Fantasy Hockey Goalies 2001-2002
1. Martin Brodeur- (Devils) Brodeur is arguably the best goalie in the league, and playing behind one of the NHL’s top defenses make’s him a top fantasy value. Brodeur has some of the best reflexes in the league and uses the butterfly style. Brodeur, who is now in the prime of his career, should have a 40-win season.
2. Roman Chechmanek- (Flyers) Chechmanek accomplished many things this past season. He took Brian Boucher’s spot as the Flyers top goalie and made the All-Star Team. Not only did he win 35 of the 57 games he started, but he also had a .921 Save Percentage and 10 Shutouts. The only question to be answered is if he can do it again.
3. Dominik Hasek- (Red Wings) Scotty Bowman was recently quoted comparing Dominik Hasek’s determination to win the cup, to that of Ray Bourque’s last year with the Colorado Avalanche. If Hasek can stay healthy, there is a reason to believe that Hasek could lead Detroit back to the Stanley Cup.
4. Olaf Kolzig- (Capitals) With the Capitals acquisition of Jarmior Jagr the Caps are expected to win more games this year. Also, Kolzig signed a contract extension this summer and with a better team around him, there is no reason “Olie the goalie” won’t be a top tier net minder this season.
5. Patrick Roy- (Avalanche) At age 35, one would have to expect Roy to show some signs of slowing down. But the superhuman Roy, who won his third Conn Smyth trophy last year, continues to get better, as he had career highs in GAA and wins. Age will catch up with Roy one day, but don’t bet on that day coming this season.
6. Tommy Salo- (Oilers) After many disappointing seasons on Long Island, Salo has found his niche in Edmonton. Last year Salo was the Oilers best player and was the key to many Oiler victories. Salo, who was named to the 2002 Swedish Olympic Team, can be expected to register almost every win the team has this season.
7. Arturs Irbe- (Hurricanes) Irbe is a workhorse who always plays more than he should and gets a ton of action. Since the ‘Canes don’t have the leisure of not putting a top goalie on the ice, Irbe should continue to get a ton of ice time. Free Agent pick-up Tom Barrasso will help give Irbe a breather once in a while, but he has not been in a regular season game in over a year. Like Salo, Irbe can be expected to register almost every win the team has.
8. Curtis Joseph- (Maple Leafs) Joseph, who played very well last season, carried his team through out the year last season and was a key contributor to the Leafs playoff success. Cujo, as he is called, doesn’t have the mobility of a 25 year-old anymore and it would be helpful if he received more time to rest. With team’s improvements during the off-season, CuJo will try to bring the Leafs back to the NHL’s elite.
9. Johan Hedberg- (Penguins) Can this guy be the real deal? Will he be another Brian Boucher or can he continue his marvelous playoff performance? I am guessing that “Moose” is the real deal and being the only legitimate Penguins net minder, he will get a good chunk of playing time. The Penguins will win games solely due to their offence and that means that Hedberg will not have to be faced with the pressure of being the team’s top player. A guy named Mario holds that job.
10. Patrick Lalime- (Senators) After entering onto the NHL scene with Pittsburgh in record-breaking fashion, Lalime got lost in the minors after contract problems and is turning into the player everyone thought he would be as a rookie. Being 28, he’s no rookie anymore, and is now a rock solid puck stopper. The Senators will miss Alexi Yashin’s goals, but that probably not hurt the team’s overall win total. Lalime is a good goalie that will play well and perform up to expectations.
11. Ed Belfour- (Stars) Eddie “the Eagle” had a tough season last year. His GAA and save percentage were below normal and at 36, Belfour showed signs of slipping. With Marty Turco as his heir apparent, Belfour must show that he is still capable of taking the Stars back to the cup, or Belfour might be out of the starting job. With the additions of Pierre Turgeon and Donald Audette, expectations are high in Dallas, and Belfour must perform well.
12. Evgeni Nabokov- (Sharks) Nabokov took advantage of Steve Shields injury last year, and enjoyed a wonderful rookie campaign. Although his playoff performance was not great, Nabokov will be the Sharks main man from the start this season and the job is his to lose. The Sharks are a good team, and the better Nabokov is, the better the team will be.
13. Martin Biron- (Sabres) For the first time in his career, Biron will be able to show what he is made of. With Hasek gone, Biron will try to lead the Sabres to something that “the Dominator” could not; a Stanley Cup Championship. Give Biron two years and he will be one of the top six goalies in the league.
14. Felix Potvin- (Kings) When the Kings took Potvin off the hands off the Canucks, they never thought that they would be getting a player who single handedly got the team into the playoffs and then almost led them to a playoff upset against the Colorado Avalanche. If “the cat” would learn to be consistent he would be a force to reckon with. Until then, he is just a goalie who can be really hot, or really cold.
15. Byron Dafoe- (Bruins) Can Dafoe stay healthy? Bruins fans hope so, because if he can, the Bruins could be serious contenders in the east. The past few years have been filled with injures and contract problems for Dafoe, and this season Dafoe looks to regain the form he had in the ’98-99 season.