Ramblings: How to Manage Goalies in Various Leagues (Jul 27)

Alexander MacLean

2022-07-27

Goalies can be so tough to manage and predict year to year. It has gotten to the point that I will not invest heavily in a goaltender, because the ones like Andrei Vasilevskiy and Igor Shesterkin are too expensive to acquire, and anyone after that is too inconsistent to trust, be it Connor Hellebuyck, Robin Lehner, Jacob Markstrom, etc.

Today I wanted to run through goalies based on a few different leagues. The first thing is to understand what your league values, whether that is the volume or the ratios.

Volume

A lot of leagues are purely points based, meaning at the simplest you get a point for a win, and sometimes a shutout, while on the other end of the spectrum there are additional stats for games started, saves, and negative stats for goals against.

In these leagues, the more a goalie starts, the better. That has been getting tougher and tougher to manage over the last few years though as teams have moved away from giving one goalie 60 starts, and have instead been splitting time, making those goalies who do start 60+ games extremely valuable. However, due to injuries and inconsistent play among other factors, sorting out who the 55+ start goalies are that will give you 30+ wins is a challenge year after year.

Last year, there were five goalies who started 60+ games, and four of the five racked up 30+ wins in those games (Connor Hellebuyck with 29 wins in 66 games fell just short). This year, I have seven goalies projected to pass both the 60-game and 30-win threshold:

Shesterkin, Vasilevskiy, Hellebuyck, Juuse Saros, Jacob Markstrom, Jordan Binnington, and Thatcher Demko are the short list, and should make up the majority of the top goaltending options no matter the league. There are some questions with the teams in front of Hellebuyck and Demko though, while Saros has looked overworked at times of late, and Binnington has been very streaky, and seems to tail off after game #30.

If the wins are less necessary, and a