Fantasy Hockey Volcano: 3 Goalie Rage!

Ondrej Pavelec
Bruce Fedyck USA TODAY Sports

Goaltending in fantasy hockey will make or break you. Goalies can lift you to the highest heights or bring everything crashing down like an avalanche of bricks. Please note that the three choices do not reflect the worst of the worst. However, they reflect disasters for fantasy hockey teams that could not be rectified.

That is often the biggest problem in fantasy hockey. Starts can sink you but those finishes can break your heart. They are the ones remembered so much more than even the glory. Now, maybe we will toss in a dishonorable mention or two just to stir the masses a little more. Again, the disasters in net generally are not owned in most leagues so we stuck with the ones that really ticked us off.

This really is like an exercise in opening up old wounds. However, those who ignore history are often doomed to repeat it over and over again. Let’s dig into this quickly and hopefully escape from it even quicker.

Three Fantasy Hockey Goalies That Pissed You Off

Jimmy Howard — Detroit Red Wings

It was not like Jimmy Howard had the Rick DiPietro special or worse. However, there just seemed to be slightly higher expectations with the Detroit Red Wings even though they were thought to be a bubble playoff team. That 21-19-11 record was a killer considering Detroit did give him pretty decent goal support. The 2.66 GAA and .910 save percentage did not show the true inconsistency that drove so many owners cuckoo. Though his last five starts were much better, the damage had been done for most. Howard gave up three or more goals eight times after the “Olympic Break”. A .500 goalie for Detroit heading into April just does not happen. There is a reason Howard is not considered among the top goalies in the league. Last season hammered that point home for fantasy hockey owners.

Jonathan Quick — Los Angeles Kings

Hey, he won the Stanley Cup. How can you have Jonathan Quick on this list? Simple, it is because of the frustration he created for his owners. Now the GAA and save percentage were more than respectable and the record was ten over .500 but again it came down to injuries with Quick. The goalie was limited to 49 starts and Martin Jones made a slight case that maybe the number one in LA should be on a shorter leash. Again, Quick would be injured in the playoffs yet soldiered through to another title. However, it is that tendency for ill timed injuries and Darryl Sutter‘s dogged reliance on the goalie that angered fantasy owners. Again, sometimes it is the maladies that hurt the fantasy hockey standing as much as on the ice or more.

Ondrej Pavelec — Winnipeg Jets 

This is more of the ugly case. How is Ondrej Pavelec still a starting goalie in the NHL? That is a legitimate question. He may have faced over 30 shots a game but Pavelec was his own worst enemy at times giving up rebounds time and time again. The 22 wins in 57 games was just icing on the cake for anyone that dared own him during the season. Again, why would you? Worse, it seems Winnipeg and this albatross of a contract are almost stuck together. The recommendation is simple here. Cut bait on this fantasy hockey goaltender NOW not later but NOW!

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Dishonorable Mention — Cam Ward

If it feels like Cam Ward has just deteriorated to the point of fantasy irrelevance, you are not far off. This was another below average season with injuries and a young backup who appeared ready to wrestle away the #1 spot in Anton Khudobin, who played in front of the same generally pedestrian defense. Ward looks like a goalie closer to 40 too often out there and he is nowhere near that age. Consider that the Stanley Cup winner from 2006 had a GAA of over 3 and a save percentage under .900 while Khudobin’s save percentage was a .926. I rest my case! This felt too much like Cory SchneiderMartin Brodeur all over again. I suppose if Cam Ward can get 100% healthy but who am I kidding, can he even do that? It’s an excellent question.

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Who else ticked you off? We would like to know what goalies infuriated you this fantasy hockey season. Thanks again for reading.

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