Ramblings – Four Backups with Best Chance to Steal Starting Gig, Other Goalies to Target and more (Jan 17)

Dobber

2022-01-17

The highly-anticipated Midseason Fantasy Hockey Guide was released on Friday (January 14). The only one of its kind! This Guide comes with your Ultimate Fantasy Pack or Gold/Platinum subscriptions. It does not come with the Keeper League Fantasy Pack nor the Silver subs. You can buy it here and download it right away.

It usually has second-half projections, sometimes projecting as many as 43 games out. Well, due to all the postponements and rescheduling – this Guide projects as many as 54 games for some players! That's the most ever in 14 years of doing this. We also look at the fancy stats for each team and where things are trending, take a look at key prospects to put on your radar for a recall down the stretch, and of course all the free agents of interest in college and Europe who could help you in dynasty leagues.

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Four starts in six days for Thatcher Demko? No problem. I believe that, for many goalies, needing a break is a myth. I don't see why the 20 or 30 top goaltenders in the entire world can't play 70 games. He was given that fourth start despite losing the other three games. However, it's interesting to note that each game was statistically better than the last. His SV% for each game: 0.808, 0.850, 0.879 and then 0.939 on Sunday. His GSAA also improved with each game: -2.69, -1.22, -1.06 and then 0.94 on Sunday. These were all road games (the Canucks have played eight straight games on the road). A good starter can and should play at least 65 games, and Demko will do just that.

With Conor Garland out of the lineup (COVID protocol), the Canucks shuffled Elias Pettersson down to the Bo Horvat/Nils Hoglander line. And the move paid off. He scored on the power play, and then tallied another at even strength playing with those two. The other member of Pettersson's usual line, Vasily Podkolzin, was down to the third line with Alex Chiasson and Jason Dickinson. I'd like to see another game with that setup, even if Garland does return. If Vancouver wants to make the playoffs then they need to get Pettersson going. That's top priority. So when Garland returns, I'd slot him on the top line with JT Miller and