going to see. It has been infrequent over recent seasons to see a goalie play both ends of a back-to-back situation but we’re going to be in a shortened scenario. For example, last year, the Jets had eight back-to-backs and Connor Hellebuyck played both ends of them just once. When we get to the shortened season, it won’t just be the back-to-backs that coaches will need to concern themselves with, it’s also the three-in-fours and the four-in-sixes that will matter. There are going to be more of those as well. At a certain point, I don’t wonder if coaches are going to just play their starters. (dec8)
2. When looking back to the 2013 shortened season, the Blackhawks had 10 back-to-back situations, the Canadiens had eight, the Panthers had six, and the Ducks had nine (I only looked up a handful of teams, but I remember this being a big sticking point when making the schedules). If we get around a 50-game season, that could be as much as 20 percent of the season played on B2Bs. Things rarely work out as neatly as “we’ll give the B2Bs to the backup and every other game to the starter.” There will be injuries, COVID cases, family emergencies, and whatever else that normally pops up.
All this is to say I think we see goalies playing both ends of a B2B a lot more often than we think we might, or should. This is especially true for potential bubble playoff teams with a good starter like Winnipeg, Anaheim, or Calgary. It may not be true for teams like Boston or Vegas, who have two starters but are also a lock playoff team barring some sort of disaster. (dec8)
3. I was looking at some of our advanced stats for goalies on Frozen Tools. One in particular that I think is worth looking at is GSAA (goals saved above average), which I’ve referenced in past Ramblings when discussing goalies. This stat can be found by clicking on the Quality Starts button when searching for goalies.
In case you’re wondering what GSAA is, it calculates goal differential between goalie and league average. A higher positive number is better. It may be a function of the team to some degree, although a goalie with a strong individual performance (Connor Hellebuyck) can also stand out here. Last season’s numbers are probably a reflection of who you wanted/did not want on your fantasy team.